Flirt -- Don't Push Me! / Degenerator
Don't Push Me! /
Real Records, 1978
Forming in 1976, Detroit's Flirt was one of the first punk bands to emerge out of the Motor City and, like the Stooges and MC5 before them, the band developed an intense and often raw garage rock sound. Led by the husband-and-wife duo of Skid and Rockee Marx, Flirt sounds like what would happen if Janis Joplin lived past age 27, grew bored with psychedelia, and joined the Stooges after Iggy Pop went solo. Indeed, Rockee DeMarx's inimitable vocals elevate what would otherwise be a merely good, baldly derivative slab of hard-edged garage punk into a whole different beast.
Track 1. "Don't Push Me!" With its relentless swirl of proto-metal guitar solos, thoroughly un-saccharine backing vocals, and handclaps divested of any last vestiges of bubblegum, "Don't Push Me!" injects a healthy dose of punk vitriol into music that could appeal equally to acid rockers and hair metal headbangers without an ounce of the self-indulgence or wimpiness one associates with either late sixties hard rock or mid-eighties balladry.
Track 2. "Degenerator." Like the howl of a wolf lost in the streets of the Motor City, DeMarx's prolonged vocals on the B-side cut through the of the wail of guitars with a ferocity as primal as they are furious.
Sobriquet Grade: 85 (B).