God and the State – Ruins: The Complete Works Of God And The State (Happy Squid) 1985. The Mrowster recently posted a set of versions of The Urinals classic “Black Hole” on his great Pig State Recon blog. As you may know, I am a pretty big fan of The Urinals myself.
Y’see the Urinals along with The Middle Class, represent this weird moment in LA where proto-hardcore and minimalist art-punk were the exact same thing. It may have all come out of Wire I guess, and the proto-hardcore of Mr Suit. But in LA, it festered and grew. What you get are these regular lookin’ dudes in chinos who strip every bit of clutter away from the conventional rock song. It’s a deliberate approach, a conscious decision to minimize everything. A creative decision.
Now what happens when you speed it up? Well, you get “Out of Vogue”. You get “Ack Ack Ack”. You get the beginnings of hardcore. And as the hardcore kids started coming on the scene, what happened to the Urinals? They broke up of course. Or more to the point they became 100 Flowers. Then John Talley-Jones and Kjehl Johanson eventually joined with The Last’s Vitus Matare in Trotsky Icepick. Drummer Kevin Barrett, played in God And The State.
Simply put, Ruins: The Complete Works of God and the State is an amazing LP. Its kinda like an LA punk version of Entertainment by Gang of Four.