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Mick Farren | Deviants | On Your Knees Earthlings 1967 2001 | review | rock | Lollipop

Mick Farren and the Deviants

On Your Knees, Earthlings!!! 1967-2001 (Bomp)
by Jon Sarre

They say every rock critic is a frustrated rock star, who isn't? Tis true, tho', that lotsa critics dabbled with their own bands (Meltzer, Bangs, Nick Kent, if ya just want three members of the "profession"), but hey, some rock'n'rollers wrote (Patti Smith, Mike Saunders and Gregg Turner of Angry Samoans, The Dictators' Andy Shernoff, Chrissie Hynde, Pere Ubu's David Thomas and Peter Laughner), does this make 'em frustrated rock critics? They probably made better writers than the writers made musicians, tho' Meltzer's Vom (with future Samoans Turner and Saunders) - altho' basically created to be destroyed - might be one exception (and if I could think of more examples than Vom and the subject of this review, I would).

The Deviants were not just another band led by a rock critic (Mick Farren), they were a band led by a rock critic who didn't suck and even more so, they didn't suck and held together a sorta revolving-door existence lo parts of these many (actually four) decades. This new comp displays exactly how much Farren's "project" doesn't suck: Beefheartean dada babble shot thru with white boy garageshock blues accompanied at various times by Wayner Kramer, Phil Taylor, Mark Ramone, Chrissie Hynde, the Pink Fairies' Twink, and who knows who else (actually, I wish Alive dude Patrick Boissel had thought to include more info about who plays what'n'where and mebbe, while I'm on the subject, I'm sure Mick coulda ripped out some nifty little notes about whatever he was thinking at the time - but he didn't, what gives?). Absent information, ya get Farren's slight of hand nods to his influences - the Capt., Dylan, the Stones, Zappa, the Fugs, blues giants like Blind Lemon Jefferson, probably himself too as this big ole shaggy dog comp wends thru bent covers and deranged originals - jazz, skronk, noise & experimental schlock are mixed in with organic snotty rock'n'roll, oft weird, but never dull, Deviant, ya think? Exactly.
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