One of my favorite things in the world is to hear a song and be totally off guard—to be kicked in the face by something so good, I have to know right then and there what it is. This actually happened to me a couple times recently where I didn’t ever figure it out and that was disappointing. But the fact that it still happens, to me, seems like a good sign. It means I haven’t gotten tired and bored with music. That there are still songs that can stop me in my tracks. It’s a good feeling.
One of those songs is “Know Your Product” by The Saints. I first heard it while listening to Henry Rollins’ radio show on KCRW, which to date remains an excellent listen. Henry plays a weird mix of stuff that ranges from old-school punk (which is about 60% of the show) to psych-rock to strange world obscurities, doom metal, funk, some contemporary indie, garage rock, etc. It’s all over the map. Sometimes he’ll play an album in its entirety, like Can’s Tago Mago or Sleep’s “Dopesmoker.” But in the middle of one of his punk sets, he unleashed this incredible blast of horns and riffs and hooks, and in that moment it was the coolest song I’d ever heard. (In hindsight, it would seem that Rocket from the Crypt borrowed a trick or two.)
That was about seven years ago. But it took a while before I found a copy of Eternally Yours, the album “Know Your Product” is on. There were some lousy reissues from lousy labels that put it out, and I didn’t want them. I’ve gotten burned in the past. But it turns out this album isn’t that rare. A little bit of internet digging got me where I needed to go. (And Discogs now prices the album around $28, which is more than I paid for it, but still not exorbitant.)
And yes, the rest of the album kicks ass too. One of the things that I love about punk albums from the ’70s is that they’re pretty well sequenced. There’s diversity in the songs, there are great pop melodies, and major labels often released them, which sometimes meant that they had a level of commercial appeal that essentially just meant they were sped-up pop records. That’s more or less what this is: A sped-up pop record. And it rules.
(Side note: “Know Your Product” is on my endless list of songs I think would be a blast to cover.)
Sound Quality: Great