Touch My Rash - Destined for Disaster - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Touch My Rash - Destined for Disaster

by Amy Putman Rating:8 Release Date:2013-05-15

I have a confession; Touch My Rash make me want to touch their rash, if they have one, which, putting aside my vow not to wish horrible medical complications or chronic conditions on anyone, I hope they have because, if they do, I just know it is a glorious, textured rash of many shades, colours and styles of ooze... In a good way. I'm not generally into rashes but the famous rash of Touch My Rash would smell of oranges and beer, spliff and cotton. It would feel like alligator leather and it would be cobalt and purple, red and acid green. It would leak tequila. When you touched it you'd get a little electric shock and hear their music in your head.

The music that would rush into your mind with the volts is classic California punk; think early NOFX brought up to date. It is blissfully lacking in the skater tang that is so prevalent in that part of the world, and replaces it with an old-school vibe as ripe and bolshy as original British punk, but with the rocking backdrop of early New York punk. In short, it's proper, real, genuine punk, not any one of the myriad subsections or spin-offs. Just punk.

It's harder and more powerful than the many teenage pretender punk spawns, and speaks of souls that are punk till they die, rather than hitting their 20s and turning into hipsters. It is miles better than any of the recent flurry of new grunge. As far as retro styles go, Touch My Rash are much more relevant and thriving... Almost forcefully thriving.

You get the idea that if anyone was ever discouraging, they'd come back the next day and slap them in the face with their next, better record until they became a fan. This is the special kind of dynamite, no, nuclear youthful exuberance which only occurs when energetic, stylish artists add a dash of politics to the mix of their subculture; some aim to their fervour that transforms it from a lamp to a laser beam. Screw cockroaches, I'm betting on Touch My Rash to survive any apocalypse. There's nothing they can't do.

Proper punk is not as acceptable in the contemporary music world as other genres. For some reason, it's yet to catch a 'retro' label and so people often deride it as unoriginal; they see it as a historic phase and, besides, they can get the knock-off t-shirt in Primark. This album, though, proves that punk of excellent quality is coming from new bands. This is more than an aping of the greats; this is contemporary and vital and important.

Besides, if we're going to cope with our own bleak futures we need more than just grunge. Grunge is and has always been for giving in and wallowing; metal is for desperate purging of serious anger and pain; rock is for partying while the world burns, burying yourself in fuck and drugs till you don't care anymore. Punk, on the other hand, is for pepping you up, stirring the anger into motion, getting you to a state to act.

Touch My Rash has all the best of all that punk is or ever has been. It's juicy and irreverent. It's an experience as much as an aesthetic. It's clashing colours and yelping yawps of existence. You can't help but greedily ingest the violent joy of the lyrics. It's a house party which happens to be political. It's fun anger. It's the music I most want to be smacked in the chops with.

If I'm ever in a coma, play me this and I'll be up and dancing in under a minute. It's demanding and rewarding in equal measure. It challenges us to be who and what we want to be, regardless of the world. It's a fuck you to the system and a high-five to humanity all at once. It's alive, youthful and everything I wish I was flipped into a parallel sunny life of passion, action and straightforwardness.

It's exactly what our grey, complex, bureaucratic British lives need. This is the medicine for the hell we have created. Use it to fan the flames of chaos; use it to douse the coals of the system and start anew; or use it to party while the city burns. Whatever, just use it and use it hard.

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