One of the enduring passages from my history of reading zines is by one of the guys from (if memory serves well) Go Metric who said in a Punk Planet interview, that they sold the demos they got to review as Richard Hell live bootlegs. It was a perfectly indirect and perhaps unintentional summing up of the fine line between genius and slop that punk often walks, and one which the influence of a few pretentious rock writers can add value to or take away from as they please. I got the joke because, as a teenager, I was stoked to order a Richard Hell And The Voidoids live tape along with the seminal Bad Brains tape from ROIR Records. Expecting to hear “Love Comes in Spurts” the same way I heard it on Pump up the Volume and “Blank Generation” the same way I’d heard it on a Time/Life punk and new wave compilation, what I got was a shit recording of a shit show that had no business being released. I didn’t become a fan of Richard Hell until years later when I found a best-of tape in a cut-out bin. I think of that quote when I listen to Raccoon’s demo. It’s kind of slop, nowhere near the genius of Richard Hell’s larger work, but far better than that horrible, junked-out, live tape and probably the exact sort of demo the guy from Go Metric was thinking of when he made that quip. I’m not sure where I’m going with all of this, but this tape is pretty rockin’.
–Craven (Self-released, [email protected])