Review – Goldblums – Heels

Heels

Goldblums were the first band I wanted to write about when I came back.

Their songs are grimy and gross garage punk.

They last about 90 seconds.

They’re rad as hell.

The album really captures them in their element: a chaotic, fuzzed-out alternate universe where time and space mean nothing.

Your feelings shift from the simple joy of the slight head bang to maybe even fear thanks to the paranoia inducing riff of “Juicer”.

I often find myself completely unclear on what is happening in the songs.

I think that sort of delirium and confusion is intended.

Also, they have a song about professional wrestler Art Barr. He was called The Juicer in WCW.

Art Barr is an interesting subject. You see Art Barr was one hell of a professional wrestler, but he was also convicted of sexual abuse prior to him really developing into a great wrestler. So, I guess the question is can you separate the art of the artist? Like Roman Polanski or R. Kelly or Chris Benoit. Can you forget the horrible things they’ve done and just appreciate the beautiful things they can do? Like, can you forget about what Polanski did and just enjoy Chinatown? I understand the concept of not wanting to support the person, but can you ignore great art just to punish a bad person? Or, is the badness of the person overriding their art? Is there a scale of level of bad thing to how good they have to be? Like, we can easily forgive Winona Ryder for her little shoplifting incident because Heathers was boss. But like do you have to have something as great as, I dunno, The Pianist to forget about Polanski raping a teenager? Is it easier to watch a Chris Benoit match knowing that his brain was legit broken when he committed those terrible atrocities or does it make it worse knowing that his art is what broke his brain? If Chris Brown were better at music, or even more apologetic about his actions, would we more be eager to ignore the fact that he’s a shitball? Also, does it matter that Barr has been dead for nearly a quarter century? Can we look back on his work with fondness as a respect for the dead or does his transgression haunt him even in the afterlife?

I have a hard time with it in that I wish I were more bothered by how much I enjoy “Ignition Remix” or Los Gringos Locos vs Ocatgon and El Hijo Del Santo, but I forget about the transgressions, no matter how little I want to support the person who did it. Hell, I even bought a Love Machine (Barr’s name in Mexico and yes there is something a little icky about a convicted sexual abuser being named Love Machine…) mask. It was a knockoff I bought from a different Mexican wrestler, so Barr didn’t actually receive any money from it. Turns out it was actually a Mil Mascaras mask, which sucks because I hate Mil Mascaras. He’s probably the worst legendary wrestler of all time. Although, he looks rad, all barrel-chested and colorful in his high-waist pants. Anyway, I’m digressing.

My point is, I think art can exist in a vacuum where you don’t really have to say “I like this person and their art is great.” I mean, there are a ton of people who hate Kanye’s music because he’s a weird dickhead, and he hasn’t even done anything near as horrifying as R. Kelly. I think to enjoy art, you just have to enjoy art. But also, maybe pirate their work or something so they don’t see any money from it.

Also, Barr’s dad was a famous promoter and wrestler, as was his older brother, so there is also the subject of nepotism and should someone who had access to he finest training and was easily able to network be held to a higher standard vis a vis the art they create. For instance, should the first thing we note about, say, Allison Williams is that she got her career because of who her dad is, or should we treat her work on the same level as someone who worked their ass off to be mediocre? But that’s a discussion for another time.

Anyway, the album is like 7 minutes long and it fucking rules.

 

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