God Loves Us and He Hates You
Bomb Factory : Bomb Factory cd
Don't you sometimes wish that all bands could be like Bomb Factory?
I know that sometimes I do.
While the in crowd are obsessed with their hair cuts and their effects pedals and their ganga and their girl/boyfriends, Bomb Factory continue to rail against the world and its injustices.
One of which is that this band is still unsigned.
This release indicates how far they have evolved from their original lo-fi ranting punk-poetry origins, when they used to release underproduced white vinyl masterpieces on dodgy local labels. It shows that they have hatched into a seriously spiky 5 piece rock band, producing what could be seen as a tilt at some proper success, as high profile producer Paul Tipler twiddles the knobs and realises their potential as a contemporary, uncomfortable, leftfield response to noiseniks like Steve Albini and Big Black.
'Tapes', the first track on the CD, is fantastic feedback pocked, jarring, a-tonal attack on our surveillance society, its discordant guitar shards accurately recreating the victim's descent into paranoid madness. Second track, 'We Spend the Money We Make', still bubbles with righteous indignation, but also has a more melodic, polished, almost punk-pop sound, as it veers between the rage and resignation of the person next to you on the bus, in the waiting room, in the funeral procession, at the checkout... The CD finishes with the hit single that should have been, 'God Loves Us and He Hates You', a lyrical gem whose sonic and verbal barbs are sharpened by Tipler's production and aimed ruthlessly at hypocritical religious fanatics of all creeds, who wallow in fear, intolerance and violence.
In a sane, happy world, Bomb Factory would be headlining Cambridge Corn Exchange while Simon Cowell and Peter Mandelson cleaned the toilets.
As it is, maybe I'll be lucky and get to see them play the Portland Arms.
You should too.
The DeRellas Hollywood Monsters (www.myspace.com/thederellas1)
Talking about playing the Portland Arms, everyone who caught The DeRellas at their recent show there, left the room with a fixed grin on their faces. Even in the cramped backroom of a pub, to a modest and in some cases initially stunned collection of students, indie kids and misfits, The DeRellas strode on the stage as if they were The Pistols playing at Finsbury Park and tore into their set as if there was no tomorrow. Frontman Robbie spewed Iggy/Johansen charm and aggression, to the accompaniment of blitzkrieg guitars and primal drums. They were incredibly good fun!
Their album 'Hollywood Monsters' doesn't disappoint either, as it packs all the energy, excitement and impact of the live show, and indeed sounds as if it could be a lost classic from 1978. Standout tracks for me are the explosive 'She's a Pistol', the incendiary 'All Fired Up' (whose sound suggests that the band would do well gigging with The Towers of London), the highly pertinent 'Freakshow' and the glam-punk re-working of Carly Simon's 'You're So Vain' [whatever that was Ed].
If you like your glam-pop-punk with huge melodies, trademark buzzsaw guitars and a real whiff of the late 70s, time to get yourself some Hollywood monsters.
Avondale 45 (www.myspace.com/avondale45)
This is a weird one. Really. I had it handed to me by another review (hi Joey!) who couldn't take it seriously due to half the press release pointing out how right on the band are, and stressing that the lyrics to Xmas Time are ''drenched in irony, and that is really not OK to be sexist.
Absolutely, I agree with this 100 percent, but if you have to spell this out (in capital letters, no less) on your press release, then maybe something is lacking in your lyrics and in your music?
Similarly the closing comments of said press release: Fuck the BNP, Fuck the terror threats, fuck the bigots, fascists and racists. Top sentiments again, but does this need spelling out on a press release? Surely there's a danger of us reviewers concluding that bands that REALLY mean it (like Bomb Factory) make their stance obvious in their lyrics and their music?
Lead track 'Xmas Time' itself is a conundrum; to me it smells like an anti-Christmas cash in (and I know all about those!), trying to milk the inevitable nausea created by Christmas saccharine pop overdose. And not creating a very good song in the process, for me its only powerful bit is the 'irony drenched' line already discussed - you fucking whore. Once this line is removed (in the Radio Edit) the song seems to lose any impact it ever had. References to Santa and a few bells do not a powerful anti-Christmas song make.
This is all rather a shame as the other tracks show a lot of promise, 'Vive La Revolution' is a particularly strong rant against a messed up world, adapting the shambling beats of the Libertines or the early Clash to draw a powerful parallel between the Nazi party and religious fanatics. Extra tracks 'Don't Shoot Just DANCE' and 'Won't You Save My Life' are also worth a listen.
So, that's all very encouraging.
And, very admirably, early profits from this were going to the posties strike. Putting their money where their press release is. Now put your mouths and your music there too.
The Drums : I Feel Stupid (www.myspace.com/thedrumsforever)
Quite exciting it is too; others before them have mixed 50s surf rock with a new wave slant, but The Drums manage to stand out by giving this track a dancey, Factory Records style edge.
And it's as catchy as swine flu.
Great giggles at the end too.