EXHUMED: Kleenex/LiLiPUT First Songs LP

posted Wednesday May 3rd, 2017

Man-oh-man! Either the world is currently over-populated with brave & inspired people, universes truly do multiply, or music scenes don’t exist like they used to! In an interview with art-punk pioneer Marlene Marder (link below), she tells Perfect Sound Forever that her late 70s band Kleenex (later re-named LiliPUT because of the tissue company’s threats to destroy their records!) used to play a 15-minute set on repeat, sometimes up to four hours, for their cheering friends.

Four hours of a 15-minute set? That would never happen today! Someone in the crowd would burst in with their own ass-kicking set, it’d turn into a good old-fashioned freakout, and bands would change up all night long. For days & days. That’s basically how I see the live bar and DIY scenes in American cities nowadays, anyway, and within every age group.

Most of what you hear these days, in those scenes, though is a re-creation of the past. A bunch of bands merely paying tribute to the sounds of yesteryear. The real good stuff goes further, builds on the past as examples, and bridges divides. The stuff that traps itself in already-created sounds, though, friends in scenes can have good fun in themselves, sure; but if they don’t break out, their work lingers in the shadows of past masters— of which I would consider Kleenex/LiLiPUT ubiquitously in the realm of art-punk and post-punk. People nowadays can easily get glued to something great that’s already done, unless or until they, too break free from its limitations.

Listening to Kleenex/LiLiPUT’s first songs double record LP reminds me how liberating punk music is really supposed to be. The music embraces a carefree lifestyle, taking chances, and having fun without worry. I hear it in every note, every beat, every syllable— English or not, making sense or non. They play funky bass, bouyant drumbeats, with twangy guitars among some other surprise. A song on the second record, “Igel” has a mysterious, hook that sounds like it’s captured from recording a dog chew toy or a squeaky door. They whistle, play flute, and saxophone, while bringing a spastic, upbeat vibe to every tune, even the slower ones.

Popular and overlooked bands alike today echo the haunting, playful spirited punk rock of Kleenex/LiLiPUT and other contemporaries. Reflections of it permeate punk scenes, dance-rock, and even have influenced folk-rock sounds. The music is intended to bring joy in itself fight against social and political frustrations throughout Europe at the time.

The best thing you can do for yourself today is listened to the earliest work of this great band, stream it right HERE & read an inspiring interview with Marlene Marder.

Check out the music video for "Nice" right here: