The Delinquents: Maybe More Than a Footnote

The Delinquents: Maybe More Than a Footnote

Then as now, Austin, Texas functions as a cultural outpost just west of Houston and south of the Dallas – Ft. Worth area. In decade’s past, the town served as the location of some twisted psych experiments, mainly predicated on the consumption of fistfuls of acid. Those moments were documented on record relatively well even as we should all be on the lookout for some journalistic summation of those journeys.

Either way, a bit further on – a few decades, at least – Richard Linklater’s Slacker served to bookend Austin’s march towards liberal bastion. The film, which would basically be recast a few years on as animation in Waking Life, a pompous bunch of tripe, basically announces the end of Austin as something unique. And if that wasn’t proof, SXSW turning into Mardi Gras for folks wearing tight pants and cultivating a disheveled look for the sake of being disheveled would be enough.

In between those two markers, the seventies and eighties allowed Austin to sport an impressive number of good – and average – bands, some making it to a national stage. The town sported such allure that Lester Bangs, on his way to write a novel that was never really begun, took a sabbatical, worked up enough material for an album and taped locals the Delinquents as his back up group.

The resultant disc - Jook Savages on the Brazos – wasn’t a clunker, but there was a reason Bangs was a writer and not a well known singer. Regardless of that, though, the Delinquents existed before and after Bangs descended on their town.

Issuing just a single and a self titled long player, the Delinquents would probably have been forgotten by now if not for good ole Lester. Some of the music’s redemptive, but noting deserving superlatives. “Beach Balls in Hell,” though, is all its title can offer and more.

Apart from the fact that “The Wince” works towards a fifties’ fascination of dance crazes, the Delinquents femme singer decides to get all cutesy and unlooses some ill advised crooning. Thing is, though, that even with that draw back, the slightest songs from this troupe are still pretty convincing.

If you can’t listen to Parallel Lines or The B-52's enough, the Delinquents are going to be an integral addition to your dusty record collection. But apart from that and Lester Bangs enthusiasts, there’s not a whole buncha motivation to snag this one. Decent, but not great.