Review Summary: One man's crud..EP III
A self-taught guitarist and son of missionaries to Brazil. An Ohio harpist who’d run away to New York like so many restless Middle American kids. A drummer who didn’t speak English and had never played anything beside the violin. Such were the composite pieces of NYC punk ingénues, DNA. Taking what no-wave would come to mean as the years went, that aggregate seems only fitting.
Like the insurgent genre whence it sprung, the EP is quick to combust and flame out. In 10 jarring minutes, A Taste of DNA
disembowels melody and tone, and presses together a mess of detached parts, like so much shi
t and play-doh.
They hardly left the city, or the East Village for that matter, playing their first show at Max’ Kansas City, and their last just 3 years later at CBGB’s. But like Mars, the Contortions and so many of their no-wave peers, the scope of their influence fanned out far beyond Lower Manhattan. Swans, Boredoms, Spacemen 3, Royal Trux, Butthole Surfers, Sonic Youth and any number of present-day noise icons all trace back to that vile dissonance.
Brave, talentless, odd, visionary, absurd, meaningless, lazy, lapsed, lopsided. What DNA and no-wave really stood for was New York City, and how deliriously boundless and intoxicating it was to make formless noise in the trash-sodden centre of the universe.