The Make-Up

Disco Plate

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Occupying the same cultural position as Tom Jones in his retoolings of rock & roll classics, Dub Narcotic won over the '90s indie scene by creating a superfluous crossbreed of indie rock and dub-influenced dance music. Having neither the serious appreciation of dub evidenced by late-'70s 'glish punks (such as the Clash), nor the ability to transcend the condition of consciously producing a watered-down dance music pastiche of faux liberation (the album with Jon Spencer was, in this respect, a reunion of a long-estranged ying and yang), Dub Narcotic epitomized what made the early and mid-'90s feel so much like, well, the early '90s. This 7" contains "R. U. A. Believer," the second song put out by D.C.'s the Make-Up (formerly Nation of Ulysses), with a remix by Dub Narcotic on the flip side. While the Make-Up's first single "Blue Is Beautiful" was well received, "R. U. A. Believer" coalesced the new direction of Ian Svenonius et al. With all the trademarks of the now recognizable Make-Up sound -- Mea's meandering basslines, Svenonius' falsetto, Gamboa's restrained drum work, and the accent of Canty's guitar -- this 7" presaged an important new stylistic offshoot of D.C. punk. As for the Dub Narcotic remix, well, let's just say it's very early, maybe even mid-, '90s.