Do you think the band’s founders went through other options before settling on the name Dayglo Abortions back in 1979? Given the Canadian punk trio’s penchant for offensive juvenilia, it would probably be an incredible list.
For context, check the band’s back catalogue, which includes Feed a Fetus, Holy Shiite, Here Today Guano Tomorrow and, my favorite, Two Dogs Fucking. See also: the obscenity charges filed by the Canadian government against the band in the late ’80s (album art featuring Ronald and Nancy Reagan eating a fetus got you that sort of treatment back then).
Only one member — singer-guitarist The Cretin — still remains from that founding trio. In spite of the turnover, the Dayglo’s approach hasn’t shifted in the slightest. In keeping with the hardcore tradition, they still play unrelentingly fast and they still love their anarchist rhetoric with a side of toilet humor (sample lyric: “Holy fuckin’ moly, my shit stinks!”).
And Dayglo Abortions still find a way to shock. The latest record, and their first in 12 years, Armageddon Survival Guide, jumps from Reagan-era race politics (the anti-Obama “The New Black”) to Cretin’s love for his mom (“I Love My Mom”) without a beat.
The Dayglos may espouse anarchy at every turn, but, to paraphrase Walter Sobchak, at least anarchy is a fucking ethos. “To Prove That We Are Free,” off the latest album, might capture this spirit best: “No matter what the penalty, if there’s a law we’ll break it/ Just to prove to ourselves that we are free.”
It’s this unexpected substance beyond the shock that has made Dayglo Abortions more than worth a sneer after all these years.
Dayglo Abortions play with Eugene’s very own Cuntagious and Not a Part of It! 9:30 pm Wednesday, May 25, at Old Nick’s, 211 Washington St.; $12 adv., $15 door, 21-plus.