PPM69. Cassette EP. Edition of 250. White shells c15.
The late Jose Esteban Munoz asserted in 1999’s “Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics” that there is more to identity than identifying with one’s culture or standing solidly against it. The racial and sexual mainstream negotiate majority culture—not by aligning themselves with or against exclusionary works but rather by transforming these works for their own cultural purposes.
In what feels like a punk rock response/sonic dissertation to the late Munoz ,Brontez Purnell brings the curious offering “WHITE BOY MUSIC”.
Rock and roll is of course long long looooooooooooooong dead, (and good riddance!) but it seems that Purnell seeks to be the graveyard dweller who will inherit the bones. Long after his naked go-go boy days in punk electro outfit “Gravy Train!!!” and in between his current band “The Younger Lovers” next LP, Brontez gives us his first ever solo music.
An old-fashioned DIY pop song aesthetic dominates here and to devastating effect- as upbeat and catchy as it is haunting “WHITE BOY MUSIC” still has enough jagged flow and layered harmonies to remind you that is still very much the work of a DIY punk maestro blasting through pop-songs.
Purnell adds “well basically I had always wanted to make a fake mod 80s white boy record, ya’ know? I’m talking like, sweater vest and penny loafers and shit, ya dig? Like I wanted to be someone else inside myself. Basically, like an anti-alter ego? Like how Janis Joplin claimed “Pearl” to be here “alter-ego” when in fact it was just Janis pretending to be Bessie Smith- but I wanted to whore that concept out even further. So I was like “well if Janis Joplin can be Bessie Smith, can I be Paul Weller? Or rather Paul Weller once removed? Like Brontez Purnell as Paul Weller as Brontez Purnell? It’s silly to even ask cause of course I can do whatever the fuck I want- CAUSE IM PAUL FUCKING WELLER”
I am highly fucking amused at the concept of a Black boy from America ripping of English boys from the 80s who in turn were ripping off Black boys from America- I think the term is as you Americans put it “coming full circle”? I personally like the circle. I like it as a shape- but I digress.
Something about this latest racket of Purnell’s feels as charmingly plot heavy as it is strangely well timed (much like the artist himself). There’s even a Beat Happening cover! I think the word “Bravo” is in order here….also… LET IT BLAST!!!
1. Forgive Me, Philip
2. Leave Me Out Of This
3. In Between