The Pagans are, by far, one of the most overlooked and under-appreciated punk bands of all time. They are also – In my opinion at least – one of the best.
An older friend of mine turned me on to these ’77 punks and their amazing prowess at crafting gritty-yet-catchy jams way, way back in my early punk-rock days…the early/mid 2000’s. Now maybe that’s not so long ago, but one’s musical tastes and preferences tend to mature and become a bit more refined as the years go by. While most — not all, but most — of the punk stuff I liked 12 years ago has fallen by the wayside and collected dust in my record bins, The Pagans remain a staple in my diet of aural pleasures.
During their very brief career they managed to write such classics as “Boy Can I Dance Good,” “Eyes Of Satan” and the song featured in the video below, “What’s This Shit Called Love?”
The following is from Allmusic.com and was written by John Dougan:
“Of all the bands that burst out of Cleveland in the mid- to late-’70s punk explosion, one of the most unjustly ignored was the Pagans. Despite breaking up in 1979 (they, however, reunited several times since), these grimy bohunks played fast’n’loud piss-and-vinegar garage rock that valued alienation and, at times, extreme bad taste. Led by the honking rasp of Mike Hudson and the rapid-fire guitar of Mike “Tommy Gunn” Metoff, the Pagans never played it safe, nor did they enter the rock & roll wars wanting to win any friends. And this, ultimately, was a good thing, for like their pals the Dead Boys, their anti-star pose and carpe diem attitude meant that their best songs (and there are quite a few) sound as if they were set to auto-destruct at the tune’s end. Although their don’t-give-a-damn attitude lends itself more than once to some sexist japes and homophobic ranting, the Pagans ultimately didn’t care who they offended. In fact, listening to any of their vintage material (1977-1979), you’d think that offending everyone was their artistic raison d’être. As Treehouse Records president Mark Trehus opines in the liner notes to the great collection Buried Alive, “the Pagans were as unwrought, impudent and gnarly a buncha rock’n’roll bedlamites as America’s ever spewed outta its queasy underbelly.” Little more need be said.”
Also, check out some more jams on their (official?) Myspace page. Yes, believe it or not, Myspace is still useful for something. So check ‘em out and let me know what you think in the comments.