By: Eric G.
Musical inadequacy and a sense of social anarchy typify the whole idea behind ‘old school punk’, but most hardcore bands these days pretty much play mind-numbing yet perfectly executed heavy metal with dimwitted moral agendas and anti-religious imagery. The Posers sound like an anachronistic anomaly. You couldn’t pin a date on this music if you tried; it could just as easily be from 1982 as 2000. When you have to suspend disbelief to listen to music it’s probably not worth listening to anyway. There are exceptions, of course. Nevermind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols sounds pretty tame compared to all the extreme mutations of punk over the years, but when you consider the music scene when that album was made, then it hits pretty hard. The same goes for stuff like Robert Johnson and, certainly, even Elvis Presley in their respective genres.
The Posers don’t deserve much deconstruction because this record is barely worth three sentences. It’s fast, the vocals are guttural, the lyrics try desperately to be preachy, and the music is, well, predictable ‘old school’ hardcore. Maybe, listening to this stuff is still a rite of passage for severely alienated suburban teens, but it sounds like a caricature to anyone over seventeen. I must admit, though, that The Posers sometimes have me convinced it really is 1982. The band cranks out its power chords with a mosh pit in mind. The breakdowns are all conveniently placed mid-song in lieu of any kind of bridge for the goons that still think slam dancing is some kind of rebellious act.
American punk rock is a strange beast. ‘Punk’ is actually a pretty meaningless word these days, encompassing everything from straight edge skinheads to wimpy emo elitists. The Posers offer the kind of punk inadvertently lampooned in Penelope Spheeris’ Suburbia, where the dregs of society latch onto the punk scene by default rather than by any conscious decision to create a scene. The Posers play boneheaded punk, where the targets are easy and obvious and the logic is beyond flawed. I mean, how hard is it to make fun of yuppies and Christianity? Check out this piece of genius logic sampled by The Posers in “No Clue”: “Their God is never gonna come…that book is not gonna prove nothing to them…if they had any intelligence they’d go see a psychiatrist or fucking study astrology.”
It’s hard to imagine that there are bands still preaching this tired gospel. On “Suburban Cokehead” The Posers condemn some imaginary yuppie schmuck, who drives his BMW off a bridge because he’s “empty inside/no will to live.” When you’ve got some guy who sings like he’s got socks in his mouth trying to teach you a lesson it’s hard to stifle the laughter much less learn from it. These guys definitely weren’t on the debate team in high school (if they even went) because most of their arguments are thwarted by an extreme deficit of articulacy, resulting in such unconvincing slang as “fuck that” and “I’m pissed off.” Invariably, in each song, The Posers are against some set of “rules”, which they pick apart with all the savvy of, well, your typical American hardcore band. Anti-Christian Animosity is strictly for one-dimensional punk-purists who don’t take themselves or their music very seriously.