A Season of Songs, day 18: CLA

A Season of Songs is a type of Fun-A-Day project that I plan to do throughout this spring.  I’ll hit shuffle on the ol’ iPod and see what comes up.  I’ll then write a bit about that song, the band, the record, whatever.  Enjoy!

Today’s song is “C.L.A.” from Spazz from their 1997 album “La Revancha”.

Losers in the millions
Egg headed and bald
Discovered Hong Kong movies
Now comics are getting old
The C.L.A. are modern day freaks
Putting on a show in front of me
Prized possession is a red dwarf shirt
Cut down Dr. Who and you’re gonna get hurt

Spazz and their bassist Chris Dodge’s Slap-A-Ham Records were at the center of the 90’s powerviolence scene. “La Revancha” is their 2nd of three full-length records they put out. They also put out lots of singles, splits, compilation tracks, etc.  I only have a couple Spazz records, but I think I got some high-grade ones (this is based on my limited listening to the rest of their catalog) that I pull out with some frequency (these being this LP and the split 7″ with Monster X).  The year I lived with Mike Bolam (noted local powerviolence-lovin’ librarian) is when much of this Spazz material came out and he was collecting it all, so while I made him suffer through Promise Ring and Boy.Sets.Fire records, he gave me the chance to hear lots of Spazz and other more extreme music.  The musical exchange was no doubt more beneficial in my direction.

“La Revancha” is 26 tracks of ridiculous song titles like “Dewey Decimal Stitchcore”, “Let’s Kill Fuckin’ Everybody”, and “Turnbuckle Treachery” that get hammered out in about 24 minutes.  Equally ridiculous lyrics about wrestling, kung-fu, scene politics, religion and other random shit teamed up with lots of samples (including some Police Squad samples and a sample from Kool Keith that they got him to record when they met him) and some unconventional instrumentation at times (beatbox, slide whistle, banjo, harmonica) make this a fun record to listen to.

Honestly I have no idea what this song is about.  I thought it was called “C.I.A”, as in Central Intelligence Agency (a seemingly common mistake as there are lots of lyrics, videos and such with it listed as “C.I.A.”), at first, which made the lyrics make little sense at all.  But looking at the record, it clearly is “C.L.A.” and I can’t find any evidence of who/what the C.L.A. is/was, so that doesn’t really clear anything up for me.  Comic books?  Red Dwarf?  Dr. Who?  Some nerd shit that is on a different level than me.  Not one of the particularly memorable songs, but not a bad one either.

I only got to see Spazz live once at More Than Music Fest in Columbus, OH in 1997.  If you want to watch a video of lots of people standing completely still (and a few people going off) while listening to sound of a snare drum, you can check out this video of some of their set from that show.

Track down this record.  Get it.  Wreck shit.


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