Songs from the Valley of the Bored Teenager (1981-84)

Songs from the Valley of the Bored Teenager (1981-84)

by Earth Dies BurningEarth Dies Burning


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Rock & roll's fixation with youth and the teenage spirit is interwoven into the fabric of almost every chapter of its lengthy history. While some backward-looking underground acts reference the teenage years in a romanticized, nostalgic way, Songs from the Valley of the Bored Teenager (1981-84), the title of the archival collection of almost all available recordings from L.A. proto-synth punk band Earth Dies Burning. If anything, the "teenager" label is somewhat premature, as the bandmembers ranged in age from just ten to the practically ancient age of 14 when the group started up in 1981. With songs not so much satirical as outright absurd, the bored teenagers of EDB embraced topics ranging from food ("Pork Yogurt," "Fish Sticks") to Reagan-era nuclear paranoia ("Duck and Cover") but mostly presented a snotty, tongue-in-cheek stream of sophomoric punk brattiness, singing what they knew of the pains of youth. This meant purging some pent-up energy by screaming through songs less than a minute long about not eating vegetables, cartoonish homicidal fantasies, and ridiculous, exaggerated social commentary. For a band of children, EDB were surprising musical and unexpectedly astute. Choosing to create more with cheap synthesizers than guitars, they worked in the same anti-rock vein as synth punk upstarts like Nervous Gender and the Screamers. While decidedly dissonant and squelching, the performances aren't as rusty as every other thing about the band would suggest. Inclusion of a bassoon player set EDB apart from many of their peers, and their pieced-together drum kits and schizo-jazz tunes like "60 Minutes" and "Mystery Bedroom Song" predict the same flawless willing amateurism of Half Japanese or some of the earliest experiments in noise rock. The live material that rounds out the disc points to some possible influential points, with confusing disco covers of the Velvet Underground and Men Without Hats, though their version of PiL's "Flowers of Romance" is especially faithful to the original. Guitarist Brad Laner would go on to form countless bands, including the much-loved '90s guitar-heavy indie act Medicine. The young, loud, and snotty voices of Laner and his teenage friends in Earth Dies Burning don't sound much like the seeds for future greatness being planted, but the songs here do capture an incredibly vivid picture of precocious and musically adroit youth in the midst of a formative time not for just their own lives, but for punk as well.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/16/2013
Label: Captured Tracks Rec.
UPC: 0817949018504
catalogNumber: 901850

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Earth Dies Burning   Primary Artist
Jim Goodall   Drums
Brad Laner   Percussion,Group Member
Spencer Savage   Percussion
Josh Laner   Group Member
Kraig Grady   Hammered Dulcimer
Ron Nachmann   Percussion,Vocals,Group Member
Roger Silverware   oberheim
Matt Karlsen   Percussion,Vocals,Group Member
Jeff Karlsen   Group Member
Guy Nachmann   Wind Instruments,Group Member

Technical Credits

John Lennon   Composer
Lou Reed   Composer
Brad Laner   Composer
John Lydon   Composer
John Michalski   Composer
Spencer Savage   Illustrations,Cover Illustration
Mark Erskine   Composer
John Byrne   Composer
Philip Drucker   Composer
Ken Ellner   Composer
Craig Byron Atkinson   Composer
Ryan McCardle   Layout
Ivan Doroschuk   Composer
Earth Dies Burning   Composer
Ron Nachmann   Composer
Matt Karlsen   Composer
Julian Keith   Composer
Joe Roy Chaney   Composer
Jeff Karlsen   Liner Notes
Dept. of Civil Defence   Composer

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