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Springbok Nude Girls - Afterlifesatisfaction
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Spingbok Nude Girls - Afterlifesatisfaction The Sexlove Pistols

The summer of 1967 will always be known as 'the Summer of love". The hippie ethos of love, peace and psychedelic clothing and drugs was embraced by the youth of America who were awakening from their Vietnam nightmare. San Francisco found itself the epicentre of this cultural earthquake and its local bands (the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane) quickly moved to soundtrack this revolution. The 'love' in the 'Summer of love' generally referred to the free and spiritual types of love that permeated the atmosphere of this nationwide party. But among the bands who then rose to prominence was the band Love whose album 'Forever Changes' more than any other epitomised the music of the time. Fronted by a whacked-out hybrid of Jim Morrison and Phil Lynott called Arthur Lee, Love mixed wistful vocals with a broad canvas of rock styles topped off with the most un-rock instrument of all, a trumpet. Yet it was this glorious, soaring trumpet that gave Love and Forever Changes its classic and timeless feel.

Ten years later the steam had run out of this musical era with bands like Genesis, Pink Floyd, Yes, Led Zepplein and Emerson Lake and Palmer lumbering around like stoned dinosaurs and producing opuses that just got longer, heavier and progressively more boring. The only alternative available to this heaviosity was the lightness of discopop with Abba, John Travolta and the Bee Gees softening the brains and ears of impressionable young fans. It was the cousins from across the pond in England who decided it was time to put a stop to this bloated and twee shit. From the sneering, unemployed underbelly of '70s Britain crawled the Sex Pistols who, with a few choice televised swear words and three-minute vicious singles, spearheaded the punk revolution and the 1977 'Summer of hate and war'.

So now the 'Summer of '97' approaches and what do we find in these pre-millenium, post-modern years? Rock monsters like REM, Pearl Jam and U2 running around in circles on massive stages in an attempt to keep their fans from wandering off to the brightly coloured 'Hip-E' techno tribal tents. Where the church of the holy disco and its dj-preachers encourage the kids to dance on their own while watching the movies in their heads. There are many who feel that the eyes, ears and energies of the world are turning to Cape Town. Never mind the possibility of the Olympic games in 2004, there is something else happening, or about to happen, in this seaside city. Besides the booming rave culture there are 'bashes' and hip-hop happenings in the townships. Jazz radio stations and clubs are multiplying, the city recently saved its symphony orchestra and a host of young rock bands are surfacing and gigging all over the peninsula. Cape Town is S.A music's 'Sam Frank's Disco'.

You may think that this article, like Table Mountain, has no point. Wrong ! As with previous musical revolutions and 'Summer ofs..', there has to be one band to 'assegai'-head this movement and that band is the Springbok Nude Girls. Springing from as unlikely a source as Stellenbosch, they have leaped onto the top of the pile with alarming and charming ease. An unbeatable combination of hard and tight rock, great songs and cool attitude, these five boy 'girls' have managed to translate the electricity of their legendary live performances to their two essential albums. Their first, Neanderthal 1 (an unintentional dinosaur reference) contained a mixed batch of mosh-magic power-rock and stirring ballads. Their second, Afterlifesatisfaction, is as good a rock album as anything produced during the past 30 years. Songs like Supergirl, Genie, Little, Baby Murdered Me and I Love You send their hooks straight into your heart. The guitars rage like the Pistols' Steve Jones auditioning for the devil. The rhythm section is taut, tight and oddly tuneful. Vocalist Arno roars through his repertoire like a shamanistic choirboy. Floating on top of this immaculate confection of an album is the most gorgeous trumpet ever heard on an album since those days of Love, giving the Nude Girls the singular sound that has elevated them to the Olympian heights of Table Mountain from where they survey their (roc)kingdom and prepare their assault on the overseas market. The 'Summer of 97' has begun and the Sexlove Pistols are here.

Stephen Segerman (sugar@cd.co.za)

others in the REVIEWS

Allison Simkiss / Fetish management fetish@iafrica.com Or phone Allison at 021-618 120 The CD costs R79.99 plus R12.00 postage.

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Lots of SA CDs to buy online at One World.

There's also the Two Oceans Trading online shopping mall where you can purchase Springbok rugby merchandising, SA books, jewellery and CD-ROMs, amongst many other items.

Any thoughts, requests, problems, complaints, praise or interesting and relevant SA music news, please email it immediately to: sugar@cd.co.za

editor: Stephen "Sugar" Segerman, webmaster: Alan Levin, maintainer: Brian Currin

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