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A Day Glow,
This review is from: Germ Free Adolescents (Audio CD)
Poly styrene mixed race, part Somali female, London cultured, blasted her way with power and insight to ignite the funeral pyre. TOTP became an ironic staple for the anti girl pin up. No short cropped hair and overalls for Poly. She wanted to turn the world day glo. She showed that women did not need to display their bodies to get male attention. Instead they could display their intellect. Polystyrene what did they do to you? Born too soon and now look around, it was as if they never heard as you blazed across the universe.
The lyrics are a stunning trenchant critique of mindless, soulless hoarding of buy, buy, buy, herd trough snuffling, keeping up with jones, outright stupidity. X Ray saw things as they really were. Ouch, it was very ugly. They saw the present and foresaw the future. They were a pre Gang of 4.
Intelligence is never equated with pop, and at the time, it was not equated with women. They just sang about love. These lyrics were searing, light years away from Shappupyaface, Toast or even the noodling doodling, hand down the zipper, excess of Drog Rok.
"Germ free Adolescence," outlines obsessive compulsive disorder; scrubbing away 3 x per day. How many times has a song about psychological collapse reached the top 20 and become a hit? "I live of you," highlights greed and power, the pimp beating the whore and she just screams for more. Stated clearly in the midst of the feminist revolution this deals with abuse as an addiction to violence. How the middle classes hated it. She revealed a reality everyone wanted to paint in terms of noir/blanche. Polly painted violence in dayglo colours but the born again feminists saw good and evil in their good old God/Satanist religiously bigoted tinged worlds.
Genetic engineering; combines prescience and clairvoyance, the mark of a new beginning. "I am a poseur," makes the fake invisible, the diletante, the follower of fashions, the ambulance chaser, pancake on their face bopping about to self obsession. They inhabit the world, but never exist within it. The one fingered salute to emasculation, rope binds of mortgages, sex, relationships and jobs, bangs a beat in "Oh Bondage up yours," a clever use of puns to usurp the sexual fetish, turning it into a statement of the political realm.
"Artificial" another critique of everything turning erstatz, unreal and essentially unhealthy. This was 1978, the beginning of test tube babies, genetic engineering, artificial insemination, x ray bombarded food and other huge changes in living and being. It was another form of social revolution ignored by Peter Frampton, Yes and Genesis.
"Identity," another take on psychological health. The sense of self fractures with the constant bombardment of images on "who to be" whilst ignoring "how to be."
Ok, so now a new way has been sign posted, listen again afresh mr and mrs mockerney. Diluted to its essence, this was a postmodern critique of everything held dead. You can listen to this without having to wade through the tedium of Deleuze, Guattari, Giddens, Lyotard, Foucault and Baudrillard. Save yourself £28K per year at Eton or Harrow and the £30-50K for a university education.
Polystyrene dissected the world in two minute blasts, distilling the complex sociological, psychological, philosophical debates and arguments into easily digested situationalist quips. Sad, turdious professors should be taken out into the streets and flogged for obfusication. Poly styrene then made it all implacably F.U.N. music to pogo to.
Lesser hardended souls who bleet about noise,cacophony, shrillness miss the sharpened stilleto point. This is it and how it was always meant to be. By all means enjoy eating your white sliced Kingsmill, but do not judge all culinary delights by your particular taste.
These were no cooing love songs to soothe the insurance salesmans beaten brow. They were a necessary call to arms, to destroy the the very existence of these tedious parasites.
King Henry V whispering to his men at Agincourt, with backing harmonies by the Duke of York! Noooo if that is what you want try the green door at the end of the rainbow!