R.E.M. & Skrewdriver

Take a listen to “Pilgrimage” off of R.E.M.’s 1983 debut album, Murmur.

Notice the skinhead beat? R.E.M. really liked underground punk and country music, especially Michael Stipe. Peter Buck, the guitarist, was the odd card with bluegrass and medieval music.

R.E.M. were one of the best rock bands ever. If they came out today, they would have a slim chance of becoming popular since they didn’t fall into a hipster archetype. They started out as music nerds working at a record store with a balding, sexually ambiguous frontman. The early 80s was a different world; people responded to good music, whether R.E.M. or Metallica. Who knows if R.E.M. would make it today. Right now we live in scatological entropy: we are deluged with disposable crap so people would never even hear R.E.M.

Compare R.E.M.’s “Pilgrimage” to Skrewdriver’s “Voice of Britain”:

These two tracks are weirdly similar. R.E.M and Skrewdriver were natural partners. That is the secret. Skrewdriver here is basically R.E.M. with rougher, country vocals instead of occasionally whiny, alt rock ones; masculinity instead of rationalization. Almost Motorhead-like really. Skrewdriver most certainly spunĀ Murmur. R.E.M. turned to shit sometime in the mid to late 80s but you should give Murmur a listen too.

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18 thoughts on “R.E.M. & Skrewdriver”

  1. Psychic Psych Toad says:

    Pilgrimage can’t decide if it wants to be a goofy John Denver song or not. Skinhead beats is kind of a stretch. It needs more tamborines and cowbells.

    Must’ve missed something, since when has REM not been for hipsters?

    1. canadaspaceman says:

      Yes, from their, I recall R.E.M. from their very beginning with their song “Radio Free Europe” getting massive college radio airplay (as well as on the alternative rock radio stations), and that was years before they became MTV popstars, yet still cool enough for the college crowd…

  2. D O W N L O W says:

    Once again, the vultures rule the roost while the lions keep singing in the sun. RAC wins the day for its gut-punch honest-ism, while the white jokers continue to camp on the banks of the Rubicon. Reductions are all that matter here: reduction to matter, to the ideal, or whatsoever have you. Now the horses get drunk on spleen; everything turns yellow beneath a jaundiced sky. We reach for that same sky, but neither does civilisation. Thus the blankets beneath which we all huddle become infested (fleas, small pox, the destruction of a lifestyle to be sure) and the cause for certain laconic (all too laconic) ironies. In the end, the books turn their own pages; drift into REM sleep as the foot of the page keeps twitching its dumb rhythm. Hail the white grain, hail summer – hail st(r)ipe and all the comparisons of this hour. We stand chastised now, lowing under leaden clouds of our own ignorance.

    1. D O W N L O W says:


  3. Utarm says:

    Transcendence into the peripheral; the fate of all things immanent and less so.
    Erasure of the untoward, but who says so, eh?
    Untoward toward-thrust, scoping low while looking up.
    Now the hyenas have the last laff.

  4. Rob says:

    I’m liking the change in editorial staff already.

  5. Anndra says:

    can we get a working definition of hipsters, please?

    1. S.C. says:

      Perhaps something like people who define and “elevate” themselves through a hodge podge of stolen aesthetics, opinions and cultural traits. Genuinely identity-less people, who fully embrace the “nothing is sacred” mentality. This who have no concern for understanding the truth behind anything they outwardly present in terms of art and ideas while adorning the illusion that they know the truth.

      Maybe something like that…

      1. Rainer Weikusat says:

        Alternative fashion magpies?

        1. S.C. says:

          Sure! Non-binary gendered freaks as well

  6. Thewaters says:

    Short sentences. Strange read.

  7. Trond says:

    Death Metal

  8. canadaspaceman says:

    Is Kim Kelly getting married? her relatives are invading! You can see some of them in the movie https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dagon_(film)

    No one knows why these octopuses came ashore en masse in Wales

  9. national geographic nipples says:

    Oh yeah. Everyone has this idea of what Skrewdriver sounds like in their head before they hear them (they’re imagining something closer to Honor or Aggravated Assault or something), and it’s absolutely nothing like what Skrewdriver actually sounds like: jangly, sprightly, scrappy old fashioned rock n’ roll (or even old rhythm & blues at times??).

    (Disregarding White Rider era, which is like bad bar room rock.)

    If you prefer that old oi flavor of RAC to the thuggish tough guy stuff that came later, don’t sleep on Skullhead either…

    1. canadaspaceman says:

      I like Skrewdriver’s The Strong Survive, and Warlord LP’s a lot more than the early stuff, when they went heavy metal.
      Still, how can anybody dismiss the holy trinity of white power rock of Hail the New Dawn / Blood & Honour / White Rider ?
      That is like insulting AC/DC’s peak with Back In Black / For Those About To Rock / Flick of The Switch.

  10. R.E.M. and Skrewdriver are both beta cuck bands. Where’s the good music? Where’s the Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir?

    Fuck R.E.M., fuck Skrewdriver, and fuck Burzum the racist nazi too!

  11. I'm black says:

    I’m going to kill every last motherfucking one of you

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