Friday, April 2, 2010

Punk as Fuck: Operation: Cliff Clavin

Operation: Cliff Clavin
Freedom of Choice


You know that guy you met freshman year of college who had just discovered Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn (RIP) and suddenly felt qualified/compelled to weigh in on every aspect of America’s geopolitics? Hell, a few of us probably were that guy (hopefully most of us got better, Zinnions being the Randroids of the left, and all). But Operation: Cliff Clavin is what happens when that guy makes a record.

Operation: Cliff Clavin - "Stupid Stories"

Freedom of Choice is the kind of punk record you ended buying plenty of back in the 1990s when you were a bored teen who randomly ordered shit advertised in the back of Punk Planet, seduced by the hand-drawn art, obvious DIY ethic and the promise of two minute diatribes of toe-tapping lefty teen angst. While few of those records survived my various moves through the years, Operation: Cliff Clavin has managed to stick it out, even when I go years between spins.
Op:CC aspired to be Indiana’s answer to Propagandhi but ended up with a hilariously entertaining mash of earnest sloganeering and truly atrocious back up vocals that succeeds because of – rather than despite – it’s painfully DIY flaws. From the goofball art, personally answered letters (I know because I remember writing them about one of their albums in an era before email) and Xeroxed liner notes, this is the kind of self-produced record that’s pure anachronism in an age when all you need is a laptop to get your band out there.

Operation: Cliff Clavin - "C3PO Can Suck My Ass"

Smart ass punks that they were, the band close their album with a quartet of goofball covers, including probably the best rendition of Poison’s “Every Rose Has its Thorn” you’ll only be slightly less ashamed to admit loving. And you just know Op:CC didn’t bother to clear the rights on that one, which means Bret Michaels never got his royalty check, directly leading to Rock of Love. True Story.

Operation: Cliff Clavin - "Every Rose Has its Thorn"

A couple years later Op:CC would be back with second album - Paradise Lost - a new rhythm section, more sloganeering and even worse backing vocals.


Unknown said...

digging the music player. now if only my connection would stop timing out i'd be all set.

Andrew Childers said...

seriously? that shit still happening? i thought i had the bugs worked out when i switched to lower bit rate mp3s. i'll take another look at it.

Alex Layzell said...

Ican't seem to get the songs to play either, however I will just download the tracks and listen. Coding is sometimes so annoying.