The Poles – CN Tower // Prime Time (Nimbus 9 Records) 1977. Here’s a pretty good blast of obscuro punk wrock from Canada. Toronto to be exact. 1977. Yeah…77 is actually pretty early for something like this and The Poles sorta fly under most folks radar. Like a lot of stuff from punks earliest days, there is a definite “rock-n-roll” influence on this disk but don’t let that discourage you. This is some primo shit. Well at least the A-Side.
The A-Side CN Tower is named after the once-largest freestanding structure in the world. Of course, it is now dwarfed by some building in Dubai but really who cares? It’s probably high time that countries stop competing over the largest man-made phallus and move on to other issues. Anyway, I digress….
CN Tower stands out for a few reasons. First of all, its got this VU-as-translated-thru-early-BOC drone choogle going for it that is just plain ominous. Second, Michaele’s vocals have a drug-addled breathlessness that are extremely cool. Third, the lyrics are classic. Check em’ out:
Take me to the tower
Turn on the power
I’m Yours, I’m yours baby…
I could feel the CN Tower pulse
It’s lure beamin’ into my brain
The Poles were there, the time was right
I was gonna shake out my chains
Five of us, Hangin’ tight
We were flies crawlin’ up the pole
We could feel the airwaves drawin’ us
Pumpin’ our rock-n-roll
At the top of the tower there was no fence
Just a black hole from beyond
Alice in Wonderland, Marquis De Sade
Je dois m’schapper du monde
I took the leap went sailin’ down
Thru the black machine
Then Spiderman tossed his web
Just like a trampoline
Whirlin, Twirlin, I’m Whirlin Down
CN Tower, CN Power
The B-Side Prime Time is an OK rock-n-roll tune. Kinda similar to a lot of 77 bands (The Valves, The Vibrators), I bet the Poles were a band before punk rock and this is an earlier tune. Regardless, by the time Doug, Stevie, Luce, Ricky and Michaele recorded this slab, they had the punk “look” down and on the A-Side, they were crankin’ out a pretty cool sound with some really great lyrics.
As always, if anyone has any info on The Poles I would love to know. There is very little online. Thanks to Matt for sending me this, regardless of the fact that he feels it is beating a dead horse.