Top Sounds - C

CARRY ONS, THE - Succession {Stik Man} Hmmm... This is a bit more polished and accessible than the debut album below. I frequently heard a MILLENCOLIN feel here, mixed with the melodic Punk of FACE TO FACE but also something more strident and powerful a’la SHADES APART. This Atlanta-based five-piece has dropped an album that is confident and, while still laced with some distinct direct-hit anthems, now comes with a noticeable dose of rock - which is most apparent on some of the slower, surging tracks like ‘Cut It Out’ and ‘IV’. Both those tracks emphasize the progression that guitarists Neil McCarty and Nick Pursche have made; it’s clear they’ve worked at arrangements and getting their guitars to work together to form one big, hard-hitting swathe of sound. Other highlights include ‘Rivers Of Asphalt’ and ‘West End’ while the closing TEMPTATIONS cover of ‘I Wish It Would Rain’ shows a vision and energy akin to AVAIL’s burn up of ‘Pink Houses’. Lyrics appear to be on par with the below, but the minimal promo packaging doesn’t allow me to be sure. (07.07.11)

CARRY-ONS - Is Anyone Listening? {Stik Man} Remember that rare beast - The Punk Rock album? Y’know, an album not hampered by sub-genre dictums a’la Ska-Punk, Pop-Punk, Crust, Emo or whatever. An album that doesn’t wallow in jokey apathy but is instead, political, focused and biting. An album that is, ultimately, good? Well, you’ll find it here. Dunno where CARRY-ONS are from in the States but they perfectly combine NAKED RAYGUN with HOSTAGE LIFE and throw in a big BOUNCING SOULS vibe (see ‘I Remember’) with a hint of a de-brassed CAPDOWN. Lyrically this is spot on with questions directed at war, insipid bland bands, journalistic deception and more. All are presented with thought and anger where appropriate. Highlights? Well, there’s not a duff track here but the AVAIL-esque ‘Apocalypse Song’, the plaintive ‘The War Is Over’ and ‘Middle Finger Painting’ that has RUTS-style dynamics all deserve a special mention. Production is clear, full and gives the vocals plenty of room to make their point. I would have liked the guitars a bit louder and a smidge more abrasive but that’s purely me looking to be objective! Great band, great album - and bona fide Punk Rock!  (10.09.10)

CHANNEL THREE - To Whom It May Concern: The 1981 Demos {TKO} One of the great unsung bands of the early USHC boom finally get an official release for the demos that brought the band to the attention of Robbie Fields and Posh Boy Recs. Making up this splendid purple/ white split 12" vinyl slab are two demos dated May and late August 1981 that total 13 tracks. All the early favourites are here, albeit in a rawer, more primal but less intense form: ‘I Got A Gun’, ‘Manzanar’, ‘Fear Of Life’ - classics. What’s of note to the fan is a respectful blitzkrieg burn through THE WHO’s ‘My Generation’. Given the short time between recordings, the second demo sees a noticeable increase in speed and aggression, taking influence from the burgeoning USHC scene of the time. That said, the band always retained an accessible structure about their songs and that, even in such embryonic days as the band’s first foray into a studio after the garage band days at Courtner Ave that these recordings represent, is evident. This is something of a collector’s item already as it is limited to 1,000 copies (well, 999 cuz there is NO WAY I am selling mine!), includes a CD version and sleeve notes from vocalist Mike Magrann himself. (07.12.09)

CHIEF - Apply Within {Household Name} Debut album from this HC troupe outta Liverpool, UK and from the opening blast of ‘One Spirit’ it’s clear these fellas not content to just rehash simple HC tricks and licks. While there is plenty of raging, melodic HC that brought to mind STEEL RULES DIE jamming with IGNITE complete with some seriously intense and tight riffage, gang vocals and the occasional damage-inducing breakdown, there are plenty of divergences into other styles that are effective and impressive. ‘This Island’ brings a LIGHTYEAR style vocal harmony into the raging ‘core, ‘A Place To Go’ throws in some dub-style Hip-Hop-esque verses while disc highlight ‘Exposures’ pivots around a killer chorus before dropping into a breakdown that wouldn’t be outta place on a CULTURE record and then culminating in an epic finale. Good to hear the band has a spot-on political conscience too as ‘Get Out’ among others prove. Refreshingly inventive and intelligent UKHC that knows how to groove without resorting to limp-dick Ska or dismal Metal moshing growls. (03.10.11)

CHILLERTON - Bleak Unison {Boss Tuneage} Newish British band made up of ex-members of JETS Vs SHARKS. You get 12 tracks of discordant but rocking melodic Punk. It never gets particularly fast but it does, in parts, hit hard when the band locks into a power riff, not dissimilar from some of the more bruising Touch and Go bands. It seems there’s a mid-period HOT WATER MUSIC influence, if mixed with the spacious, angular structures of ‘Repeater’ era FUGAZI. Add on a bit of RYDELL/ SENSEFIELD subtleties and you’re close. Highlights have to be the damage-inducing hit of opener ‘All We Know’, ‘Let’s Get Reckless’, the minimalist negativity of ‘Fingers Crossed’ and the pile-driving closer ‘You’ve Got Red On You’. Gotta say, I found some moments to be too mellow and introvert - they took my attention elsewhere - but soon a crunching riff and passionate vocal bellow drew me back into the cryptic and corrosive world of CHILLERTON. (19.06.09)

CHIXDIGGIT! - Safeways Here We Come {Fat Wreck} I’ve always had a lot of time for these Canadian exponents of gum-chewing, three-chord-rocking, witty and energised Pop-Punk. This seven track CDEP comes six years after the ‘Pink Razors’ album and, like that record, takes its lead from familiar RAMONE-o-core Punk Rock, throws in the classic power pop traits of CHEAP TRICK and the clever observations of MR T EXPERIENCE to create a foot-tappin’, head-bobbin’ slice of guitar groove cool. Highlights? Oh - it’s really best in one 17-minute sitting but opener ‘Miso Ramen’ is more infectious than crabs at an orgy, ‘Swedish Rat’ is a clever comedic ode to a hipster hairstyle and ‘Hot ‘n’ Horny’ is a swift 45-second blast of erectile bile. Excellent digipack sleeve also that embodies the band’s inoffensive, good times style. Recommended for those times you wanna blow the blues away. (06.07.11)

CHRIST ON PARADE - Loud And Live: KFJC Pit {Prank} Blazing 13-track, live-on-radio album from this semi-legendary USHC band. It’s the ‘all original members’ line-up, recorded in 2007, and has been remixed since its original radio broadcast. Original vocalist Barrie Evans makes a fine job of the tracks recorded after he left the band with ‘Riding The Flatlands’ and ‘Self-Serving’ in particular being crackers. There’s about five or six tracks from the classic ‘Sounds Of Nature’ album, the band is cutting and certainly shows no slowing of speed. The only real disappointment is opener, ‘Chaos Breeder’, that sounds a little too frantic and messy and the total absence of both ‘Landlord Song’ and ‘America The Myth’. ‘Another Country’ and an electrifying ‘Drop-Out’ provide highlights with the latter even approaching classic era DISCHARGE if mixed with a CRUCIFIX intensity. This is smoking HC played just as it should be - that is NO mosh-parts, NO death-grunts, NO horrendous Metal Power Violence influence and NO Screamo-Emo bollocks - just genuine, flat out, in your face, frenetic HC Punk. (22.06.09)

CITIZEN FISH - Goods {Alternative Tentacles} Eighth album from this British Ska-Punk legend, and it has to be said, this could be the band’s best yet. That’s not said in haste either as Dick Lucas has been responsible for some of the most thoughtful, intelligent and questioning lyrics I’ve ever read. From his SUBHUMANS days, through CULTURE SHOCK and onto CITIZEN FISH, he is probably THE lyricist responsible for changing my way of thinking. This album seems somewhat smoother than past CF albums, often recalling the greatness of THE SPECIALS - especially on ‘Fearless’. Best track is ‘Free Speech’ with a twisting arrangement, yell-a-long chorus and another set of fantastic, socially-observant and witty lyrics. Elsewhere ‘Better’ cruises on an addictive brass-lead melody evoking CULTURE SHOCK, ‘How Far Does It Go?’ that addresses some of the macho insecurities and hypocrisies that exist within our Punk scene and ‘Marker Pen’ that sees Dick trading vocal lines with bassist Jasper to stunning effect. Lyrics are presented in an excellent fold-out sleeve, production is bold and, surprisingly for a band eight albums in, you could be looking at Album of the Year. (13.05.11)

COBRA KHAN - Helgorithms {1157) Second release from this Kiwi band made up of ex-members of notables BALANCE, DAY ONE and, significantly, Milon Williams of Kiwi legends SOMMERSET. It’s a massive sounding album; one that makes the debut ‘Sleepless Lions’ sound whimsical (and it was anything but!). The influence of KILLING JOKE ‘Extremities Dirt And Various Repressed Emotions’ era pounding power can not be ignored, if mixed with the dexterity of ‘Real Thing’ era FAITH NO MORE. Add on some virtually orchestral arrangements and you have an idea of the wide, dramatic, aural panoramas created here. Highlights include ‘Fly On’ (the only track that could fit on the previous ‘Sleepless Lions’ without sounding outta place), the surging closer ‘Sixteen’, ‘Shutter’ that incorporates Sarah’s keyboards to stunning effect (in fact those keyboards are used to much greater effect on this release) and the epic pinnacle of ‘Walk Through Fire’. If there is a negative, it’s the vocals that are just too tough-guy Metal and not enough snotty Punk. Production and packaging are both top notch; on an international level, you won’t find many records that sound as massive or bludgeoning as this. A genre blurring release that COBRA KHAN and NZ should be very proud of. (12.07.09)

COBRA SKULLS - Agitations {Fat Wreck} Debut Fat album for this Reno trio and it proves, along with the EP below, that the band is probably the label’s best signing since DEAD TO ME. It’s a varied sound too, as its core it’s an impressive fusion of DEAD TO ME, BAD RELIGION and AGAINST ME!, but with divergences into jazz-tinged swing on ‘Drones’, acoustic country vibes on ‘The Mockery’ and the excellent closer ‘Believe’, some Rock ‘n’ Roll riffage on opener ‘Six Degrees’ and even a bit of BIG BOYS funk grooves on ‘The Minimum’ while high octane Punk Rock is represented in many ways, but none more so than ‘All Drive’. Luke’s drumming really propels this album, giving the songs a similar relentless energy as Clem Burke gave BLONDIE. Lyrically, it’s clear there’s a lot of thought gone into the words. There’s seems to be a bit of soul-searching in places along with political issues being to the fore but delivered in a thought provoking, cryptic manner. I really like the fact there are some great pieces of word play in many of the songs too ("Never be the industry, be industrious" - ‘Drones’). An impressive 13 tracks that swagger past in a mere 26 mins. Now that’s what I call music! (16.11.11) 

COBRA SKULLS - Bringing The War Home {Fat Wreck} After a series of releases on Red Scare, this Nevada based trio drops its debut Fat Wreck release and an interesting slab of melodic Punk Rock it is. Lyrically this is heavily political with intelligent critiques on American foreign policies and overseas wars in particular. Musically, there is a big nod toward ONE MAN ARMY if mixed with THE STRIKE, while of the five tracks is a clever cover of BAD RELIGION’s ‘Give You Nothing’ that suggests another influence. The band’s political voice continues in the graphics which combine images of a consumerist suburbia with those of war. ‘Doomsday Parade’ includes an understated brass section, ‘Ice In The Night’ employs a vague AGAINST ME! influence to a great, embittered effect and ‘Hot Sand’ grows upon a staccato riff before ricocheting into a broiling attack on war and apathy toward it. A very satisfying listen; it’s great to hear something with a distinct political stance that doesn’t come out screaming yet has more balls than simple folkish protest music. (12.07.11)

COCOCOMA - Things Are Not All Right {Goner} Second album from this Chicago trio and, once ya get past the surreal ‘Yellow Submarine’-esque sleeve, you find a thrilling sub-30 minute, 10 track slab of frivolous, mid-60s drenched Garage goo. Think the power-pop Mod crank of early WHO churned up by the brain of the late JAY REATARD and played with the edge of late 70s Scottish Punks THE REZILLOS and you’re close. A lot of work has gone into the vocal harmonies, best displayed on ‘It Won’t Be Long’ that also emphasises that mid-60s vibe. Other highlights include the raucous popstomp of ‘Enemies’, the frantic DICKIES-tinged ‘Never Be True’, the minimalist pounding of ‘Suspicious’ that evoked moments of CRAMPS psyche and the arrogant, catchy-as-crabs-at-an-orgy blast of ‘Water Into Wine’. In fact, any song on here could easily make a cracking single in any decade since the 60s. Lyrically, as the album title and certain songs suggest, the band has an air of discontent about it which gives the poptones a distinct, bitter sneer. Timeless stuff that sounds natural, that bites and most certainly rocks! (11.09.10)

COFFEE PROJECT - Moved On {Paper And Plastick} This is a bit of an anomaly! COFFEE PROJECT is a duo consisting of Jake Crown of REHASHER on acoustic guitar and vocals and Buddy Schaub from LESS THAN JAKE on trombone. The songs, generally, are witty and personal and propelled along by some impressive strumming from Crown. Highlights are closer ‘Big Trouble In Little Gainesville’ that brings in a violin, and adds some reflective, honest lyrics, and the uptempo, bitter ‘This Is Me Getting Over You In Two Chords Or Less’ that brought to mind AGAINST ME! and includes an excellent mass-vocalled chorus. All the best tracks are those with additional musicians with ‘Bubble In My Head’ bringing in a full band and rocking that much more for it and ‘I Will Run’ that includes an infectious chorus. As a negative, a few too many tracks followed the lyric-brass-lyric-brass trade off and got tiresome for it. Where this fits into the Punk Rock scheme of things I’m not sure as it’s a tad light and could feasibly go down well in a folk club full of beatniks. Dunno if it’s a promo-only deal, but this includes the ‘Easy Does It’ 10" release. The guitar sounds fuller but essentially it’s more of the same. (31.05.11)

COFFEE RAGE/ SICK/TIRED - Mad Blasts Of Chaos Vol. 2 {Idoneum Bello} This noxious 11-track 7" should come with a health warning! From the opening squelch of feedback that heralds COFFEE RAGE’s ‘Never Restrictions’, you find yourself in a world of hellacious Hardcore, inflammable thrash (that a disease??!) and explosive Crust-tinged Punk. New Zealand’s COFFEE RAGE pummel with seven tracks that borrow heavily from ‘Why’era DISCHARGE while throwing in the sounds of KAAOS/ RIISTETYT Finnish Punk to create thrashing, convulsive HC. Highlight lays in ‘Passing Shot At The Jesus Kids’, although the disdain of ‘Avalanche Of Shit’ comes a close second. Yanks SICK/TIRED belch up four tracks that some how mangle early CORROSION OF CONFORMITY ‘core, the unhinged craziness of IRON LUNG and MISERY’s corrosive Crust to make something intense, scornful and gut wrenching. As with all Idoneum Bello releases I’ve seen, this comes in an excellent sleeve complete with inserts. Blazing stuff; the House Of Scanner cat, in his eagerness to escape COFFEE RAGE’s Dischargian wail, first defecated on the carpet and then launched itself at the neighbour’s Pit Bull. And the cat tore the fucker to shreds with this baby acting as the soundtrack. Intense? You fucking betcha! (09.09.10)

COLANTUONO, DEJHA - Tea And Vodka {Mad Meow} As dark and sultry jazz vibes mixed with breezy New Wave power pop, the vocals somehow sounded familiar. There’s good reason too - DEJHA COLANTUONO used to be in Seattle’s ROTTEN APPLES! This, her debut album, is a very different slice of tuneage though. In place of the sneering arrogance of her band vocal is a confident, rich swagger akin to Annie Lennox (had she come from New Orleans). Some of the mellow moments, like ‘Waltz For Lucy’ and ‘Miss Fortune’ were just too sombre for me, even if they displayed a wonderful fragility about COLANTUONO’s vocals. ‘Color Blue’ (which had a near on BLONDIE vibe), ‘Anxiety’ with its soaring vocal and quality chorus and the taut, mischievous power of closer ‘Poolside’ all provide highlights and emphasize what a great singer COLANTUONO is. Elsewhere inventive programming kept interest alive - especially on the rolling ‘Fences’. Definitely a release for sedate Sunday mornings and those moments where you want something that is subtle but with a bit of bite. (26.07.09)

COLT SEAVERS - s/t {Boss Tuneage} Fucking hell, this is a mightily belligerent slab of relentless UKHC. This is the band’s debut release and for your hard-earned bones you get six tracks on a 7" wrapped in a neat DIY-style wraparound sleeve. The sound careers outta the speakers with a velocity matched only by the likes of CAREER SUICIDE infused with the Brit-core leanings of RIPCORD with the added manic, fuzzed bass dynamic of BIG BLACK. Highlight has to be ‘Mary Ann Kelly’ although the disdain of opener ‘Industry List’ runs a close second. The lyric sheets shows a wry sense of humour as it replaces the band’s lyrics with those of hair-rockers Van Halen, Guns ‘n’ Roses and KISS among others. There’s a download code too for the Ipodophiles reading. A breathless blast of brazen and blazing ‘core. More please!!! (17.09.10)

COMMON ENEMY - Living The Dream? {Overdose On/ Horror Business} Imagine the words snotty, belligerent, boisterous, degenerate, scathing, relentless, profane and arrogant all put to the sound of a punishingly fast as fuck Punk Rock blast and you’ll have an idea of the cantankerous commotion these four fellas outta Pennsylvania spit out. There’s 20 songs here, totaling less than 28 minutes covering topics like partying, beer, skating, zombies, partying, computer games, the mundanity of the daily grind and partying some more. Only ‘Police Story’ (a veritable cracker), ‘Never Enough’ and ‘Shut Your Mouth’ show any socio-political leaning. Musically this is fast, uncompromising HC that welds the frivolous ferocity of ADRENALIN OD with a PENNYWISE bluster. Vocalist Gary Critical has one of the most petulant voices heard in years, mixing ‘Very Proud Of Ya’-era Davey Havoc with the noxious growl of Stza Crack. Highlights include the title track (featuring Jason Navarro outta SUICIDE MACHINES), ‘My Board, My Rules’, ‘Beer Bong’ and the locked in Thrash of ‘Just Another Enemy’. Blazing ‘core with enough breakdowns to prevent it being too one dimensional. Excellent art work also. (09.11.09)

CORTINAS, THE - Punk Rock Anthology {Anagram} Is this really be the first CD retrospective of Bristol’s first Punk band? If so, it’s about fucking time! This compiles all the band released plus its July ‘77 John Peel session. The band’s two singles - ‘Fascist Dictator’ and ‘Defiant Pose’ - make a formidable opening salvo. Both are classics of the era, combining SHAM 69 with CHELSEA they form mandatory Punk Rock history and listening. The Peel session follows with a slightly longer but possibly better take on ‘Defiant Pose’ before the 1978 album, ‘True Romances’ creates a rather different feel. Combining VAPORS/ XTC style New Wave with a hint of THE JAM (especially in Jeremy Valentine’s vocal) and a return to the band’s R&B roots, it’s an interesting if slightly tame album; where it should be spitting, it seems to favour decorum and swallows instead. Two of its tracks are on the Peel Session in a much more cutting form. As always with Anagram, this includes a neat booklet with photos and band history. Trivia fans may like to know the band included Nick Sheppard who was in the final line-up of what went under the moniker of THE CLASH. For eight tracks, this is essential ‘77 Punk. As a compilation, it’s a long overdue collection and one I am chuffed to finally see. (20.12.10)

COURTESY MURDER - Population Control {Stik Man} This band, which I think has now split up, got it all correct on this 16-track slab of gnarled and noxious Punk Rock. From the bright yellow and black aesthetics and the choice of graphics to the out spoken, socio-political conscience of the lyrics, to the cutting brash and boisterous mid-fast tempo Punk sounds, this is a winner all the way. Imagine ANTI-FLAG being abused by DI with CHRON GEN waiting their turn and you’ll have the idea. Add a politicised Glen Danzig on vocals and you’re there. Standouts include the excellent observation on suicide bombers in ‘Northbound Train’, the Guantanamo inspired ‘Throw The Switch’, ‘Captain America’, ‘Mr. Walker’ and ‘Old Rock Station’ that laments the commercialisation of radio. You even get a couple of dub-reggae style tracks and a Van Halen cover! The only negative is the production; it sounds a bit thin in parts with drums and vocals taking precedence over guitar. That aside, this is good stuff that makes the likes of US BOMBS sound very, very tired. The crime is that this band will no doubt fail to get even 25% of the recognition afforded US BOMBS. Sad sad sad...  (10.09.10)

CREEPERSIN - The Rise Of.../ Faster Creepersin Kill Kill {Creepsville} Dear Mr. Danzig, Only, Doyle and Steele. Thank you for creating a great band in the shape of the MISFITS, but curse you for inspiring a horde of devil-locked worshipping Neanderthals to don white face make-up and ape your band to the point of cabaret. CREEPERSIN is clearly a band that attends the Church of Astro Zombies as the first of these two reissues prove. Released back in 2005, ‘The Rise Of...’ is a snappy slab of Horror Punk. It lacks the unbridled attack and aggression of THE MISFITS but does carry enough identity to place CREEPERSIN on a ‘Hell Comes To Your House’ for the 2000s. Vocalist Creep Creepersin (haha!!) has a rather laconic croon which sounds too lethargic to my ears, but seems to fit. Highlights? ‘Dead By Dawn’ and ‘Last House On The Left On Mockingbird Lane’ both upped the pace and the aggro and were better for it. Recorded one year later, ‘Faster Creepersin Kill Kill’, is more of an oddity. Creep brought in his wife, Mrs. Creep (who else?!), and decides not to credit any other musician even though a full band is apparently present. The album sounds a bit brighter than the previous but, if anything, it emphasises the failings of Creep’s voice. Here he seems to drone on like a vacuum cleaner, losing himself in the mix and sounds, far too often, as though he is singing through a valium-induced smog - listen to the drawl of ‘My Chucky Doll Came To Life’ for coma-inducing proof. I’m sure this is not intended to be taken too seriously, but the joke wears toilet-paper thin. Shit packaging too. (23.06.11)

CROCODILE GOD - Once Upon A Time In The North {Boss Tuneage} I thought these Scouse scallywags split up years ago! According to the PR blurb, the band was on hiatus since 2000 before getting back together in 2006. Last I heard of them was the rather excellent ‘Stella’ 12" on Crackle back in 1998 - until this 13 track slice of thrashtastic melodic Punk. First off, I have to say the artwork of Katie Scott is really impressive and original for a Punk Rock release. As for the sounds, this is fast but not noisy UK Punk. Think primal BUZZCOCKS played by early MEGA CITY FOUR but at the pace of ZERO BOYS or FAITH and you’re there. The songs flash by in less than 25 minutes with highlights being ‘The Scene As You Are Leaving’ that samples the speech of Furher Thatcher as she left Downing Street to excellent effect; the ramalama guitar riffage of ‘M.N.IM.I.A.A.A.’ and, best of all, ‘The Ark’ that has a chorus the early Beatles would’ve sacrificed McCartney for but played at the pace of SCREECHING WEASEL on Speed. It’s great to hear these guys back again - especially in such hyper-speed fashion. (14.10.11)

CROSS STITCHED EYES - Coranach {Alternative Tentacles} Second album from this powerful bunch of internationals (members reside in USA, UK and Germany) and the band’s first release for AT. It’s an Anarcho/ Crust sound but with an injection of melody and structure that the genre often lacks, resulting in a mix of ANTISECT’s defiant power, pulsating KILLING JOKE rhythms, hints of DEAD KENNEDYS guitar (see ‘Suffer’) and a LEFTOVER CRACK-esque vocal attack. The band features Jason Willer formerly of ENEMIES (and UK SUBS), guitarist Tim Crow of BAD INFLUENCE and drummer Trotsky of SUBHUMANS! Highlights include the pulverising metallic clang of ‘Age Of Consumption’, the relatively melodic dynamics of ‘Breath Of Lies’, the blunt direct riffing of ‘Stitched’ and the claustrophobic ‘Become Earth’ which is not a million miles from the portentous sound of THE MOB. Can’t tell ya a thing about packaging as AT decided to send this out with nothing more than a press release. Neat. Soundwise, I can tell you this is a challenging and very satisfying slice of Anarcho-infused Hardcore Punk. (12.07.09)

CULTURE SHOCK - Everything {Bluurg} I’ve been hoping that the back catalogue of CULTURE SHOCK maybe remastered and rereleased, but I never imagined it may appear as something this spectacular. For those who don’t know, CULTURE SHOCK was the band that Dick Lucas formed after SUBHUMANS and before CITIZEN FISH. Musically, the band played a dub-Ska-Punk vibe that was electric to view live and exhilarating on record. This boxset (yep, box set!!) contains three CDs each with individual artwork and a 60-page booklet that contains all the lyrics, photos and interview excerpts. As the name suggests, the discs cover everything the band released including the two demo cassettes, ‘Stonehenge’ from the compilation EP of the same name plus the ‘Go Wild’ and ‘All The Same’ mini-albums and the classic ‘Onwards And Upwards’ album. Then there are a some rarities in the form of a couple of live tracks. The remastering sounds excellent, bringing new life to songs already engrained in my mind. Highlights? Lots!! The exuberant ‘Countdowns’, the entire ‘Onwards And Upwards’ album... Each track should be seen as definitive UK Ska-Punk and the band’s place in history should be as imposing as that of OPERATION IVY. What’s more, Bluurg is retailing this at a dirt cheap post-paid price. You can’t go wrong but you can Go Wild (My Son). Classic stuff. (03.09.11)

CUTE LEPERS - Adventure Time {Damaged Goods} Third album from Seattle’s very own suburban studs and what a corker it is!! Although rooted firmly - nay DEFIANTLY! - in the spirit of ‘77, there’s none of the tiresome Pub Rock ploddiness or regurgitated thrash-by-numbers that uninspired revivalists so often employ. Instead, these 12 tracks are effervescent, nitrate-driven Power-Pop gems that are snappy, snotty and delivered with a sneer but remain intensely catchy and addictive. The big comparison here is THE BOYS in terms of perfect, concise songwriting (check out opener ‘Tribute To Charlie’, ‘Foxy Society’ and the closing title track) but that’s coupled with the adrenal buzz guitar of early BUZZCOCKS (check ‘Damaging Acts’ and ‘All Of This Attention Is Killing Me’). Add on a primal, sneering US Punk vibe a’la TESTORS and some seriously seductive femme backing vocals and you’re in Punk Rock heaven. Other highlights include ‘Noisy Song’ that pivots around a bass line as ridiculously memorable as ‘A Town Called Malice’, ‘77’ that’s written by THE BOYS’ Duncan Reid and the rollicking ‘I Can’t Do Things’. Production is bold and brazen - definitely an album for digging out the brothel creepers - let the pogo commence. Thrilling stuff!!! (28.08.11)

Hit HERE for material reviewed prior to 2009 including: