Now we all think that Clint Mansell is a genius don't we? Soundtrack king and all that but he's not always been critical flavour of the month.
For a good year or so at Leeds University in the late 80's a cultural battle raged between the music writers of Leeds Student and various members of the Ents organisation as to the value (or not) of the likes of PWEI, Carter and Neds Atomic Dustbin. In retrospect, the writers may have had a point on Neds but I remain steadfast in my defence of the former two. Leaving aside Carter (who I will come to at some point, was ever a clever band so underated?), PWEI now look like far sighted harbingers of the music world to come, even their name makes a valid point.
I could have picked anything really, 'Ich Bin Ein Auslander' rebuffs the 'stupid music' tag, 'Can U Dig It' still has a dancefloor punch, but this one is here because it's my favourite. a track that does heavy and rock and hip hop all in perfect balance. It stands for everything post 'Beaver Patrol' (possibly the reason alongisde the early stuff that they were so reviled by the critical mass, that whiff of sexism was purdah in the late 80's even if the defence of humour was deployed) a run of tunes that are clever and inventive and thoroughly modern -
Compare PWEI with The Beastie Boys without prejudice and the similarities are myriad. Unfortunately for the Poppies, being from the USA always gave you a free pass with UK critics, the Beasties deservedly remain icons of cool, the Poppies are all but forgotten.....