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,

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)
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)
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

I can.

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)
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 (
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 John's rifle.

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 level?

Steve Rudd : The Beauty of Tragedy (
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 one.

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 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 else”.

Rosey R*E*P*E*A*T, April 09, Swansea