#30 Pylon – Gravity (1980)




Formed initially in 1978, and with a liking for Talking Heads, these guys produced an early-80s American punk funk sound in the vein of Liquid Liquid, Bush Tetras, ESG, Konk, and others, which you could actually dance to. This propulsive, angular, but rhythmic, sound was in stark contrast to the unstructured dissonance of the short-lived so-called No Wave movement, which had immediately followed the American punk explosion of 1976-78. This track , Gravity, was from their 1980 debut album, Gyrate, (they went on to record only two more), which was only recognised as a classic years later. Despite failing to come anywhere near matching the commercial success of their Athens, Georgia, compatriots, R.E.M. and the B-52s, their influence on the city’s music scene, and beyond, was significant. R.E.M., for example, regularly cited Pylon as an influence on their music, and when in 1987 Rolling Stone magazine named R.E.M. “America’s Best Band,” drummer the band argued that the honour should belong to Pylon, even although the group had disbanded four years earlier. They have also been a clear influence on a generation of newer bands, such as Deerhunter, for example, who happily admit to their liking of the Pylon sound and aesthetic.

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