Here you go, two random records plucked from my shelves just as I plucked them both from the shelves of Crash Records in Leeds on 30 July 1993, 20 years ago – I feel older than i did 31 words ago! Anyway, mid-life crisis aside, the 12″s concerned are Die Cheerleader Saturation and 69 Hayloft Action. I bought them for two reasons a) because one of the B-sides of Saturation was a track called (ahem), ‘Act Like A Dumbshit And They’ll Treat You LIke An Equal’* which appealed equally to my sensitive feminist side and my love of swearing b) I thought vocalist Sam Ireland was a bit Phwoarr! and c) the cover of 69 Hayloft Action featured a mirrored picture of a man biting a dead pig with the number ’69’ stencilled on the side. What’s not to like?
Now memory may play me false but the whole Riot Grrrl thang was sweeping, if not the high streets, then the chattering music press at that time and whilst I got seriously into Bikini Kill later, I found it all a bit tuneless and indie at the time. I was with the Manic Street Preachers on this point, why have a really important message for society and then wrap it up in a musical pie-crust that few would bother to break, surely when you have something that important to impart you want to reach the biggest audience possible? anyway, this was my entry point. Die Cheerleader played the sort of dead heavy indie rock, which was just short of, as I saw it, proper rock/metal.
Now I need to ‘fess up a bit here, as I’m told young folk say these days, I have only played these records about twice before in my life. Basically, whilst I admire the pluck, we’re a bit light on the old tune front. ‘Saturation’, ‘Massive Tangled Muscle’** and ‘Christ With Teeth’, all pass by without leaving too much of an impression, then and now. I’m sorry about that too, I wanted them to be a bit of a neglected gem, something i could suddenly jump up and say ‘I get it – now how about a revival!! Anyone want to buy original copies of the 12″s’?!. The better tracks here to my mind are ‘Disease or Accident’ (Old bullshit and old clichés / Has life really taught you nothing?) and ‘Smothered’ (both from 69 Hayloft Action), there’s a, marginally, lighter touch about them, a bit more bass action by Debbie Quargnolo and a bit more light and shade than the rest.
Unfortunately though, that’s that. The best thing about these records is still the magnificent title of ‘Act Like A Dumbshit And They’ll Treat You LIke An Equal’, which just like the self-help book Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway, all you need is in the genius title. The message is great, the music less so, unfortunately.
Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing bad here, just not quite enough good.
But don’t take my word for it, here’s a fan site lovingly maintained by those who really care about Die Cheerleader and that makes me happy that all these years later someone does.
P.S – Fotoroom is messing me about since recent upgrade, so these photos are unedited and ‘live’ – Grrr! I’m very patient with people, but have no patience AT ALL with tech when it doesn’t do what it should do. IMMEDIATELY !!!
*Hence ALADATTYLAE. Second only to the Wildhearts’ ‘Shut Your Fucking Mouth And Use Your Fucking Brain’, in my opinion.
**Rollins used to hang around the band a lot, I remember.