MAD VIRGINS – I am a Computer/Fuck & Suck (Romantik records 4) 1978
Great punk rock isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Belgium (actually, BEER is…. especially the rare kind brewed by trappist monks !!!) but,1978 in Belgium was certainly a good year for the fledgling musical movement known as “punk rock”. In that year, classic records were released by bands such as THE KIDS, HUBBLE BUBBLE, RAXOLA and to a lesser extent P.I.G.Z., CELL 609 and these maniacs, the MAD VIRGINS.
Most of the bands mentioned above were highly influenced by typical, early rock-n-roll (not many “punk “influences at the time) and their songwriting and records show it. Nothing wrong with that at all, as most punk bands (no matter where in the world) started this way. Hell, Raxola were already a signed rock band when punk broke. Then theres the MAD VIRGINS…………………………..
I’m not sure where in Belgium these guys came from (or even if it was from this planet, for that matter) but there is nothing “typical” about the way this record sounds. Call it amateur coincidence or deliberate genius, I guarantee almost nothing that came out in 1978 (especially in Belgium) can touch the sheer wallop this piece of wax delivers in 4 minutes and 30 seconds.
Nowadays, when the pioneers of punks give a history lesson about their own bands, it usually starts off with something like- “We heard________ and decided to pick up instruments and start our own band, how hard could it be to play punk??” Great story, but when is the last time the first releases/records by those same bands sounded like they started playing a month before??. Not usually, as most sound like old pros. Mad Virgins may just live up to that story (if it IS their story) cuz their musical ability on this record sounds about 3 weeks old. Whatever the case, you can’t deny how goddamn CAUSTIC this record is. Twin guitarist, whose sound lies somewhere between Link Wray (who poked holes in his speakers for pre-electronics FUZZ in the 50’s) and a swarm of hungry locusts. A drummer whose “ahem”- style, sounds closer to two seperate cardboard boxes filled with drum parts (one w/cybals-one w/drums), falling down a couple flights of concrete stairs. A bass player who, masterfully keeps the songs moving from start to finish and singer who alternates from John Lydon to bored to robot/computer, all usually within the same sentence, round out this glorious mess. This lone 7″ was their swansong as they eventually changed their name to MAD V and released 1 awful 7″ in 1981. Supposedly one of the guitar players went on to be succesful as a comedian in hit Belgian t.v. show. Go figure !!!!
Both songs from this 7″ have been included on various compilations such as killed by death #4 and bloodstains across Belgium 1 & 2. There was also a lp from 1978 called ” First Belgian punk contest” which featured live material from p.i.g.z., cell 609, razors and mad virgins amonst others. I’ve lovingly included the sole mad virgins song on that lp, to this post.
There are only a handful of records that trancend the “free for all/anything goes” aspect of even the earliest of documented punk, and whether accidental or not- MAD VIRGINS deserve that honor.
FromV/A-First Belgian punk contest
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Posted by: SurlyOldPunk