INTERROBANG! - Interrobang!
Chumbawamba will always be best known, and to a certain degree were hamstrung, by the success of "Tubthuming". Whilst they had serious, libertarian socialist aims from the outset, most people will be blissfully unaware of these and just think of them as the band that extolled the virtues of whiskey, larger and cider.
It's now been nearly six years since they called it a day and ex members have gone on to produce films, theatre and, in the case of lead vocalist Dunstan Bruce and drummer Harry Hamer, form a new band INTERROBANG! Along with Stephen Griffin, former member of Regular Fries, they have a vision of creating something both current and relevant, which also speaks to the generation who grew up with the hopes and dreams of punk, but now find themselves knee deep in the 50-something blues.
"Here Now", the opening track of their eponymous debut album, is a semi spoken number. It looks back on why they first got into music and the pitfalls that subsequently befell them, even though their passion clearly still burns brightly. "The Inclement Weather", "Asking for a Friend" and "Taciturn" are short bursts of punk and, with the exception of the final track, all songs on the album come in at under three minutes.
Perhaps because of the ages of the band members, many of the songs seemingly concern problems that largely come with middle age. Death in particular, whether of loved ones or the realisation of ones own mortality, are addressed head on in songs like "Curmudgeon", "Do You Remember", "Based on a True Story" and "Love It All". However, this does not mean that the tracks themselves are dirges and in fact they are largely catchy and upbeat tunes.
There are nods to their influences in songs such as "Are You Ready People?" which borrows heavily from "Staring at the Rude Boys" and this pent up punk aggression bubbles to the surface in "Mad as Hell" and "Am I Invisible Yet?", although the latter does go on a rather psychedelic trip towards the end.
So I think that it is safe to say that if, you were a fan of Chumbawamba, you are going to like this. Whilst their lyrics seem more on a personal level, rather than trying to bring down the global illuminati, they still retain the angst and anger of their younger days and in so doing prove that once a punk rocker, always a punk rocker!