Smile Politely

Now Hear This! Revolting Cocks — “No Devotion” (1985)

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What 13-year old boy — a middle child in an Jewish-American family of loud-mouthed dramatists — didn’t at one point do something, anything, to try to alienate himself from the world?

For me, it was smoking copious amounts of tobacco and weed, and falling in love with the industrial rock scene. Once centered around the city of Chicago and the Denver-turned-Windy City record store/label — WaxTrax_Wax_Trax!_Records:_The_First_13_Years”>Black Box Wax Trax Records: The First 13 Years> for Christmas, which looking back, was an odd juxtaposition.

Here I was — 15 years old — and angry for the most part, about nothing really.

My hair was long on top, shaved underneath, with NIИ scrawled into the back of my head with a hair clipper. All the while, Amy Grant’s cheesy-but-somehow-awesomely-nostalgic Christmas album is playing in the background. Later that day, I pulled a milky tube in my closet, lit some incense and pushed play. What came out was nothing short of pure sonic bliss making fairly dirty love with machines, screaming men and years of pent up aggression.

The best of those tracks? A single from Revolting Cocks’ 1985 album Big Sexy Land. To this day, it still remains, one of the finest songs to drive to that I have ever heard. The lyrics, filled with an urgency about a dystopian present where the idea of god and lawfulness have slipped through the cracks, still give me chills.

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