Argh Fuck Kill: The Story of the Dayglo Abortions: By Chris Walter, 249 pgs. By Lisa Weiss

Aug 31, 2010

Starting with frontman Murray “The Cretin” Acton punching a nun in kindergarten, this is an exhaustive history of the forces that shaped this “Proud to Be a Canadian” band. Every gig and tour glitch is documented, from their beginnings in the unlikely town of Victoria, BC in 1980, up through a tour in 2009 with only one original member. Their story is not terribly remarkable or that much different from other bands of that era, except for the obscenity trial. The most interesting part of the book comes when the band was dragged through the Canadian courts for their albums Here Today, Guano Tomorrow and Feed Us a Fetus a few years after the Dead Kennedys’ Frankenchrist ordeal. The Dayglos’ defense attorney brought in all kinds of academic expert witnesses who testified that while songs about taking hamsters rectally may be offensive, they are not meant to be sexually exciting and are therefore not obscene. It is a good peek back into a time when it took considerable effort to put out a record, throw a show or book a tour; when punk rock used to scare people. The Dayglos themselves might have scared people with the amount of drugs they did. The book is well researched but the writing style is kind of awkward: The author makes jokes that might work in conversation but don’t really make the transition to print. –Lisa Weiss (