The past few days have slipped me into a nostalgic mood. Not because I’ve been particularly reflective, but the things of old just seemed to creep up on me again, as they tend to do once in a while. I re-read Adrian Tomine’s 32 stories for the first time in years, watched the No Distance Left to Run documentary on Blur’s reunion twice within a fortnight, and listened to a slew of music from the 90s I love(d) so much.
Coincidentally, the song that’s been ringing in my head as I’ve been walking about on my own is something I’ve not heard in years, so I really can’t tell how it re-appeared in my life and why it refused to leave. The Dongs were a 90s Singaporean punk band that I don’t even know very much about, except that their track “Rebel Girl” was on a local compilation Left of the Dial that I was rather fond of, and that their drummer Harold still plays today in noise-rock collective I\D, which we featured sometime back.
On the recording, the production is muddy as typical of most demos of the era, though easily overcome with a louder volume that roars the hazily distorted guitars along with the singlemindedly pounding drums and stubbornly bopping bassline. The vocals are an even foggier blur but for the words “rebel”, “kill”, and “terrible”, which I’m convinced are all I need to know. And maybe that’s what it is – a glorious imperfection that perfectly encapsulates what I grew up listening to and embracing. – Dan.