I’ve crossed the path of every possible type of alternative rock style that you can imagine. It seems however that I was missing one – SlamRock! Checking out the track “20 Motherfuckers” by The Wyatt Act, came across it’s rather poignant and defining description. As the manifesto read: “Street-corner style poetry meets transgressive rock. SlamRock is a philosophy, a lifestyle, an attitude, a swagger. SlamRock is a reaction to a society of detached, automatic, alienated, civilized play-acts. SlamRock values process over product and interaction over isolation. 3 Principles of SlamRock: – Spontaneity – Variety – Put on a fucking show!”
While the above statement may just about cover the genre’s attitude, the band’s roll call and instrumentation gives you an even better picture of the rock n’ roll eclectics that await you on “20 Motherfuckers”: Breakfast (Sax, Keys, Vocals, Guitar), Guinevere Q (Bass, Vocals), Jason Young aka Young Sun (Drums, Guitar, Mandolin) and Karissa McKelvey (Trumpet, Vocals).
I can’t guarantee that this really is SlamRock, as I have no other living, playing example to confront it with. So I have to take the band’s word for it. However, whatever genre of music this is and regardless of how anybody describes it, one thing is absolutely true – the creativity of this collective, refuses to conform to any one classification category.
“20 Motherfuckers” sounds like it could have been played by the likes of Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, Primus, and maybe Les Claypool’s Frog Brigade and even Sausage, for that matter. Obviously I meant them playing the song…all together…in one room, on a hot August afternoon!
Quite seriously, The Wyatt Act pull off a phenomenal performance from start to finish on this song – Exceptional musicianship and attention to musical detail, all while not giving a monkey’s ass about limitations and boundaries, both musically and lyrically as they deliver their call-and-response verses: “20 Motherfuckers in my house. Who are these people? I dunno. 20 Motherfuckers hangin’ around. How long are they gonna be here? I dunno. 20 Motherfuckers can’t pay the rent. Why’s it so expensive? I dunno. 20 Motherfuckers riding Google busses. What’s wrong with the regular busses? I dunno.”
The sound oscillates from funk to punk to stoner rock to jazz, in seemingly haphazard fashion for almost 4 minutes of psychedelic curiosity that will intrigue both your ears and mind. Can anybody else read any socio-political messages between the lines here?
I would imagine that in this land of musicians who can’t play, rock music that doesn’t rock, and creation lacking any creativity, the likes of pushing-the-envelope music, like “20 Motherfuckers” will be written off by ‘the powers that be’ as ‘too complex’ for the masses.
You would have to wonder at a world where band like The Wyatt Act is overlooked, in exchange for let’s say, someone like Nicky Minaj. But I guess there is still plenty of room for real asses in music today!