Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Long Slow Screw, by Eugene S. Robinson; Robotic Boot, 2010

Thirty years post Hardcore and it feels safe to say that it was a Revolution that won. So many of its perspectives have seeped into the broader society, and this, in Disaster Amnesiac's mind, is a mixed blessing.
One downside of the mental conversion ushered in with Hardcore's Historical Triumph is the lack of story telling ability. So much post-Punk writing, while ostensibly packing the punch of "the Real", takes on a hectoring tone.
In smaller doses, fine.
Ultimately, however, there's only so much "I AM REAL" that can be dished out before the lack of other imaginary aspects becomes an impediment. 
Eugene S. Robinson's Hardcore bona fides are undeniable. Do seek out the twisted recordings of Whipping Boy and Oxbow, or make time to see and hear the latter live for the visceral proof of that.
What's great about A Long Slow Screw is that, along with the sought after and attained physical impact that simplified writing can approximate when paired with attentive reading, Robinson, unlike many of his Hardcore peers, tells one hell of a powerful STORY.
Using 1970's Brooklyn as its gritty backdrop, A Long Slow Screw tells the tale of a heist gone wrong, with thorough attention given to illuminating the shit stained piston which drives the Hustle behind said heist.
Robinson uses a noir tone with which to tell the dark back stories of the novel's characters, who are roughly divided into those getting fucked and those doing the fucking. A more fundamental trait of Hardcore's narrative focus you'd be hard-pressed to find, and in that, the author remains true to his creative roots. It is within his character development and dialogue that he moves away from many of his peers' one dimensionality. As one reads the book, these characters and their intertwined stories come to life within the reader's imagination. It seems clear that Robinson spent a lot of time thinking about them.  The complexity of these characters and the richness of the book's  narrative voice and dialogue are way more compelling than the "right/wrong", "left/right", "I/them" of so much post-Punk aesthetics. Robinson is a writer, not a ranter, and this novel is well worth the time spent reading it. An attentive reader will find him or herself savoring many a passage, many a sharp turn of phrase.
Bonus coolness: as a physical object, A Long Slow Screw, with its sleek black cover and solid paper stock, has a weight not unlike the weights that Mr. Blue,  one of Robinson's more intriguing characters, hefts with such ease.
My only question is, is A Long Slow Screw to be followed by further descriptions of Jake and Easys' ice fueled plight?

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