Radio Zero: Mecca Normal, self-titled

Radio Zero will be an ongoing review of music of critical interest. Michael O’Flaherty was the pop-music critic for The Baffler, and is the author of the novel Shiny Shiny.

Mecca Normal, [Self-Titled] (Smarten Up!, 1986)—

Debut from this artistically uncompromising, singular duo; an incredibly raw and alive take on protest-folk as filtered through distortion—crazed punk rock guitar (no rhythm section necessary), as if there was NO ESSENTIAL DIFFERENCE between Woody Guthrie and Black Flag. . . The detonator is Jean Smith’s trilling, wailing, snarling vocal presence, somewhere between Lydia Lunch and Corin Tucker (on whom she was a key influence). . . Try A/3, A/6, B/1

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