SICK 56 - Punishment CD
Here's SICK 56's second album, recorded between 2003 and 2005 and released in August 2006. 12 tracks, out of which 3 were previously released on the split 7''s they did with HIGGINS++.
Opening song Violence is probably the best one here. Most of the songs have an early ONE WAY SYSTEM meets later day EXPLOITED feel to them. UK 82 type stuff with a touch of metal guitar and metal production. Not bad. It's very energetic, and sometimes quite catchy, especially compared to most of their UK peers. Singer/guitarist UKNige is currently in ONE WAY SYSTEM too by the way. Some of the guitars sounds like Loggerheads era D.O.A.
The lyrics deal with familiar topics; the government, injustice and war, but they're well written and seem honest and concerned rather than posed and generic. There's a song about how MTV ''punk'' bands suck too.
I think I liked the first album better, but it's still pretty good. Comes with a 12-page lyric booklet. There's the bonus of a video for Violence you can play on your computer.
V/A - The Ugly Truth About Blackpool Vol.2 CD
While Volume 1 was a retrospective comp this is a collection of current bands. All but one of the 26 songs are from 2006 or 2005.
The CD opens with SICK 56's Violence (reviewed above), and it is a stand out track both on their new album and this Blackpool, UK sampler. Next is KRAUL, they play lame MTV pop grunge. THE TOMMYS are pop in THE DONNAS or MUFFS way. It's ok actually, and the vocals are done by one of THE FITS' daughter.
FES PARKER has a novelty song that goes ''don't take away my take away'' over and over again, on top of mid-tempo surf pop. WALTER AND THE KNOBHEADS have an 80's US New Wave rock feel to them. Like something on the Restless or IRS record labels. Forgettable if not pointless. Then there's a 15 sec metal song by HIT BY AN APPLE.
LIMOUSINE sound American and dated; bland, slow and boring grunge meets indie. THE SOUND OF SUPERSTRING is a bit more interesting. Like a 50's b-movie voice over, on top of a choir, on top of a rock number. LITTERBUG goes la-la-la-laa with a background of slow somewhat metalish indie pop.
ONE WAY SYSTEM now sound more like SICK 56 than old ONE WAY SYSTEM, but it's still pretty good, even though the chorus on the track here is oddly tempoed. SECTION 25 has a number that is really just one bass line, a beat and semi-spoken vocals. Sounds improvised. Like an 1979 PUBLIC IMAGE LTD track without JOHN or KEITH. One of the better songs on this compilation. OUTL4W do their RAMONES type title track from their debut album.
Then there's a slow acoustic guitar song by THE NEON TREES, with a really good female voice. Next up is an edited version of Cool Britannia Uber Alles by HIGGINS++, which is the old DEAD KENNEDYS number redone with lyrics about TONY BLAIR, and for some reason; metal guitars and cock rock yeah-eah-yeahs that makes it sound more like SOUNDGARDEN than DEAD KENNEDYS. Witch is true about next act LUPUS IN FABULA, even though their song is slower and much more MTV. Boring. WHEN PEOPLE BECOME NUMBERS do fast start and stop metal with growling vocals.
UFX is like a diet version of MOTORHEAD. Not bad, though the song is too much of a standard rock riff; something you've heard a million times before. Followed by somewhat generic UK indie pop band THE STREETLIGHTS. They would probably like me to mention MORRISSEY here, and being a nice guy I will. More indie pop from REPORTING EMILY, who use too much reverb on the vocals and some 80's synth here and there. THE SENTON BOMBS are action rock mixed with US pop punk, shouting lyrics about ''666'' and ''oh-wow''. There may be something about ''baby'' and ''fire'' in it too.
Next up is 60's folk protest band DANSE OF THE DEAD with really annoying good-guy vocals singing ''show me love on the battlefield'' with some gothic / celtic / whatever flute type druid hippie thing going on in the background. EMPTY HEADED HEROES play off the rack metal, then some dodgy U2 thing and then back to the metal. They're followed by musician's type music from SINISTER FOOTWEAR with lots of scat singing and solos on top of a mid 60's pop song. Their name is from a FRANK ZAPPA song, which should tell you something.
EARTHLING SOCIETY do heavy stoner rock in a heavy stoner rockin' way. Not bad at all, and a track you can drink to, which is rare on this comp that is mainly university student-ish stuff, like THE INTERRUPTIONS and their early 90's brit pop. The CD ends with DAS HASSELHOFFS who goes from metal to winey, mellow grunge and back again.
Im not sure a cover-all comp from one city is such a good idea. As a promotional sampler maybe, but few if anyone are going to put this on and play it from start to finish, like you would a comp based on musical merits rather than geography. Volume 1 was free, I don't know if this is too.
UK readers take note; JSNTGM is planning simular CDs from other towns so get in touch with them if you're interested in contributing your stuff.
EATER - Live At Barbarellas 1977 LP (Get Back / Abraxas Records)
One full gig in Birmingham on August 30 1977 with the bonus of a distorted and mashed No Brains remix and 8 minutes of singer ANDY BLADE reading from his book. 16 tracks in all.
The gig is a good one and as you all know EATER had some great songs. The sound quality on this one is pretty decent, and EATER live albums are scarce. Maybe not the same energy coming through here as on the Live At The Roxy album or their great studio LP, but still a very good record. It has all your old favourites on it.
The extract from The Andy Blade Chronicles is about Birmingham and Barbarellas among other things, so it ties in nicely with the gig. ANDY also was involved with the art work on this. Good to see people still care about EATER. Nice packaging with inner sleeve notes and the odd old picture, though the front cover is just a blow up of the old CD giving it a dodgy computer pixel look.
That's it really, what can I say - buy it if you've got the studio stuff already.
SEX PISTOLS - Never Mind The Bands Tour LP (''TMOQ'')
Yet another SEX PISTOLS vinyl album from the Stockholm bootleg label using the old TMOQ name. As the previous releases - Helsingborg and San Antonio - this is a gig not available on vinyl before. It's Mr. George's, Coventry on December 17 1977.
The two first songs are missing, but that have always been the case with this recording. Most likely the member of the audience who taped it originally came in late. The other eight are here in full low-fi glory. This is the first in this series where the new LP version might even sound slightly better than the old tape I already had, though the quality is better in the beginning than in the end of it.
Apart from the music you get a lot of interaction between the band and the audience, mainly ''Off the stage! Off the stage!'' met by ''Fuck off!''. This was a very small hall with too many punters and a lot of time was spent trying to move the audience back. The band was really good this night. I like this gig a lot. Too bad a better recording isn't available.
The album title is either a word play on, or a miss spelling of the name of their last UK tour in the 70's - Never Mind The Bans. The whole thing comes in a plain brown sleeve with a 12''x12'' insert. Very old school and recommended to anyone collecting the band.