Morning check-in: Warsaw, Poland 1988. This album came down a year before communism collapsed under pressure from trade unions, and its own weight, really. I can guess that being in a western-style punk band in Poland in 1988 wasn’t exactly easy but it’s hard to say. All we had to go by here was what we saw on television, the anti-communist propaganda every single night. My understanding at the time was that opposition to communism was met with brute force, mass imprisonment and the shutdown of vital goods and services. The truth? What is the truth ever anyway? It depends on who you ask. THIS ARTICLE provides at least one version that I’ve not heard. What was it like? Well…
So… Gardenia. I can’t find any information on them outside of this YouTube offering. Their sound is readily familiar. Not that I’ve heard them before and they don’t seem derivative like they might be slavishly parroting anyone else. It’s just the sound. It wouldn’t fall under any of the other Eastern European coldwave or darkwave umbrellas. It goes back further than that. Maybe closer to The Stooges than anything else. It’s that sort of muscular, hacking, rock & roll thing. It’s dangerous without any of the morose, gothic theatrics of later post-punk. It’s music to fuck shit up to.
So maybe it is perfectly Warsaw 1988, music for a revolution.
Revolution… now there’s a word. It’s up there now with “civil war” in the list of words and phrases lurking right behind the veil of day to day life. But that’s not for now. The shouts of people talking about “back to normal” and “NEW YORK FUCKING CITY IS BACK, BABY” are deafening. Who’s got time to talk about revolution?