Oddity by The Clean

Look at these cool cats.

Influential and game-changing music has a way of going undiscovered. A lot of people think Bruce Springsteen wrote “Jersey Girl” when it was in fact Tom Waits, most consider “Blinded By The Light” to strictly be a Manfredd Mann song when its author is ironcially Bruce Springsteen, and nobody seems to understand the importance and history of sampling in hip-hop. Some of the greatest bands out there are the favorite bands of today’s biggest bands (if that makes sense.) New Zealand made its contribution to the indie-rock world by birthing a late 1970’s post-punk, garage band known as The Clean. Formed by two brothers, Hamish and David Kilgour, The Clean tore up New Zealand’s local scene, eventually signing to the country’s biggest independent label, Flying Nun, and releasing five full-length albums and a massive handful of compilations, singles, and b-sides. “Oddity” captures the band at their most Clash-Ramones style punk, with its buzz saw guitar downstrokes, its pounding and ambitious cymbal crashes, and David Kilgour’s DIY Replacements-esque growl. The song is dangerously friendly, punching you in the mouth and then helping you wipe the blood up. The Clean represent some of the great aspects of music: capability, fun, and accessibility. The Clean have been credited to planting the seeds of 1990’s indie-rock, with Pavement and Yo La Tengo citing them as a major influence. Regardless of all of the accolades, “Oddity” and The Clean are the poster boys for “That band that really changed everything but nobody knows who they are.” It proves that the deeper one digs into a record bin, the farther one’s knowledge extends.

-Ryan Ricks

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