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Reviews

LP Of The Issue:

The 101ers – “Elgin Avenue Breakdown (Revisited)” (EMI)
The 101ers have traditionally been treated very poorly by the historians of rock’n’roll: doodled on, tagged - & in some extreme cases – inked out altogether. This was ‘Pub Rock’ – they will tell you. This was Dr Feelgood, Graham Parker & the Kilburns. This was what Punk Rock destroyed.

Bullshit.

The 101ers pissed all over Dr Feelgood & their ilk.

The 101ers were the real deal.

“Elgin Avenue Breakdown” was originally released in 1981 on the back of The Clash’s transition from Punk Rock saviours to rock’n’roll evangelists. Dismissed by many a young Punk at the time as being ‘yesterday’s papers’ - maybe we were just too young to understand. Listening to “EAB” in 2005, it’s interesting to note that Strummer had in fact come ‘full circle’ with the Mescaleros – returning to exactly the same place he was ‘at’ before 77 - & all that. Fronting the 101ers he sounds relaxed, committed & (perhaps) still (a bit) in awe of his chosen profession. Exhilarating.

Ostensibly a collection of studio, session & live recordings made between 1975 & 1976, “Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited” has been expanded to a 20-track warts’n’all anthology that perfectly captures the grit & the grain of this particularly swarthy proto-punk combo. Joe is marvellous throughout – sounding more relaxed & effective than he would throughout the rest of his chequered ‘career’ – ably supported by messers Timperly, Kelleher & Dudanski.

The 101ers were the blue touch paper that lit the fuse of UK Punk Rock – just listen to the stage exchanges on the live material: Joe bemoaning the lack of venues for rock’n’roll groups to play, bitching about the popularity of disco over rock’n’roll & enthusing about the fire & the passion of Patti Smith.

History is written by winners. Don’t let that be your flimsy excuse for missing out on the 101ers. The truth is only known by guttersnipes

Marquee Smith – tMx 20 - 06/05


Not LP Of The Issue:

Black Wire – “Black Wire” (48 Crash)
Black Wire don’t just want your money – they want your adoration & your respect - & - more than likely - your girl/boyfriend, too. During an incubation period of around 18 months, Black Wire have been working away studiously in their grim Northern environ attempting to fashion their own variation of the fabled rock’n’roll enigma machine.

A rash of feisty 7 inch shaped 45 rpm styled missives have resulted in the words ‘Stooges’ & ‘Suicide’ being bandied about (albeit with some suspicion) on a regular basis. Like a dance-floor collision involving the scuzzier elements of the rock’n’roll myth pantheon & the most fatigued components from the broken pile of old keyboards hidden in the room above the garage (it says here), Black Wire’s particular brand of disco/ska/punk-a-billy has not made the transition from exciting vinyl to safe CD with much aplomb.

What sounded vaguely interesting 12 months ago now sounds polished, forced & totally compromised. Unsure whether to jump aboard either the ska or the rockabilly bandwagons currently circling the record buyers encampment, Black Wire instead settle on trying to amalgamate both revivals into one pastiche - with alarming levels of ordinariness. By track 4 (“Promote The Happy Hours”, title fans) Black Wire appear to want to be the Kaiser Chiefs – with rafts of ‘ooh eee ooh’s’ - & some proper shite lyrics.

Instrumentally, “Black Wire” is as thin & weedy as the concept behind it: the drum machine sounds out of place (& way too smooth) – the guitars are constantly apologising for being puny & faceless – the vocals hang on to the slight tunes for dear life – & the lyrics are frankly fucking appalling.

Just one look at the photo of Black Wire inside the (pointless) accompanying booklet (nice lead boys – is that one of the ones you actually use on stage?) will tell you all you need to know: Mick er Keith er Ron feather cuts, skinny ties & skinny strides - & t-shirts using headlines from the pages of trakMARX. Fucking wankers.

Black Wire sound about as dangerous as an NME sub-editors meeting. Another (great) white hope hits the ropes inside the opening seconds of round 1 - & all we can do is suspect the bleeding obvious: rock’n’roll is indeed dead.

For fuck’s sake – someone organise a funeral – let’s get this turkey buried.

www.blackwireonline.co.uk
www.48crash.co.uk

Harrison Bored – tMx 20 – 06/05


Art Brut – “Bang Bang Rock & Roll” (Fierce Panda)
Art Brut are The Post-Modernist Lovers it’s ‘OK’ to mistrust: their backpacks are crammed with Penguin paperback classics, their notebooks are rammed with acerbic asides - & their address books are jammed with reminders of how it ‘just didn’t work out’. Sometimes it’s hard to stop when your heart is set on TOTPs.

The first thing you’ll notice about “Bang Bang Rock & Roll” is the decidedly un-rock’n’roll artwork – truly appalling - totally unlovable.

The second thing you’ll notice about “Bang Bang Rock & Roll” is that it contains all 3 x Art Brut 45s thus far - & their incumbent b-sides (therefore: we already own the best 5 x songs on “Bang Bang Rock & Roll”; “Formed A Band”, “My Little Brother”, “Emily Kane”, “Modern Art” & “Bad Weekend”).

The third thing you’ll notice about “Bang Bang Rock’n’Roll” is that the other 7 x songs on the LP really aren’t very good at all.

Eddie’s voice tends to grate after – ooh – about 5 songs (neat numerology, value fans) - & no amount of Hennessey with Morrissey is going to alter that. The majority of “Bang Bang Rock & Roll” screams ‘will this do’?

We can’t handle the pressure. We don’t want to be spokespeople for anybody’s crummy generation, if it’s all the same to you. “Bang Bang Rock & Roll” is an apology. Sorry. We can’t cut it.

12 months ago Art Brut reeked of promise. Their debut 45 stuck out like a sore thumb. We sat around & marvelled at just how brilliant their debut LP was going to be when it finally arrived.

I’m either beginning to lose my faith in rock & roll - or I need some new friends.

www.fiercepanda.co.uk

Jean Encoule – tMx 20 – 07/05


And What Will Be Left Of Them? – “Hi Fi Low Life”/”4 Years To Be An Artist” (Filthy Little Angels)
And you will know them by the trail of missed opportunity: fuck all insider knowledge about this lot - except that there are 5 of them - & that they come from the Midlands - & that this is fookin’ ace – both sides.

Growly guitars, pumping organ, shouty girl/on/boy vocal action, feisty tunes - & just the right attitude. A touch of The Action Times – possibly mod-sympathisers – And What Will Be Left Of Them are so much more than just a name that’s quite similar to a group from Texas that everybody got all moist about for 5 minutes. Out of all the truly scrumptious fare already thus far released on FLA – this is my favourite so far. Buy it – or I’ll send Chris Moyles round for tea.

www.andwhatwillbeleftofthem.co.uk
www.filthylittleangels.com

Guy Debored – tMx 20 – 07/05


The Cherubs – “Man Of No Importance” (Cargo)
The Cherubs third 45 is another accomplished blast of Interpolitan, cosmopolitan modern pop. Polished like a soiled old penny that’s just been removed from a container of HP sauce, “Man Of No Importance” shudders & blusters – sticking its chest out as it goes past – possibly scouring second-hand shops for medals & braid. The singer does a really good Richard Hell impression – nearly as good as Johnny Borrell’s Mike Scott impression. Note to Cherubs: read Leader 20. Rip it up & start again.

Marquee Smith – tMx 20 – 07/05


Wrath Superseven “7” – Being 747 v The Lodger
The Wrath Records 7” singles club returns:

With “DIY Prescriptions”, Being 747 make the perfectly logical assumption that if you’re ill you’d probably be better off going to see an actual ‘live’ GP – rather than curing yourself online – via NHS Direct. They may have a point. Sardonic,
sarcastic - & totally caustic. Their finest moment to date.

The Lodger chips in with “Getting Special” – a luscious slice of summer pop perfection that could give Hard-Fi a run for their money in the shuffle-ballad pop stakes. Pure pop for now people.

www.wrathrecords.co.uk

Wrath Superseven “8” – Stuffy/The Fuses v The Secret Hairdresser
Stuffy/The Fuses demand to know how you’ll react when ‘Sir’ wants sex. This could be a general condemnation of our (still) male dominated sexual society – or it could be pertinent advice for all freshers. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. No one’s gonna believe you anyway.

The Secret Hairdresser’s “Copier” bustles along on a choral vocal hook of monolithic proportions – like The Priscillas fronting Killing Joke. Marvellous. Stuff.

The Wrath Records Supersevens Summer Season 2005 is officially open. A Vinyl Readers Digest for your ears – is what they say - & who are we to doubt them. Or you too, for that matter.

www.wrathrecords.co.uk

The Katestar – tMx 20 – 07/05


Formula Bone – “Bear Up” (Brainloverecords)
Formula Bone are basically the wonderfully named Fidel Villeneuve – aided & abetted by Mush & Fuzz Valentine. They’ve been ripping up London town for the last year: impressing Steve Lurpack, shopping with Kitty ‘Kat’ Empire & going round to tea with Jo Whiney. They allegedly turned down a £3 million advance from WEA to sign to Brainloverecords - & why not?

“Bear Up” rattles along at a heck of a pace. Splattered with samples, sewn together with Q-Base & then covered in nursery rhymes – these 14 cuts cause toes to tap, knees to knock, knackers to vibrate - & lips to turn upwards at both ends. More amusing than an arcade – fire or no fire - & probably in equal need of a constant supply of change.

Wonderfully fi less throughout, “Bear Up” takes the listener back to the heady days of Bis & the unimaginable future riches of the chemical underground. Irreverent, effervescent & only possibly irrelevant - stand out cuts include: “Charlie Brown Nose”, “Bob Crow”, “HATE mail” & “Penis Extension”.

www.brainloverecords.com

Evan Halshaw – tMx 20 – 07/05


The Fugue – “Mysterious Animals” (RiYL)
NYC’s The Fugue dropped this, their second 45, all over the floor at Oneida’s rehearsal space nearly a year ago to the day. Recorded ‘live’ onto 1/2-inch tape, “Mysterious Animals” is statement of intent.

Like Die Electric Eels, Die Fugue USA prefer to keep you guessing right up to the end. Shards of Shellac break off the disc as the vinyl spins around the turntable – wounding passers by – breaking every window in the building. An alarm goes off in an adjacent room. The sprinkler system kicks in. Riot police crawl across broken glass as tear gas replaces oxygen.

The Jesus Lizzard have just been crucified on a cross of milk chocolate. The baying crowd were offered a simple choice: Jesus Lizzard or The Fugue?

www.thefugue.com

Mike Twat – tMx 20 – 07/05


Filthy Little Angels Singles Club – Mynx v Alice & The Enemies (Filthy Little Angels)
Mynx’s “I’m So L.A.” is an elctro-clash bitch-fest. How am I going to fix my hair today? I’m so L.A. Wake up – take off my make up. Wait a minute – I’m not from New York. I’m from L.A. She’s straight. He’s gay. They’re from L.A. Fashion whores - beware. This fucks.

Alice & The Enemies are “Touching Boys (In Supermarkets)” - & that’s just plain wrong. This is basically the sound of a girl singer with a very weak voice trying to be heard above a bunch of lads who want to be The Libertines. Quite why they’re wasting our collective time is not made clear. This sucks.

Mynx: 1 – Alice: 0.

Conclusion: it’s better to be crap & funny than merely crap.

Marquee Smith – tMx 20 – 07/05


October All Over – “The Sixteen Channels” (Filthy Little Angels)
October All Over are big fans of At The Drive In. They used to like Rage Against The Machine. Thank fuck they haven’t heard any Mars Volta records yet.

www.filthylittleangels.com

Guy Debored – tMx 20 – 07/05


The Swear – “Repeat It Repeat It” (Filthy Little Angels)
There’s something Girls At Our Best about The Swear. They shamble, they’re not afraid to point the finger, they harmonise discordantly - & they underpin it all with shards of perfect guitar spangle.

“Disco Bitch” is the winner here – with “Ch Ch Eh!” not far behind. Four slices of femme-powered, guitar-driven, popular entertainment. Marvellous. And less fat, too.

www.filthylittleangels.com

The Katestar – tMx 20 – 07/05


The Vichy Government – “Whores In Taxis” (Filthy Little Angels)
The Vichy Government’s “I Control Discourse” was one of the standout cuts from The Angular Recording Company’s essential “Rip Off Yr Labels” compilation (2004).

“Whores In Taxis” is the second Vichy Government LP – but don’t expect any great development in terms of sound. Vichy Government are one man, one voice, one keyboard, one broken drum machine - & a million fucked up ideas.

A broad Irish accent talks it’s way over minimal electronic interfaces. Wry, confessional, controversial & packed with rhymes that don’t really scan: “Serbian Warlord” - “I’ll be your Serbian Warlord, baby. Get your donkey - you’ve pulled.”

An acquired taste, for sure - & one that will require commitment on the part of the listener – but - however long it takes you – make sure you give The Vichy Government a chance. True happiness resides in the strangest of places.

Mike Twat – tMx 20 – 07/05


Gallucci – “Soca Punk” (DiePunkDeath)
This CD flew in from Darlinghurst, New South Wales, just the other week - & immediately blew all the other records we’d been sent this month clean away.

We have no idea who Gallucci are – other than brothers Jacob & Timothy Benito Nicastri – but the noise they make is truly inspirational: like the last 30 years of left field guitar introspection hastily stuffed into your average Antipodean twin-car garage & left to mutate.

Gallucci deal Punk fuelled aggression – hardcore inspired intensity – Mogwai style bliss outs – Stooges “Funhouse” skronk - & enough angst to start a war.

“Pull The Pin” makes L/A/L sound conventional. “Can’t Sing & Don’t Give A Fuck” has to be one the greatest song-titles of all time. “A Band To Clash & Never Rehash” demands repeat plays on first listen. Every time I play this LP I hear something new.

Gallucci have more ideas in one brain cell than most groups have their entire collective heads. Created in isolation for consumption in utopia. Follow the link below - & chase down your own dreams.

www.diepunkdeath.com

Jean Encoule – tMx 20 – 07/05


ILiKETRAiNS – “Before The Curtains Close” (Dance To The Radio)
Leeds tykes iLiKETRAiNS – stars of the Leeds “Dance To The Radio” compilation – drop their debut 45 on 7” vinyl. “Before The Curtains Close” is an exercise in restraint – a train-spotter’s symphony of malevolence – dark, moody & brooding - like Luxembourg without a sense of humour.

www.dancetotheradio.com

The Katestar – tMx 20 – 07/05


Querelle – “Querelle” (Sink & Stove)
Querelle were born & bred in Italy – so there won’t be any fighting at their gigs then! Ho ho. Seriously, make sure you aren’t standing behind a fight if one does kick off, however – or you’ll be crushed in the subsequent stampede. Right, now the Italian jokes are out of the way, what have we got left?

Querelle: formed in London in 2001, impressed a few people – split up without throwing down a note in anger - now reconvened due to public demand - Querelle are off again.

This 7-track mini LP showcases their take on art rock. Personally, I wish nobody had mentioned the Italian thing – I can hear it all over the vocals now - & it’s pissing me off. Opener, “Shanty Town”, is very good indeed – but it all slides away down the hill from then on in. Plenty of gusto, tons of effects – but very few tunes. That’s a pity. Fans of Sonic Youth may be interested - if they want some more records that sound a bit like Sonic Youth - but weren’t recorded by Sonic Youth. Apart from that – bit boring, really.

Mike Twat – tMx 20 – 07/05


Off The Radar – “Seen From Space” (Velocity)
This is fucking awful. Does anyone give a flying fuck about ‘powerpop’ in 2005? This would have sounded dated in 1982. Judging by the pictures on the press release – these guys are safely into their 30s – surely a bit of creative gardening or a pet would have sufficed? Get yourself a hobby. Leave us alone.

www.velocityrecordings.com

Harrison Bored – tMx 20 – 07/05


Napoleon The 3rd – “7” EP Promo” (Dance To The Radio)
More fuct up pop genius from the entity known as Napoleon The 3rd. “Anti Patria” is sublime, “Celebrity Standups” is obtuse, “No Science” is twisted - whilst “You Destroy Music” says everything that really needs to be said. Avant-gardening for beginners. You have been warned.

www.napoleoniiird.com

Mike Twat – tMx 20 – 07/05


Jeremy Warmsley – “I Believe In The Way You Move” (Exercise 1)
Jeremy Warmsley’s recordings are a ‘compelling fusion of electronic soundscapes & classic melodic song-writing’. He has been compared to Scott Walker & Andy Partridge, amongst others – but I’ll plump for Robert Wyatt fronting the Aphex Twin - & leave it at that.

The Katestar – tMx 20 – 07/05


Zombina & The Skeletons – “Mondo Zombina EP”
Maintaining Liverpool’s fierce tradition of producing leaders & not followers – Zombina & The Skeletons sound like no one else currently operating on the UK circuit.
Liverpool’s Zombina & The Skeletons return with their second release - & their 1st EP. Sonically, somewhere between Blondie & The Coral – visually, somewhere between Carry On Vampira & the 80s B-Line Matchbox Disaster – Zombina & her attendant Skeletons fashion a sound way older than their collective ages. “Counting On Your Suicide” is the best-titled anti-love song I’ve heard all year.

Maintaining Liverpool’s fierce tradition of producing leaders & not followers – Zombina & The Skeletons sound like no one else currently operating on the UK circuit.

www.zombina.com
www.lowsleysound.co.uk

Evan Halshaw – tMx 20 – 07/05


Aluminum Babe – “Vitrified” (Velocity)
Here’s a good game – see what resemblance to the press release the actual music bears:

“Finally someone combines bubble pop hooks with raw punk power without sounding like anyone else” – NEW YORK PRESS

“What do Alice Cooper, the Sex Pistols & Swedish kids songs have in common?” – Velocity PRESS RELEASE

“The band (natch) developed a blend of hi-energy disco punk.” – Velocity PRESS RELEASE

I listened to the LP twice. I heard no evidence of Steve Jones guitar oblivion – or Johnny Rotten’s sarcasm heavy delivery (apart from a woeful cover of “Ca Plane Pour Moi” – real Punk Rock, right kids?). In fact, I could hear absolutely NO punk rock reference points at all - & as for Alice Cooper – well I guess you’ve sussed that was all bull too, by now.

What we do get is the following: The Ravonettes fronting Codeine. So why the constant bullshit references to raw Punk Rock, bubble pop & disco? Sure beats the fuck out of me. On reflection – maybe once would have sufficed.

www.aluminumbabe.com

Marquee Smith – tMx 20 – 07/05


Holly Golightly – “My First Holly Golightly Album” (Damaged Goods)
The beautiful & supremely talented Miss Golightly compiles her debut career overview release for this handy summation of her muse thus far. With 10 cuts of garage-tinged country blues drawn from her prolific cache of previous LPs: “Singles Round Up”, “Truly She Is None Other”, “Serial Girlfriend”, “God Don’t Like It”, “Slowly But Surely” & “Main Attraction” - & 7 newly recorded torch-song gems: “Wherever You Were”, “Directly From My Heart”, “Won’t Go Out”, “Sally Goes Round The Roses”, “Further On Up The Road”, “Run Cold”, “I Can’t Stand It” – “My First Holly Golightly Album” is the prefect place to start getting to know Miss Golightly better.

www.damagedgoods.co.uk

Evan Halshaw – tMx 20 – 07/05


Masque – “Sometimes I Might EP” (Topplers)
This is ace. I know fuck all about Masque – except that they’re on the totally brilliant Topplers Value records – but one thing’s for sure: they make a fucking glorious cacophony.

“Frankendoctor” pokes fun at alpha males over an aural maize of industrial clatter/vague rockabilly shapes. It actually sounds like there are 3 records playing at once: squalls of McGeochesque guitar compete with the Aphex Twin’s Black & Decker hammer drill: “Somebody call the mental health inspector”, intones a Scottish accent.

“These Are Bad People” is another stormer – same MO, same constituent parts – different trousers. “Hatred & Violence (there’s not enough)” & “Sometimes I Might” offer more of the same without a hint of boredom. Masque are a power in the darkness demanding to be embraced into the new dawn of your ever mutating consciousness. Skronk’n’prole art threat.

www.topplers.net/masque

Evan Halshaw – tMx 20 – 07/05


Olives Hairy Custard – “Olives Hairy Custard” (Topplers)
Jowe Head rears himself once again with this cracking 12-cut LP on Topplers. Olives Hairy Custard contain 2 Australian hardcore punkers – Les Miserable & Garlon Hairmungus on gtr & bass respectively - & ex-Thrilled Skinny sticksman, Elliot P Smoke.

This eponymous debut LP was recorded between 1997 & 2005 at the Sonic Bunker & engineered by Rob McClymont. With only 2 songs longer than 4 minutes – this is a concise & direct collection of truly eclectic beat music. Spikey, strident, addictive, exhilarating, hilarious - & above all - consistently inventive, Jowe Head has lost none of the experimental bent he honed so effectively with the marvellous Swell Maps (& later still, Television Personalities) – surely contenders for the unluckiest group in the history of the world – ever.

“Necktie”, “Cream Of The Crop”, “Big Chunks” & “Not A Song” fly by at a heck of a rate – as if they’d just escaped from a carbon monoxide infested garage - whilst “Good Guy”, “Belly Of The Beast” & “Fat Boy Slob” illustrate the darker side of Head’s muse.

Clocking in at just under 35 minutes, “Olives Hairy Custard” is a wonderful thing to behold. The sleeve is dressed in suitable Birds custard colours - & features an illuminating shot of the group on stage in gnome hats & brightly coloured dungarees! Another quality release from the best Value label in the country: HYPERLINK "http://www.topplers.net" www.topplers.net

Watch out for Jowe’s new group – Angel Racing Food – currently cutting up a rug near you shortly. Keep an ear open.

Jean Encoule – tMx 20 – 07/05


The Criminal Sessions – V/A (Criminal Records)
Criminal Record’s roster collected for your edification. Released back in 2004 – this vibrant compilation showcases the cream of the Capital’s underground purveyors of quality popular music:

1/ Norton – “Ladybug” – Effervescent, educated song-craft with one eye on Damien Rice’s throne.

2/ Kent Thompson – “Love’s Eye” – A medium-fi Lenny Kravitz for the ASBO generation.

3/ Lowstar – “Out Of Control” – Convincing Emo-tinged populism complete with raging gtr solo of distinction.

4/ Kaibosh – “Los Ojos” – Soulful old skool classic rock.

5/ The Kut – “Don’t Want You” – Ska-informed blues with just a soupcon of soul.

6/ Shuffle – “My Friend’s Girlfriend” – Shambling, sampldelic celebration of betrayal.

7/ Crow – “Carry Me” – Emotionally pertinent balladry with one eye on balls-out rockism & the other on the charts.

8/ Crayon – “They” – Art-core flecked miserablism.

9/ Spider Redundant – “A Place In Your Mind” – Grooved up punk-metal with the emphasis on tuneage.

10/ Morvicious – “The Weaver Speaks” – Jazz-core? Lounge-metal? Chamber-rock? You decide.

11/ Sonja Van Linden Tol – “Soul Lullaby” – Subtly funked-up pop soul.

12/ Giantkind – “Confusion” – Elbow-esque tune-craft with additional sonic interference.

13/ Daniel – “Yellow Bus Of Hope” – Introspective croonage drenched in acoustic ambience.

14/ Dead Eye – “Die” – A lullaby from the 7th level of Dante’s Inferno that turns to squall by the chorus.

15/ The Mystery Artist – “In The Shadows” – Engaging weirdness from the outer reaches of sanity.

My favourite track on the LP:

16/ The Dirty Pins – “I Feel So Milton Keynes” – Almost the riff from “Another Girl Another Planet” - hastily redecorated with a coat of matt-finish wide-boy vocal paint. The ghost of The Libertines thrash around in the background. Superb. Somebody please let me know what feeling so Milton Keynes actually means – I’m dying to know.

17/ Les Figurines – “Hysterical” – Morrissey joins the Wedding Present.

18/ Kallinger Co. – “Punkslutz.com” – Poignant critique of trust-fund Punkers.

19/ DTI & Hypercube – “Violent Fluid” – Cut & paste psycho-trance pretending to be pop music.

A mish of genres, a mash of styles, a ton of commitment & just a wiff of DIY. What more can you ask of an independent concern in 2005? Answers on a demo tape to the following address:

www.criminalrecords.cc

Evan Halshaw – tMx 20 – 07/05


The Straps – “The Punk Collection” (Captain Oi)
During the course of their existence, The Straps (formed by Dave Reeves & Steve Macintosh in Battersea) line-up included Andi Sex Gang (Sex Gang Children), Stan Stammers (Theatre Of Hate), Luke Rendell (Theatre Of Hate & Crisis) & Jim Walker (PiL).

Their debut 45 – “Just Can’t Take Anymore” – was a rockabilly gem defiantly at odds with what (by 1979) had become the standard 3-chord ‘will this do’ excuse offered by so many a second-wave punksters. Their second 45 – “Brixton” – would prove to be their finest recorded moment.

Further liaisons with Rat Scabies from The Damned ensured The Straps their place in the history of British Punk Rock. Often compared to The Ruts at their most vicious, “The Straps: The Punk Collection” delivers 16-slices of authenticity including both sides of both 45s & plenty of previously unreleased material. Includes comprehensive sleeve-notes by Ian Glasper.

Read more about The Straps in Ian Glasper’s “Burning Britain” (ISBN 1-901447 – www.cherryred.co.uk

www.captainoi.com

Guy Debored – tMx 20 – 07/05


The Phobics – “Down & Out In Deptford”
We’ve already reviewed this once last issue – but the proper copies are available now - & it’s just as fucking brilliant as it was last time we reviewed it – so what the fuck?

The Phobics are a South-London institute – proper punky waver fare for full time punkers of conviction. No Paddington’s style trustfund Marshall stacks or gleaning Gibsons here. These boys make music for themselves & their fans - & they don’t give a flying fuck about anything else at all (OK, so maybe a little lager, a few New York Dolls reissues & The Star Spangles).

Featuring Afonso from The Parkinsons on drums, The Phobics are the real deal. Make. No. Mistake.

www.thephobics.com

Jean Encoule – tMx 20 – 07/05


Six By Seven – “Artists, Canibals, Poets, Thieves” (Saturday Night Sunday Morning Records)
You’ve got to feel sorry for groups like Nottingham’s Six By Seven. For a brief moment - back in the 90s - they were touted by the style-mongers of the UK fashion press as the ‘next big thing’ – caught in the headlamps of the media glare like a baby rabbit on a catseye. The promise was never fully realised - & the fickle finger of fashionable enterprise was already pointing at something totally different - & intrinsically hipper.

In the interim, Six By Seven have kept their noses in close proximity to the grindstone – this is their sixth LP, catalogue fans - & continued to plough their particular field regardless. Beautifully packaged in a black slipcase with superior attention to detail, “Artists, Canibals, Poets, Theives” is a master-class in gothic psychedelia. 9-tracks – 40 minutes – as concise as it is expansive. Six By Seven should have been the new Killing Joke. It’s your fault they’re not. You bastards.

www.sixbyseven.co.uk
Guy Debored – tMx 20 – 07/05
Contact: wastebin@trakMARX.com   trakMARX.com - Punk Rock …and Roll