Audience of One
Rosey R*E*P*E*A*T gets up to some mischief of one kind and another
Beat Motel Issue 9 (£1 and A5 sae from PO
Box 773, Ipswich, IP1 9FT, www.beatmotel.co.uk)
When I read Beat Motel I mourn, I really mourn, for the days of the
huge printed R*E*P*E*A*T fanzine. Yes, the website is immediate and
popular and less deadly to trees, but I wish, how I wish, that the record
label, the gigs, the recording and the website, the anti-Fascism and
the other politics and the football in the Community and yes I suppose,
that little matter of earning some pennies to fund everything else,
didn't make it impossible for me to create something like this again.
Not only is Beat Motel stuffed with intelligent, opinionated, well
written gig, CD and zine reviews, it's the other stuff that makes it
so appealing. The cut and paste punk ethos of the layout, the obvious
care editor Andrew obviously goes to to get his images and the anarchic
humour of the unexpected juxtapositions of picture and word all make
it a visual treat. Then there's the off kilter rantings of many gifted
contributors; this issue they've been asked to write on 'procreation'
and the articles are without exception, amusing, well written and unexpected
in their take on the theme Andrew's own piece on having to give
a sperm sample after 'a knock in the bollocks' was especially honest,
disarming and funny.
And then Jason Wray's in-depth analysis of the lyrics of Elton John's
'Saturday Nights Alright (For Fighting)' is just pure class... something
you have to see to believe!
R*E*P*E*A*T originally got its inspiration from other zines
ancient ones I'd read about in England's Dreaming such as Sniffin Glue
and Temporary Hoarding, but also the first generation Manics Fanzines
such as Stay Beautiful, Last Exit and Insane. It makes me proud (if
a little wistful) to see these inspirations passed on to another generation
by the likes of Beat Motel. Go buy...
Fuck Dress : Everything's Ultra Now! Ep (nrone records) www.myspace.com/fuckdress
I'd been unable to resist the temptation to buy this (at a recent jaw-droppingly
exciting gig) even before it came out, and certainly before I got this
review copy. Fuck Dress have to be one of the brightest rays of sunshine
in my life over the past 12 months. Distorted post-punk guitars and
loud as fuck stand up drumming are the soundtrack to these paeans on
the complexities, follies and hypocrisies of modern life, delivered
in a way that manages to be both spoken and yet also catchily tuneful,
with some striking male-female harmonies. This CD includes the intelligently
pithy put-down of 'Subrurban Nietzche Freak' (previously only available
on vinyl) and 3 new tracks, of which 'My Town' is an interesting departure
from previous compositions, and which works very well.
Fuck dress? Fuck yes!
Violet Violet : C-C-C-Cat (nrone records) www.myspace.com/violetviolet1
This is a spiky slab of raw garage girl-powered punk rawk, it's straight
in yr face with no frills and no pretensions, just drums, bass, guitars
and voices twining around yr skull and into yr subconscious like a pussy
after a pigeon. Violet Violet are about to take their brand of Huggy
Bear meets the Ronettes on tour across Britain and Europe can
you escape their purple paws?
The Saturdays Just Can't Get Enough
And I'm with Rod Liddle who says, "Red Nose Day is a bullying smugfest
for a nation of cretins".
Rise Against Audience of One (Interscope) www.myspace.com/riseagainst
Very palatable commercial punk paean with huge drums, cascading chorus
and chiming guitars, just the sort of thing to get you going on a slow
morning in Wales. Apparently it packs a political punch too but I can't
feel it, maybe you need to see the video to get hit, but as I'm without
the internet here, there's no chance of that. Perhaps songs should be
able to stand up on their own anyway, and this slow-burner seems well
capable of that.
Kutosis : Yoyoyoyoyoyoyo ep (www.myspace.com/kutosis)
Now this is what I call real political punk. Edgy, frenetic, angular
and as hyper as a class of kids in a Haribo factory, this ep has me
leaping up and down like the aforementioned Yo-yo, not giving me room
to breathe. Stand out track for me is 'Joseph' for the way it manages
to intertwine a truly memorable riff with earnestly shoe-boxed lyrics
, but lead track 'You Told Me Devro Decides' also packs a climatic chorus
to kill for. Think Gang of Four taking aim at McCarthy with The Three
If (like me) you'd been wondering what Kutosis have been doing since
the R*E*P*E*A*T release of the rather wonderful 'Vultures' ep, here's
your answer so when are they going to be yo-yo-ed to the next
Steve Rudd : The Beauty of Tragedy (www.myspace.com/steveruddmusic)
Ten or so years ago the NME said of Steve Rudd 'he is so lo-fi he can
barely be bothered to pick up his guitar'. Maturity (or whatever) has
persuaded him to go into a proper recording studio and release some
proper songs; these feature the trademark poetic lyrics and refusal
to conform but also sound a bit more like conventional singer-songwriter
ditties, as Steve now can be bothered to pick up his guitar or
more commonly a piano. Not really my thing it must be said, but these
four husky, urgent, smouldering tracks in search of an audience deserve
Fashoda Crisis : Mischief of One Kind and Another
There's no helpful crib sheet of a press release with this, no information
at all, not so much as a myspace address (try www.myspace.com/fashodacrisis).
So you and I will have to rely on my ears. Which yell out at me 'Big
Black', which is no bad thing at all. Lead track 'What God Meant to
Say' could even be a rejected early version of 'Fish Fry', from the
vocal inflections to the melodic twangs in the slabs of guitar and the
crowbar drums, this could be Steve Albini at his best (with a pinch
of Rage Against the Machine spoken agitation in the middle 8). Insistent,
uncompromising, demanding to be heard isn't it time you got up
to some mischief?
Condo Fucks : Fuckbook (Matador)
Thinking of being mischievous, I only decided to listen to this due
to its title. I didn't realise Condo Fucks were something of a Connecticut
phenomenon in the 1990s, releasing 4 albums and being name checked by
Yo La Tengo. Which lead to a flurry of interest in their songs, such
as 'Fuckin' Gary Sandy' and 'Let's Get Rid of New Haven', an interest
which couldn't be quenched as the records were pressed in limited quantities
and quickly sold out, and the band were too old school to embrace Myspace.
This release should be more easily available (and there's plans for
an unofficial myspace), but instead of showcasing their original songs
Fuckbook features covers of Small Faces, Richard Hell, Beach Boys, Electric
Eels, Troggs, Flaming Groovies and Slade classics all given the Condo
Fucks treatment. Which seems to mean turning the fuzzbox up, increasing
the tempo, adding some distorted surf-punk harmonies and then letting
rip. So in the pages of the Fuckbook we have 11 glorious super-garagey
punk covers of songs you thought you knew. Refreshing, exhilarating,
slightly unhinged and a great laugh.
Condo Fucks are everything that rock music lacks today
'rock'n'roll' for this generation without destroying the legendary past
as The Connecticut Post put it, and who dares disagree with them?
Pet Shop Boys : Love etc
The Pet Shop Boys claim that their new album 'Yes', for which this is
a taster, sounds like nothing we've done before. Not sure
why they would claim that, as this has all the elements you'd expect
from the band; enticingly cooing vocals, subtle yet unique electronic
production and a pop sensibility that soars to the sunny blue skies
here on Swansea station. As 'Attitude' says, when it comes to
British pop music there are The Pet Shop Boys and then there's everybody
Rosey R*E*P*E*A*T, April 09, Swansea