Anorexia: Rapist in the Park

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I don't think its a stretch to suggest some people might be bothered by Anorexia's name as well as the title of their lone (and, admittedly, minor) hit. Thanks largely to some early exposure of John Peel's Radio 1 program, "Rapist in the Park" (released on the band's own Slim -- get it? -- Records) earned the band some fans and made it possible for Anorexia to draw crowds around the South of England for a short while. Bizarrely, an early incarnation of George Michael's Wham! opened for the band on several occasions before evolving into that aural fiasco . . .

What makes Anorexia particularly interesting to me is the fact that they were a six-piece (two guitars, bass, two vocalists, drums, and saxophone) punk band. Unfortunately, despite hinting at genuine originality, Anorexia's debut does not hold up especially well over time. With jangly guitars, riské lyrics that sound a bit too premeditatedly provocative, occasionally atonal vocals, and a sloppy-sounding arrangement, Anorexia sinks right to the mushy center of the early eighties punk rock slush pile. The saxophone-accented title track sounds more than a little bit like the sound X-Ray Spex pioneered on "Oh Bondage Up Yours!" while the dueling male-female vocals on "I'm a Square" don't quite match the sound John Doe and Exene Cervenka introduced on X's seminal Los Angeles (think of a garage band giving up on covering "Johnny Hit and Run Pauline" because it was too difficult). There are a few lyrical gems, though, that make the disk worth a spin or two:

From "Rapist in the Park":
There's a rapist in the park (oooooh-oooh-whoa-oh-oh-oh)
[. . .]
Rapists lurk in the dark (whoa-oh, oh, oh, oh oh)

From "I'm a Square":
I don't like hippies / I'm against the pill

From "Pets":
I want a cat with purple hair / Then it will be very rare!
Sobriquet Grade: 73 (C).

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This page contains a single entry by Sobriquet Magazine published on January 2, 2009 11:43 AM.

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