Sunday, February 19, 2006

A Forgotten Slice of NY Punk Funk

There's precious little information on the web about New York band the 4 Skins, because they shared their name with a British oi band. Rather than being white supremacists, New York's 4 Skins were a multi-cultural group who released one 7" single ("I'm Mad" b/w "When I'm Gone") and a four song 12" EP entitled White Neighborhood, on the Beatnote label (1981). This isn't the downtown dance-punk of ESG, Y Pants, or Liquid Liquid, and the 4 Skins' other songs were more rock-oriented and less socio-political in their subject matter than "White Neighborhood". It's my favorite of the songs I've heard by the 4 Skins: I love the cautionary tour of New York, the bassline, the horn riffs, and the backup singers.

As a teenage fanzine editor, I received a number of unsolicited records for review (in addition to those I solicited or paid for). Some were extremely strange or outright offensive: the German Shepherds' Music for Sick Queers, several singles by the C*nts, and an LP from San Francisco band Black Humor (on Fowl Records) that had a handmade cover. I don't mean to suggest that I found "White Neighborhood" offensive or strange; it just arrived one day, like the other records, with little or no information to accompany it. This one had more staying power.

4 Skins: White Neighborhood


At 12/23/2010 10:06 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Picked up a copy of this record this past weekend for no reason other than it looked cool, it had the twin towers on the cover and it was cheap lol. White Neighborhood is a cool song that I enjoyed for the same reasons you mention. This record is a pleasant surprise.


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