Friday, February 11, 2011


Song: "Menial Tasks"
Artist: Plain Characters
Search Term: "Characters"

Apparently a single recorded during a 1981 Peel session, "Menial Tasks" is a totally boss post-punk ditty whose sharp guitars and angular hooks rest in a (fairly popular, granted) niche between Gang of Four's jagged intensity and the more playful disruptiveness of XTC. Beyond those influences, singer Colin Lloyd Tucker is clearly plenty fond of John Lydon's operatic snarl and the befuddled asides that David Byrne would drop into Talking Heads songs. So this track should hold plenty of appeal for fans of those late '70s/early '80s mileposts--or anyone who hasn't grown out of the teenage mindset where all they want to do is complain about how bored and put-upon they are by the demands of daily living. (As my friends and loved ones will wearily confirm, I count myself among their ranks.) Plain Characters have apparently been largely forgotten--they don't even rate an AllMusic entry--and on his website, Tucker sniffs, "I can't listen to those records now." But there's no reason this snarky shard of snottiness should escape your attention.

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