For the next 30 minutes, The Upstart Pipsqueaks will control the horizontal, and the vertical, of your computer monitor. So don't touch. Don't. If, in the event, we lose control of your stuff... we'll do our best to bring it back to you in one piece. Stop touching it. I said... Stop. Okay, just for that... you have to claim it at:

As always, this article is best viewed whilst listening to the album concerned... or a different one. What do we care?

By the way, when you see an icon next to the text, that means there is audio for you to listen to.

Adam and the Ants: Kings of the Wild Frontier

-dog eat dog-

Skid: It's about 8 o'clock in the morning. Ruxy just woke up; Skid's been up for about 48 hours... We're drinking coffee with Baileys™

Rux: We're crazy like that... Some sort of native madness going on.

Skid: 2 drummers.

Rux: Okay, I can tell you right now what I like about early Adam and the Ant's stuff.

Skid: All Right.

Rux: Dueling vocals. Dueling drummers.

Skid & Rux: (sing in unison) Oh yeah. Oh right. "It's dog eat dog eat dog eat dog eat dog eat..."

Rux: And the fact that he says, "brush me daddy-o."

Skid: Okay. Bands with 2 drummers... Adam and the Ants.

Rux: Course of Empire.

Skid: Course of Empire... Golden Earring... Mel Torme.
(Laughter) Scrubby, scrubby, scrubby... Fuck the dog?

Rux: Don't talk like that...
Skid: It's what the man said.

Rux: Oh yeah. And the other thing I like about this band is the spaghetti western guitar, courtesy of Marco Pirroni.

Skid: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. I wanted to mention... the cover of this album, as well as Dirk Wears White Socks, the photo is taken from a video. I think they were trying to say something about the new medium of videoooo.

Rux: You think? In 1980? It was pre-MTV... I guess there was still video going on, though.

Skid: Well, when was MTV?

Rux: Like 1983 or something... I think.

Skid: I remember the... Eurythmics, as well as mine... also put a video shot on their album...

Rux: On which album?

Skid: I have no idea.

Rux: That's a very nice song.

Skid: I never liked the "dog eat dog" part.

Rux: (sings) "dog eat, dog eat, dog eat, dog eat, dog eat, dog eat, dog eat,

dog eat, dog eat, dog
eat... hahahahaaaaaaa."


Skid: Clicking drumsticks...

Rux: Two pair...

Skid: Dueling drumstick tappings

Rux: I don't know who the drummers were on this record, but they were fucking great.

Skid & Rux: (sing) "Well, I'm standing here, looking at you, what do I see, looking straight thru... it's so sad, when you're young, to be told.... Sooooooo..." (Laughter)

Skid: And also, I should say that this is the album that introduced me to what I thought was punk rock, at the time... We all know better now.

Rux: This is the NEW, new wave sound!

Skid: Yes. But it did change my world.

Rux: Oh yeah... And for me, I grew up listening to Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers... And then all of a sudden I'm saying to myself... oh look, pirates!

Skid: Cowboys... oh wait...

Rux: Wait a second...

Rux: I think these guys, and Joy Division, were the bands at this point in my life that I started turning from country music to listen to.

Skid: Well, this had a little country, obviously... Did you feel that they were making fun of country, at all?

Rux: No... I don't think that at that point I understood the whole making fun of things in music. When you are young, music is so pure that you don't look at it as a sarcastic thing.

Skid: I vividly recall my sister defending Adam and the Ants as not being punk, or new wave... but as being "Ant music". No one was very convinced... And then she'd go on to play a Barry Manilow record. She was a little confused. God rest her soul. It's kind of a limiting genre, when there can be only one band that's "ant music"... But then there was Bow Wow Wow, which was anti-ant music.

Rux: I thought that was early feminine chick rock.

Skid: Not really, seems how she was only 15. You know who put together Adam and the ants?

Rux: (dramatic pause) Malcolm McLaren?

Skid: Why, yes... and when they fell apart, he put together... Bow Wow Wow.

Rux: So that explains the Bow Wow Wow drumming.
Skid: Yessir... they were out of the ashes of Adam and the Ants... they were half of the Ants. (Looks at liner notes) Now riddle me this: Why is Antmusic the only song in quotations?

-los rancheros-

Rux: (sings) "Do do do... Los ran-cher-os."

Skid: And then some of them went to Culture Club.

Rux: NUH UH!

Skid: Yessir.

Rux: Shut up!

Skid: Yessir


Skid: (sings) "Oi, oi, oi."

Rux: (in shock) Some of the Ants, you mean? But, not Marco or Adam.

Skid: (laughing) No! I should say, one of the Ants...

Rux: And obviously, it was not the drummer.

Skid: Possibly one of them.

Rux: (sings) "Ranchurio-o."

Skid: Eastwood.

Rux: It's like the British Italian movie music... The spaghetti western stylee music.
Skid: You and I already know that Marco was the hidden talent here...

Rux: But he never acted... in movies about wastelandic times.
(Uproarious laughter)

Skid: Good Lord, no...

Rux: Whereas our good friend... Sterling?

Skid: Stuart Goddard...

Rux: Yeah, in all his glorious shortness, did do some fine acting. As the leader of the rabble...

Skid: World Gone Wild.

Rux: Is that what it was?

Skid: World Gone Wild...

Rux: Go out and rent it, kids... go out and rent it.

Skid: Apocalypse at the drive-in. Adam Ant's Mad Max.

Rux: All these new movies with their fantastic special effects, and their view of post-apocalyptic society, cannot compare to... World Gone Wild. (Laughter)

Skid: Where do they get the ricocheting bullet sound?

Rux: Hollywood, I would think.

Skid: Oh yeah? I only got one thing from Hollywood, and a little antibiotics cleared that right up. Her sister wouldn't, but Hollywood. Adam Ant's the first guy I saw with the little, tiny braids. Which is why I tend to sport them from time to time.

Rux: Oh yeah? Where as I tended to sport mine because of....

Skid: Boy George?
Rux: No no no! Not Derri, But Steve Hindalong, from the Choir.

Skid: Okay... I hadn't seen that.

Rux: He was the guy I most vividly recall doing it. Except for Aimee Mann, of course.

Skid: And that guy is one funny looking dude.

Rux: He looks like a girl, named Aimee.

Skid: He looks like an ugly girl... should we say something about this song? Because, it is a good song and it should be addressed.

-feed me to the lions-

Rux: Now, with Feed Me To The Lions, we lose our spaghetti... western.

Skid: This song was a little too sexy for me at the time... it makes me feel dirty.

Rux: This is a touch-yourself song? We've got these killer dueling vocal lines.

Skid: Yeah. Always. A lot of people equate that with Peter Murphy also. I think this is really one of the places that they really started that.

Rux: Yeah? It was definitely a product of the post-punk, I think. And to me, this is really post punk, AND post new wave.

Skid: Really?

Rux: Yeah, because to me, New Wave is your crappy Police and all that business... So to me, this is like, the New new wave... or post punk.

Skid: I knew about this before I knew about the Police.

Rux: You're a lucky man... Oh, and The Clash... I consider the Clash new wave.

Skid: Really?

Rux: Because they didn't have the ingredients for punk rock, I don't think.

Skid: Well, early on when they were wearing the boots and the flak jackets...

Rux: Even with Combat Rock it wasn't very punk rock for me... It was far too musically versatile and pretty to be punk.

Skid: You mean wimpy.

Rux: Yeah, that too.

Skid: It was kind of odd seeing Strummer with a mohawk singing some of that stuff.

Rux: They wanted so badly to be punks, but it just never came off that way to me. But as long as you wore a Clash t-shirt, you were okay being a punk. BUT, if you were listening to the Clash, it would never fly, and you'd get the stuffing kicked out of your teddy-bear self.

Skid: I think the term "new wave", since it was cooked up by the press, was limiting and no one would have called themselves new wave if they'd expected it to last. They should have numbered it and signed it and called it the second wave, the third wave...

Rux: (sings) "Hi ho hi ho hi ho."

Skid: (sings) "It's off to work we go. Oh we oh... ohhh oh."

-press darlings-

Rux: We've got thirteen tracks on this album, and I can only think of two of them that aren't that good. Maybe three. And one of them is coming up...

Skid: Well, two of them, and I think we are through two of them.

Rux: Two of them that aren't so good? Which ones don't you like?

Skid: Well, "Dog Eat Dog" I'm not so crazy about...

Rux: See, I dig that one, mostly because of the drumming.

Skid: Yeah. Just parts of it bug me. The last one, "Feed Me To the Lions," I never really cared for. I do like some of the background vocals.

Rux: It's really all about the vocal treatment... The ones I don't like so much, are the "Human Beings," and "Don't Be Square."

Skid: Really?

Rux: And here is your social statement for the album...

Skid: I think a lot of bands write a song like this. The Jam had "This is the Modern World". Where they claim that they don't care about what the press thinks. "We're on the outside, but we're not looking in" was one of the things I held onto as a youth.

Rux: Yeah. (Sings) "Do do dooo."

Skid: I like the bendy vocals.

Rux: The bass line in this is very funny. (Sings) "Do do do do do do do do."

Skid: Who the fuck is Nick Kent? New Music Express?

Rux: Could have been... They certainly don't care for him much, though.

Skid: (sings) "We are not different, we are exactly the same."

Rux: Now I don't know if back then, these guys were that well received by the British music press. I really don't remember back that far, press wise. I can remember the music, but I can't remember what the world's reaction was to it... you know?

Skid: And I wasn't in England, so much.

Rux: Oh yeah. There is that. An ocean. But like nowadays, I guess we are much more global than we were back then... If you don't hear it directly, you can find out all about things with the click of a computer button. I guess when you are ten, you can't really say, "Hey Ma, take me to the record store so I can get the New Music Express. Hey Ma, you're spoiling all the paintwork."

Skid: Well, the first punk rag that I remember was Maximum Rock'n'Roll.

Rux: Yeah... We didn't find that until like '87 or so...

Skid: Nah, it was around '85 or '86.

Rux: I miss the Maximum Rock 'n' Roll. And then for me, the finest rock publication, from about 1992 on was The Big Takeover.

Skid: I have no idea what that is.

Rux: It's Jack Rabid's mag... I guess out of Texas. He really did a lot for introducing much of the Brit-pop in the nineties to America. And all the kids who were into the Brit-pop read the Big Takeover.

Skid: I have no idea what that is.

Rux: I love the feedback at the end of the song... and the madness. Number 9. Number 9. Number 9.

-ants invasion-

Skid: Here we go...

Rux: Oh yeah! I once heard New Ben Franklins do this song...

Skid: Shuh Uh... Bass on the offbeat is nice. The fact that the bass, guitar, and the vocals are all doing something completely different that is so nice.

Skid and Rux: (sings) "Rationalize 'til I'm blue in the face. You cannot win if you throw the race."

Rux: Now do you think that Adam wrote all the words, or do you think that Marco is really responsible for almost everything?

Skid: I've never thought about it. I kind of assumed that he did write the words, but the way that they fit in with the music, it is possible that Marco did that as well.

Rux: He may have actually co-written a bunch of this stuff. If you look at the Adam Ant records without Marco Pirroni, it's a very different flavor, overall. Lyrically, and of course, musically... But the thing is, even with Marco, after these first couple of records, there was such a stylistic musical change anyways.

Skid: I love the kettledrums here. And just the exchange between the vocals and the instruments, it really stands up, even today.

Rux: This is... This is probably my favorite off of this record. This, and "Antmusic." "Killer in the Home" is pretty good though. We'll be getting to that in a moment. That's pretty much your Doors song, though. I keep wanting to say, " Father... I want to kill you."

Skid: His brain is squirming like a toad.... It really is very rich. It's inventive and very different from a lot of things. It draws from familiar areas like spaghetti western and horror, but it really puts it together nicely.

Rux: It does. It's an excellently packaged music. I really wish we had some production credits other than produced by Chris Hughes... I would actually like to find a biography of this time for Adam and the Ants. I think that it would be fascinating to read what actually went on...

-killer in the home-

Rux: I think when I originally got into this band, it was solely because of the drumming. Really... and I think that you are right, the guitars are very western, and I reckon it was very familiar to me back then. There wasn't too much to step out of my comfort zone, coming from country music.
I mean, I'm still just enraptured with this drumming. And I kind of look at it like the other
bands I got into around this time were for similar reasons... a lot of it had to do with the drumming. Joy Division, Bauhaus... songs like "In The Flat Field." Some Siouxsie... I think a lot of the early Siouxsie stuff was very inventive. What do you think the Siouxsie/Adam Ant connection is? There has got to be one...

Skid: Ummm... Sid Vicious played drums for Siouxsie and the Banshees...

Rux: Yeah... and Siouxsie was on TV with the Sex Pistols... When she was very young, she was like 17 or something.

Skid: I didn't know that.

Rux: Yeah, pre-Budgie Siouxsie Sioux. I bet that Marco knew this fella that knew this kid that once met a guy that heard Mike Wallace mention a legend that his sister's cousin knew Budgie, and they had coffee every other weekend. That's going to be my assumption at this point.

Skid: Okay. Well, I'll bet that McLaren was grooming Siouxsie to be the Bow Wow Wow...

Rux: Ahhhh. Very interesting Mister Bond. I bet the McLaren is the connection behind it all. He needs to write some books too, so we can find out about all this, from his skewed perception of what went on.

Skid: I think he did. But he should just Phil Spector out.

Rux: Spector out? I did! I know he has written a bunch of stuff, but I don't know that any of it was really about anything important... thinking about it, in this time frame, I can't think of anything off the top of my head that can come close to this as far as depth. I'm sure there were things out there, I just can't think of anything.

-kings of the wild frontier-

Rux: And here you have the bitchin' drumming.

Skid: This is the definitive drumming. When I think about the two drummers, this is what I think of.

Rux: This song has it all... the entire Adam and the Ants' schtick. You have the call and response vocals, you have duel vocals, you have ultra tom drumming, spooky western guitar, you have a little counterpoint bass, although it's not as evident on this song as on some others.

Skid: You've got kettledrums.

Rux: You've got Adam sounding like Johnny Rotten. Or is that John Lydon?

Skid: There is no John Lydon. I will swear to that... I worked with a kid named John Lydon... he got no end of hell from us, I can attest.

Rux: So what happened with this band? It got too good for Malcolm McLaren? He put it together and it got out of control... bigger than his head.

Skid: I don't know.

Rux: Parents, I beseech you... allow your children to listen to Adam and the Ants! To improve your quality of life, and increase their responsibility... because we are family! ...I got all my sisters and me.

Skid: When I was that age, maybe it didn't answer any questions for me... but it really did help me a lot because it did make me start looking for the answers. Maybe that's a little deep for Adam and the Ants, but that's how I view it. I once knew a guy named Dionysis, that handed me a picture
of a blue elephant. He said it helped him a lot, but it didn't do a damned thing for me. Shade too white... Duane Eddy...

Skid & Rux: (in unison) And his twangy guitar.

Rux: Do you think there is some link between these guys and the Cult?... I bet there is.

Skid: See, I think of the Cult as coming later on... I guess they were around, but...
Rux: In '80? It was the Southern Death Cult, I guess.

Skid: Right. But by the time they made a name for themselves, it was much later.

Rux: Well, by the time... In America, at least... By the time anyone had heard of them it was Sonic Temple, and it was '87 or something. Skid: That's not true. Before they got any radio play, yes, but... by that time it was all over,
and they were opening for Metallica. You know, Chow saw Ian break his leg in about '84, and the Divinyls opened for them. He fell off the stage or something. So Chow and all his buddies went to the
hospital to see if they could visit him.

-magnificent five-

Rux: Well, Dreamtime was like '83... it was the decline of Adam and the Ants, and the rising of the Cult. And on the first couple of Cult records there was a lot of western flavor, I think. Not to mention, all of the Indian imagery that both bands used... or is that Native American? Skid: Asbury claims to be Native American, and he put together the legendary "Gathering Of The
Tribes", which was the pattern for Lollapalooza.

Rux: Now this song, "The Magnificent Five," sounds very 80's to me. Where the rest of this record really doesn't.

Skid: They're the Mag Five, instead of the Fab Four. That fuzzy guitar sounds 80's to you?

Rux: Well, yeah... and this rhythm here, during the verse, sounds much more 80's to me. It almost sounds Stray Cats-ish, actually. I'm just going to say throughout this review: "Well, what do you think their connection is to... the Stray Cats?" I'm looking for connections here.

Skid: You're going across the ocean for that one. What are you? James Burke, all of a sudden?

-don't be square, be there-

Rux: When did the Stray Cats rise to fame?

Skid: (from the lou) About '85...

Rux: about '85, huh?

Skid: I wonder how they carried this off live. I really would have liked to have seen that, because most of the time he's got two or sometimes three vocals going on at the same time.

Rux: And back then it wasn't like you just sampled everything and played it back live, either. You actually would have had to have background singers. I remember seeing footage of these guys live... Now this one, I don't like. Because it's disco. Where the hell did this song come from?

Skid: Yeah... Until you get to here.

Rux: Until the second drummer starts in, it's pretty much disco.

Skid: (sings) "Whatever that means."

Rux: The lyrical content fits with the record, but the music really doesn't... for me.

Skid: I guess it did bother me for a while, too.

Rux: This would be something I would expect DEVO to do... It's like a DEVO song is hidden on the Adam and the Ants record. You have all these different parts. Some of them fit, and some of them don't. There is a little bit more discord than I'm used to hearing in music like this. Whatever that

Skid: It's not as bad as "Goody Two Shoes."

Rux: Well, no. Did you not like any of the later stuff... like "Whip in the Valise?"

Skid: I remember that particular song I don't like. I think there was other stuff on that album that I did like.

Rux: That was on Dirk Wears White Socks?

Skid: I don't remember. "Strip," I didn't like.

Rux: I like the song "Strip," but most of that record I don't remember liking much at all. I think it was the song "Strip" that I liked...

Skid: Who was Dirk?

Rux: That was me.

Skid: Really? I had no idea.

Rux: Back then, I wore white socks.

Skid: And now?

Rux: Now, I wear gray socks.

Skid: It's the same socks though.

Rux: Oh sure... pretty much. They hide the dirt better though.

Skid: They were right on this part. You might not like it now, but you will.

Rux: I guess this is better than I remember it... this song. It definitely is palatable, it's not like I want to press the skip button. (Wistfully) If I could only find a girl that liked antmusic... and Naked Eyes.

Skid: (not wanting to hurt feelings) AaaaaaaahhhhhhRrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

-jolly roger-

Skid: I still find myself singing this song from time to time.

Rux: (sings) "Flintsto-ones. The Jolly Roger-r. Flintsto-ones, the Jolly Roger-r." What do the Flintstones have to do with it?

Skid: (whistles along) Jolly Roger? I did.

Rux: This was great. This was a sign of things to come on the next record, I think. The next record lost a little bit of the western flavor...

Skid: Prince Charming?

Rux: I though it was Dirk...

Skid: I think Dirk was the live one...And Prince Charming was before this.
Rux: No, I think this was the first one. We'll have to consult the library for that. The best thing about this song is there is almost no music. It's completely vocals.

Skid: And the romping guitars on the water.

Rux: It's so subdued... and the drums are so very subdued. They're there, but there really isn't much to them.

Skid: The sea shanty. The balladry.

Rux: What's he saying?

Skid: "Hoist the Jolly Roger."

Rux: "Foist?"

Skid: "Hoist."

Rux: "Hoi-oist 'em?"

Skid: "Hoist the-eh ..."

Rux: "Oh... Hoist up..."

Skid: "Hoist the."

-physical (you're so)-

Rux: Now, this song I really like. The last good thing that Nine Inch Nails ever did was a cover of this song. Skid: I may like it better now, I used to not like this. This would be the third song I don't like.

Rux: It doesn't fit with the album at all. But taken on it's own, I think it's a really good song.

Skid: Well, on that one Nine Inch Nails tour, Adam Ant showed up on stage with them.

Rux: Nuh uh.

Skid: Yessir.

Rux: I was obviously not there.

Skid: I believe it was in New York, and we don't live there.

Rux: Oh yeah.

Skid: (indignantly) ANYMORE.

Rux: I pretty much like any song that says the words "twist and shout" I think. I think it's a key phrase for me.

Skid: Mine is "the woods are lovely, dark and deep". I think that my aversion to this song has to do with Olivia Newton-John.

Rux: The short one! It's about me! I think the things I like this song for are: the feedback. The completely different vocal treatment he gives it with stretching out not only vowels, but also consonants... and the fact that he says "twist and shout." And I really like the lyrical phrasing where there is lyrics, and then there is additional stuff, like: When you wear that dress, you know, the short one. Like it's a fragment added in to better the song, but its not really in time with the music.

Skid: But not a real short dress, that's cruel... I think that this song had a little influence on the Bauhaus.

Rux: Or the other way around.

Skid: Could be, because I know they were contemporaries.

Rux: Bauhaus started in like '78 or something. Or was it in the 30's?

Skid: Hmmm... Wait a second... we can't talk about Prince Charming, because we're not reviewing it.

Rux: We can talk about anything...

Skid: Oh that's right. We're cartoon characters... Now look at the cover of Prince Charming... What person formerly known as Prince...

Rux: Oh yeah!!!

Skid: But you already knew that didn't you? ...Separated at birth?

Rux: Twin sons of different mothers?

Skid: Both are short. Both have an affinity for women's clothing, and make-up. "Physical" is much better now.

-human beings-

Because the term "Human Beings" was a Native American euphemism for "Human Beings".

Rux: did I say I didn't like this song?

Skid: I think you did.

Rux: I think I did... but I didn't mean it. I was thinking of that kid over at Melford.

Skid: You were thinking of bad as a colloquialism. Slang term for... It was one bad mother.

Rux: Shut your mouth.

Skid: Hey, I'm just talking about Ant.

Rux: I can dig it.

Skid: Damn right.

Rux: The Indian ties here, when he dropped off of that, the Cult picked it up. So I'm thinking, whether they were friends or not, or musically connected, I think that this had some effect on [the Cult]. Either that, or there was some movement in the 80's in Britain to recognize the Native American plight... which I would find rather odd, but... Who the hell knows what those limeys did in the 80's.

Skid: The guy who wrote "Last Of The Mohicans" was British... So what was that all about?

Rux: Rudyard Kipling? Is that who wrote it?

Skid: No, I'm certain it wasn't. an uncomfortable amount of time later...

Rux: I read that book... I like the book a lot more than the movie, starring Daniel Day-Lewis.

Skid: Was he Doris Day and Jerry Lewis' kid?

Rux: Jerry's kid.... Once again, the main element of the song is the vocals. The bass and drums definitely carry their weight, but they're mixed so far back.
Skid: Gary Tibbs.

Skid: Gary Tibbs was in Culture Club.

Rux: And who was he? Which guy?
Skid: I don't know.

Rux: And so there you have it. Kings of the Wild Frontier.

Skid: Marco Pirroni, please call us.

Rux: We dig your crazy style. He's fat now.

Skid: He was kind of chubby then...

Rux: And he still had cool clothes?
Skid: Yeah.

for the record:
number of songs neglected by the reviewers: 4
Answers to quiz questions:
2) John Moss - drummer
3) James Fenimore Cooper
4) C. Day-Lewis, former poet laureate of Britain, father
5) Adam Ant was in Spellcaster (1988) with William (I) Butler
William (I) Butler was in Sleepers (1996) with Kevin Bacon

Next fortnight: Oasis : Standing On the Shoulders of Giants

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