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It’s funny, some times you only really notice you’re having a really good time as a family afterwards, other times you are fully conscious of it as it’s actually happening, they’re the best times and they’re the ones to really savour.  Today has been like that for me.  Up early and off to North Wales to go walking as a family (plus dog) in the Clywydian hills to Moel Arthur, a neolithic hillfort – as a history dude, I have to confess I am a total geek for anything that old, standing stones, burial chambers, hill forts you name it*, it excites me almost as much as coloured vinyl.  Then home to a couple of hours of gardening and finally sitting with some wine and a book in the sun – precious, happy time that we don’t always get due to work/life/wife/strife balance; tainted only slightly by burning the top of my head, yeah the bit where the hair used to be!

So back to the important, compulsive/obsessive stuff that we’re all here for; basically I couldn’t pick anything gloomy could I? so I’ve plumped for some happy music instead of the scheduled Sisters of Mercy Body and Soul review, the monumentally gloomy ‘Afterhours’ not working at all for me today.   So this is why I’m sitting here, grinning from ear to ear listening to a funny man sing,

Peaches come from a can,
they were put there by a man
In a factory downtown
If I had my little way,
I’d eat peaches every day

I love The Presidents of the United States of America and their self-titled LP (sadly they went rapidly downhill thereafter) and it is perfect for a day like today.  Good, poppy grunge/rock-lite with very silly lyrics, mostly about animals, it is just what I need and actually just what the Dr ordered in the immediate aftermath of Seattle back in 1995; how refreshing to have a bunch of guys who just wanted to make us twitch and shout, rather than force us, in a shouty manner, to face the life/death/drugs interface in glorious (anachronistic) HD.

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What I always particularly liked about these guys, right from buying ‘Lump’ on cassingle (remember those?) was, apart from a great nose for a tune, they were obsessed by animals and never went for the smutty metaphor where a straightforward animal reference would do instead.  I just counted 27 references to animals and insects just now, without even trying too forensically.  When POTUSA sing about ‘kitty’ you can be pretty sure it’s a happy four-legged furry variety , as opposed to the Faster Pussycat-approved smutarooni version.

Highlights are everywhere here, ‘Kitty’ with it’s scratching and the chant ‘Fuck you kitty you’re gonna spend the night … outside!’, the grunge genius that is ‘Lump’** (Mud flowed up into Lump’s pyjamas / totally confused all the passing piranhas) and all the various feather-pluckin’ insanity in between.  I particularly like the more downbeat ‘Stranger’, the tale of Carla the stripper who ‘seems cool for a naked chick in a booth’ and the hilarious upbeat blast of ‘We Are Not Going to Make it’,

Cause we don’t have the talent

We don’t have the time

We don’t have the patience

and we don’t know how to rhyme

So basically this is my go to LP for a certain type of day and a certain type of mood and, hey, it does rock.  You could dismiss it as a novelty record, but I think that would be missing the very good playing throughout and the real wit at play here.  It would also be doing a disservice to an LP that helped clear away the cobwebs back in the day.  Mind you, too much exposure on the wrong day and this LP is possibly what the authorities might pinpoint as your turning point after you ran amok on the train.

The fact that it is on beautiful heavy weight yellow vinyl. doesn’t hinder its’ cause at all.  It’s funny and good-natured and that’s good enough for me.

I’m happy.

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157 Down.

* these photos aren’t mine, they didn’t come out so well, but when you’re there you can virtually see where the stockades and round houses were, approximately 750 years BC.  It makes me happy!

From a distance
From a distance

Moel Arthur

**can I confess my love for the Weird Al Yankovic ‘Gump’? or will you all leave me for cooler, edgier blogs overnight?

12 thoughts on “P.O.T.USA Good Day

  1. I saw the PotUSA tag and clicked… ah bliss. I love this record, always have. 5 strings between two guitars and a real sense of fun…

    Totally agree with your assessment. This record can lift any day. You’ll be playing air guitar and bouncing around the room in no time. But whatever you do, try not to listen to Weird Al’s ‘Gump’ too close to a listening session with this record – you won’t get Al out of your head. It happened to me!

    My CD copy of this album is the “Ten Year Super Bonus Special Anniversary Edition,” 2-disc set. The CD is the album with 13 bonus tracks, while DVD is all the videos (with commentary from the band), with a couple of live videos too, including Jupiter (live) featuring Duff McKagan on bass. I know!

    Fun times. Love it!

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    1. It’s really funny you should mention it but Weird Al is so close and so well done; it’s kinda ruined Lump for me.

      They do make me happy.

      Your version cheats slightly by blending songs in from the follow-up, I remember buying a pic disc of Mach 5, when it came out. Can’t believe Duff’s on a track though, that’s way cool!

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  2. One of my favorite records of 1995. Just a fun and rocking record. No strings attached…no maudlin, whining posturing. Just some three-string guitar noodling and songs about peaches… And a great rendition of “Kick Out The Jams”.

    The second album wasn’t horrible, but definitely wasn’t the lightning in the bottle that the first one was. Chris Ballew had a great album with his other band The Giraffes. Great pop music.

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  3. If I had to choose between rolling my eyes at the sillier bands or rolling my eyes at the seriouser, I prefer the silly every time. I’m neutral on POTUSA, but I’ll take them over the hyperserious every day (I’m looking at you Morrissey). If music isn’t fun, it has to be awesome. Fun music is allowed to be just OK.

    Your landscape pics (I’m giving you credit even if you’re not the photographer) remind me that I live in a great big head-in-the-sand country. I’d rather not live elsewhere (I’m comfortable, but not a flag waver), but things in the broader world, even mildly different ones like in the photos, are too cool to ignore. Now, where’s that passport …

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    1. Couldn’t agree more, in most cases SERIOUS is a turn off for me. Most of my all-time faves (AC/DC, Beastie Boys, Ramones) have at least a tongue-in-cheek world view.

      Pics were blatantly stolen off the web, but I love the whole area, which is only about 25 minutes away from me. It’s ancient and you get a real feeling of that when you’re there, there is a string of about 4 hill forts all on good defensible ground – I suspect Lemmy may have raised in one of them…

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  4. Never heard much of these guys but “Peaches come from a can/they were put there by a man” is one of the greatest lyrics ever!

    That place in the photos looks great. Love history/countryside. Always enjoy traipsing around Scottish Castles! It helps me get in touch with my inner-Black Metal Viking.

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    1. I know and just think some people go on and on about Bob Dylan’s lyrics.

      We oppressed celtic peoples certainly have lots of great castles to look at on our doorsteps!

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  5. I’ve been that way myself and it is some very pretty country you’re visiting. I’m also a history buff and my kids can tell you about me dragging them around to see castles and Roman remains when they were smaller. As for grunge, never really listened to it that much although I did hear of The Presidents of the United States of America. I guess, I’ll have to give them a listen

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