De-Evolution is Real!




Chris Here we go. Mongoloid in 3. 2. 1. Now! It starts almost inaudible.

Jon Yeah. Such a sick bass line.

Chris Oh yeah. Really killer.

Jon I love the song despite its extremely unfortunately lyrics.

Chris Yeah, same. They sing this one more through the nose.

Jon Yeah. I feel like they changed this one least between demo + polished versions.

Chris Yeah it is changed the least. They have a high separation of sound between the bass and guitar.

Jon If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Unless you’re referring to the disabled in a shitty way.

Chris Haha yes yes. This one has space noises, that the album version doesn’t.

Jon Yeah and I like all the synth noise fuckery that comes in over time.

Chris Yeah.

Jon Yeah it’s more like a real keyboard line in the later versions.

Chris I actually thought for the longest time that this was racist and not disabled-ist. Mongoloid = someone from Mongolia.

Jon I mean, it’s both. For sure. It goes back to that “you have (region)-oid features” kinda mode of thinking.

Chris Yeah. I just didn’t know the mongoloid word history.

Jon I like the twangy wang guitar tone at the end here. Before the keyboards come in.

Chris Yeah.

Jon Sonically really solid all around though. As grating as the singing is.

Chris It’s low in the mix but adds a fun bounce to it.

Jon I like the detuned sounding synth line too.

Chris Yeah I’m glad they changed the singing style.

Jon Always adding some dissonance even to their catchiest songs.

Chris Yeah. A lot of that dissonance didn’t make it into the final album cut. I think this version is an interesting take, but since it’s so similar to the album I prefer that one more.

Jon I wonder how much of that was themselves wanting to polish things, or Brian Eno having a say.

Chris Yeah could be both.

Jon Yeah I usually go back to the Q&A/B Stiff versions.

Chris Eno is pretty polished. But yeah, a super well formed demo.

Jon Yeah. I forgot how listenable Hardcore disc 1 was. As a whole.

Chris Yeah.

Jon I always picture as way muddier, but it’s pretty slick aside from a song or three.

Chris Agreed. It feels rough compared to later efforts. But on it’s own I think it’s real polished. Usually you hear a band’s pre-signed demos and it’s hard to make out what’s even happening. Or they’re kinda not formed conceptually yet. Devo was conceptually formed from the get go. And they just refined that style.

Jon Yeah I can see why there was interest in them.

Chris Yeah. And there was a lot of interest. They had been playing for a while tho, right? They were signed in 7576?

Jon I think so yeah, from like 74 or so?

Chris Yeah. So 2+ years. Which actually isn’t that long.

Jon First performances were in 73. Recorded, anyway.

Chris Right. But they were a performance art thing for a while, no?

Jon I think so? I’m hazy on the way-early timeline.

Chris Yeah. But still, whatever the specifics, they got picked up fairly quickly. It wasn’t like they were toiling in obscurity for a decade.

Jon True.

Chris But yeah despite the problematic lyrics and my mistaken assumptions Mongoloid was one of the first Devo songs that caught my ear.

Jon Yeah, same. It’s one my more hip friends would reference.

Chris Yeahhh, those hip friends. We can talk more about all that when we get to Q&A since that’s the version I first heard.

Jon Sounds good to me!

Chris Let’s wrap this sucker up. Remember kids, it okay to be a revolutionary, but don’t be a dick!

Jon Agreed!

Discussions of other versions of "Mongoloid"