Austin’s Reversible Cords were a fun-times DIY band that was also more than a little dark and ironic… before that was the cool thing to be. I’ve been meaning to do a post on them for awhile, but unfortunately, it’s hard to find most of their material online for streaming.
Nevertheless: Reversible Cords were a “punk band,” but personally I consider them forerunners to the freak folk (or anti-folk, who the hell knows the difference these days) movement. Given that connection, I’m as surprised as you are that this band made one of my favorite albums of all time: 1980’s S/T LP. The bizarre instrumentation, anti-capitalist sentiments, and sometimes-nervy-sometimes-earnest energy make it some of the most original shit I’ve heard over the years. Re*Cords sound like super fun cracked out Klezmer-punk, but they have a gravitas that prevents them from ever reaching “gimmicky” status. (When you say, ” cracked out Klezmer-punk,” people are gonna think, “gimmicky.”)
Cliche but true: It’s one of those albums where you listen to it a few times, and you have 2 or 3 favorite songs, but the more you listen to it, the more those “favorites” change as you gain a new appreciation for something going on in each song.
And since I’m obviously too straight-laced to offer the download to the good people of the internet myself, I have to simply encourage you (and I mean, REALLY encourage you) to get ahold of Reversible Cords’ S/T LP on your own. Once you’ve done that, all that’s left is for you to listen to it on repeat for a coupla weeks. Oh, and check out Bert Crews’ archives.
Essential songs: Rabble Rouser, Birthday Song, Plastic Money, Video Cassette Machine, Malcontents, Let’s Get Gone.
Reversible Chords is one of my favourite band names ever now. And klezmer punk sounds groovy. 😀 I really want to listen to this band now.