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Coup d'État

Plasmatics

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The early '80s were cruel to the Plasmatics, who had no trouble drawing attention to their brain-battering brand of punk-metal, and eagerness to push the on-stage grossout envelope (including demolitions of police cars, TV sets, and other large appliances). Supporting established metal acts like Kiss attracted curiosity, but record sales stayed spotty, leading to the band's demise. But Coup d'Etat hardly signals a band teetering on its last legs, sounding as fiercely uncompromising as its predecessors. The difference is Dieter Dirks' production, which more firmly than ever positions the band in the metal orbit. (Dirks is best-known for his work with the Scorpions.) There's even a fine cover of Motörhead's "No Class," which sounds tailor-made for the band's punchy thrash attack, powered by Wendy O. Williams' harsh, masculine-sounding vocals. The group's musicianship has also evolved; this is hardly the club-footed bunch who debuted on 1980's New Hope for the Wretched (particularly Richie Stotts and Wes Beech, who've become a taut guitar team). But nobody here plays matters safe too long: "Stop," "Path of Glory," "The Damned," and "Just Like on TV" take an apocalyptic, politically charged worldview completely foreign to '80s metal — which set the Plasmatics above their peers, but didn't sell records. The band revisits safer gross-out turf on "Mistress of Taboo," "Put Your Love in Me," and "Country Fairs," on which Williams aims her gravel-throated blunderbuss at mainstream society ("Be polite/Do what's right/Say your prayers/Don't stay out at night"). The final effect is strangely stilted, veering between gotta-get-airplay and gotta-stand-fast impulses, yet the group flashes enough of its old rowdiness for a reasonably worthwhile outing.

Biographie

Formé(s) : 1979 à New York, NY

Genre : Rock

Années d’activité : '70s, '80s

At a time (the late '70s and early '80s) and a place (the New York punk scene) where shocking the audience was often the order of the day, few bands had a greater gift for cultivating outrage than the Plasmatics. During the group's heyday, a Plasmatics show could include anything from lead singer Wendy O. Williams covered in shaving cream and electrical tape while brandishing a chain saw as blue-haired Richie Stotts attacked his guitar in drag, to the destruction of televisions, electric guitars,...
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