Tutu and the Pirates have the distinction of being Chicago’s first punk rock band or at least that it how they are acknowledged in the history books. The band played tons of shows and were part of what became the first punk scene in the Windy City and even recorded a bunch of material but for whatever reason the band never put out a record until now. Yes, thirty years after the band called it quits, they finally have an album out!
Sub-urban Insult Rock for the Anti/lectual collects all the studio recordings the band made while they were still active, a couple of live ones from back in the day, plus one that was recorded this year presumably because an old recording of the song simply didn’t exist. The music is straight-forward 70’s punk that is simplistic and raw in its delivery. The vocals are snotty and obnoxious in a good way, a style that was copied by countless bands 20 years after this band put punk rock on the map in Chicago.
The band had a great sense of juvenile humor and it’s easy to see how a band like this would have been considered threatening or offensive back in the late 1970s, but for those who got it, the band was a lot of fun. Such songs like “Wham Bam Son of Sam,” “I Got Zits,” and they big live hit, “I Want to be a Janitor” are catchy, energetic punk songs and had this band put any number of these songs out on 7″s back in those days people would be paying hundreds of dollars for them on eBay now as they easily rival anything those KBD collectors covet. Simply put, if you are a fan of that KBD-era early punk rock, this is going to rate high on your list of great obscure old punk bands.
The LP is packaged in a full color, standard jacket with a two-sided printed inner sleeve. Both the back cover and inner sleeve feature interesting and informative liner notes and some great old band photos. There are 17 songs on this album and it is pressed on white vinyl or you weirdos who prefer mp3’s can get the album in digital form. It may have taken 30 years for Tutu and the Pirates to put out a record but this artifact was well worth the wait.