Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Minutemen - "Sickles and Hammers"

The Minutemen, for as much as they evolved throughout the course of their career, were still (a) mad tight and (b) politically angry from day one. Look at this cut. It's an instrumental. It's just a killer riff, nothing more. So what do they title it? "Sickles and Hammers". Bad. Ass.

Trust me, if you didn't grow up during the cold war, there's no way to really make you understand how radical it was to ally oneself with the Soviets. It was one thing to be anti-Reagan (q.v. the Minutemen's "This Ain't No Picnic"), quite another to explicitly celebrate the enemy.

In hindsight, there was no real chance there would ever be a nuclear war, but at the time the threat was very real. There's just no way that anyone too young to remember the fall of the Berlin Wall can possibly understand just how anti-establishment a stance it was to write a song called "Sickles and Hammers".

Unless it was an anti-commies song. In which case forget everything I just said.

But still. This one's an instrumental, so I can assign them whichever side I please.

By the way, if you think you've heard this before, it's because Sebadoh covered it. It's the second track on III. Right after "The Freed Pig". You aging hipster, you.

Buy it... on vinyl

From my deck to you: The Minutemen - "Sickles and Hammers"

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