Sunday, 18 October 2015

The Song - The Seeds "Pushin' Too Hard"

well all I want is to just be free ....

A wonderful slice of garage rock /proto punk angst here from The Seeds. Nope, not Nick Cave's bad friends but that hugely influential California cult band from the mid Sixties led by the wonderfully named Sky Saxon!! (I believe a certain crappy metal band of the Seventies later named themselves in his honour!)

This, their only real hit, broke into the Top 40 in November of 1966; the very month rabid retard Ronnie Reagan was elected Governor of California.

"Pushin' Too Hard" appeared on The Seeds' eponymous debut album that same year - a  supremely infuential LP which opens with the sublime "Can't Seem To Make You Mine", an equally good track and one covered by an array of fine artists down the years such as Johnny Thunders, The Ramones, Yo La Tengo and Alex Chilton.

Both this and "Can't Seem To Make You Mine" had an enormous impact on the later Punk movement.

Some decades after its release, "Pushin' Too Hard" was officially named as one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

The lyrics here won't exactly win a Nobel Prize (then again, if warmongering puppet Obama can win a Nobel Peace Prize, then this definitely should fucking win the Nobel Literature Prize!) but complexity's not the point. The song's all about the attitude. An attitude very effectively expressed in the simple guttural lyrics of existential dissatisfaction ("all I want is to just be free"); lyrics that mesh perfectly with the relentless music and driving beat. An ostensibly simple song of boy/girl turmoil becomes far more than that - a song of the discontent of the young  generation with the "System" that's "pushin' too hard." All unpretentiously expressed. And simply.

Like the best Punk music later, there's no needless bullshit here.

The song's kernel lines "All I want is to just have fun ... " would be echoed a few years later in the opening lines of another hugely influential proto-punk classic, The Stooges "No Fun" from 1969  ("no fun, my babe no fun; no fun to hang around feeling that same old way"); a song that in turn would fire up countless punk artists, most notably perhaps Johnny Rotten and The Sex Pistols who regularly played "No Fun" live and later recorded  the song for the b-side of their seminal single "Pretty Vacant"!

What a wonderful fucking guitar riff here too with echoes of the Kinks' 1964 smash, "You Really Got Me". Truly delicious!! Man, I think I love that riff even more than Tiger Woods loves getting his claws on caucasian club "hostesses"!

All in all, "Pushin' Too Hard" is a landmark moment on the road to Punk Heaven. A beautiful bare ode to apathy! Two and a half minutes of pure bliss!

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