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F.U.'s vs. Liberal Nonsense

I’ve been thinking about Maximum Rock ‘n Roll too much of late – obviously. And part of that has been as a result of the sway that an editor or publisher wields over the bent of a publication. The personality of a honcho, his or her political beliefs and even personal views on stuff that shouldn’t necessarily be inserted into a publication, but can still surface. For good or not, Tim Yo – whose overwhelmingly positive influence on punk shouldn’t be disregarded – voiced a whole buncha personal and political stuff in the pages of MRR. Some of it seemed really well informed and other times it just appeared that he was working hard to be confrontational.

There’s an interview with Boston hard core band F.U.’s in which Yo attempts to get some straight answers outta the band regarding its nationalistic leanings. Of course from the very beginning of the transcript, it’s pretty clear that no one in the band has any intention of taking the conversation too seriously. Despite that fact, Yo continues on in his politically minded line of questioning. As a journalist, it’s obviously his duty to do so. But in that act, Yo makes his point seem verbose and haughty while F.U.’s still just seem aloof – if not a bit ignorant (a word Yo uses to describe a few of the band’s answers to his questions).

The band was apparently none too pleased with the outcome of the interview, but of course, the entire time that the discussion was going on each member had an opportunity to respond to the criticisms that Yo levied on them.

My America, featuring that laughable album cover, was the disc that prompted Yo’s line of questioning. And it’s understandable after taking a listen to songs like “Unite of Lose” or the cover of “We’re an American Band.” Perhaps the recordings were meant to be taken with a grain of salt – although that was disputed in the aforementioned interview. But the cover that closes out the album is anything but a piece of music to be considered in a serious light.

The music on the disc, though, is some prime ‘80s hardcore. The breakdowns – as on the title track – refuse to come off as half cooked or poorly done. “Choir Boy” includes a bit too much metal, but it’s still forgivable if not re-playable.

Apart from that, though, F.U.’s were a part of the notorious Boston scene – a scene not known for its liberalism. Bands like SSD ratcheted up the straight edge thing to untoward territories. For good or bad that resulted in some skirmishes and I would imagine that today, Boston’s still a good place to get your head kicked in.

It’s just music, though. Yeah, it’s a way of life to some folks and can inform unwitting people too lazy to think for themselves, but a band can’t claim responsibility for the folks that listen to its music. So, maybe when tossing on My America and its predecessor, Kill for Christ, it’s alright to turn off your brain and just enjoy.