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Righteous Pagans

Michelle K. swans back in time to rediscover the stars of her old stomping grounds The Pagans, a tip of the Cleveland Punk Iceberg!

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by Michelle Williams, Editor, Los Angeles for outsideleft.com
originally published: June, 2008
all you yoots, blastin' whatever that is out of those A&F stores... You should blast this instead

The Pagans
Blue Album
(Smog Veil)

Do not forsake your punk soul for the threads of modernity, I say.

The Pagans most recent release, "The Blue Album" is for all you out there in the grind to 5 fondly reminiscing of those mosh pits of old and sweaty clothes and boots... Yes this is for you.

Man, I just have to say, some incredible music comes from Ohio. Yah, I'm not arguin', great punk has emerged from New York, London, Chicago, Los Angeles...but CLEVELAND had a great punk scene. Check out http://www.clepunk.com/nav.htm to see what I mean.

The 'Blue album' has a little something for every mood. These guys are clearly here to bring the music, bent on offending and just letting it all out. But they are a lot of fun and it's most easily enjoyed from the perspective (if you can wrap your mind around it) of the days before we were so politically correct all over the place.

"Us and All Our Friends Are So Messed Up,"  has a jangling, ballad-ic, sing-along quality to it, you can imagine being there (messed up!) and swaying along too. If it has not been optioned for a feature film yet... I can see that in the Messed Up's future. Since that's what they do to songs that you used to really dig these days. Just wait, it'll be heard sellin' a gas guzzler.

"She's a cadaver," is funny, partially because it's sick humor, the kind where someone falls and gets hurt, but you can only laugh, even before you know if they are alright. I know this because I am usually the one on the ground there.

Michael Hudson provides us with the necessary raspy desperation required in good punk vocals; note it on "Heart of Stone." You WANT your voice to do that too.

Most people into punk are really into it. It gets in your veins and it stays there. The Pagans do that. They are Classic, The are Necessary and it's too bad they did not always get due praise. Beginning here, I'll do my part, let me tell you. Do your research, listen up this album, it's good for your punk bones.

And you can find out where they are today with a little digging.

Calling all you yoots, blastin' whatever that is out of those A&F stores... You should blast this instead. You wouldn't make any friends, scare customers away maybe, but I would come in.

Because this is a live album, recorded in Madison, Wisconsin, 1988, you are right there, and by the end I wanted them to come back out onstage, and rage...oh, but... I am at the bus stop

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Michelle Williams
Editor, Los Angeles

Michelle Williams lives in Los Angeles and is a former youth footballer star. Michelle's modern girl maxim? “Read lots, and always dress right for your motorbike!”

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