Top Sounds - E

EARTH MOTHER FUCKER - I Fuck Therefore I Am {Antigen} PODCAST PLAYED A nearly-all capturing compilation of this confrontational Garage/ noise outfit from Ipswich, England. Recordings date back to 1990 through to 2001 featuring two demos and the 2001 EP ‘Give Us Strength’. Needless to say, this ain’t for sensitive souls. It’s a punishing, relentless attack that fuses lo-fi SONIC YOUTH-esque noise jams with incendiary Garage Punk a’la STOOGES at their most destructive. Featuring Ipswich iconoclast, Bruce MacGregor on vocals, these are damaged, and damaging, songs that focus on MacGregor’s delivery and the guitar mutilations of Rick Baylor. Plenty of highlights be it the eternal classic that is the title track, the churning brutality of ‘Lord Of The Gutter’ both of which are on the debut demo from 1990, the discordant jams of ‘Rock’ from the 1994 demo and the frenzy of the title track from the ‘Give Us Strength’ EP. Packaging is fantastic as the digipack features some images of sexual degradation which is then packaged in a black plastic bag containing, black rubber gloves, a black (expired) condom, a porn cutting and a selection of calling cards offering Bruce’s services. Oh - and limited copies come with a lathe-cut 7” of the title track. Download code too. Subversive, compulsive and totally mandatory - especially if you have ever seen the band cut it up live. (20.11.19)
EAST TOWN PIRATES - Ship Of Fools {Rumrunner} Third long-player of raucous pirate Punk Rock and Roll from these Suffolk Scallywags. Kicks off with a very subtle little folk(Ish) ditty before hitting in with the title track, which could claim to be the band’s best track yet. Other goodies include ‘Voodoo Pirate Rock ‘n’ Roll’ that had a vague TURBONEGRO feel to it, the rather smart musical reworking of Henry E. Wilkes’s poem ‘Takers Lane’ that’s got texture, class and energy enough that the likes of REAL MCKENZIES would probably sell their bagpipes for, the singalong, soaring ‘Dead Man’s Cove’, an electric take on UK SUBS’ ‘Higher Tide’ and ‘Rat City’ that tells of disillusionment with their (and my) hometown, while closer ‘Betrayal’ is like a more amped MEN THEY COULDN’T HANG. It’s solid stuff, more varied in terms of sound than previous ETP albums and while not reaching the heady heights of Rikki and Kev’s previous band RED FLAG 77, is still a solid body of songs. Neat cover too. (31.03.19)
EDWARD IN VENICE - Empathy {Lockjaw} Seven-track EP from this five-piece outta Persaro, Italy which is the band’s fourth release. It’s well played stuff too, kinda like some fusion between SAMIAM, RED LIGHTS FLASH and PEARS with a splodge of modern Emo thrown in for good (or not) measure. It’s much more melodic than the ‘screaming-fast melodic Hardcore’ the press release promotes - in fact second track ‘High Tide’ brings in a few Math Rock technicalities even. ‘Spark The Philly’ alternates between throat-lacerating screams and melodic vocal refrains with an inventive stop-start riff and pastoral middle-eight making what could be the best track on the EP. That dual vocal approach worked well on ‘Pipe Dream’ also. This is clearly well-played stuff, sharp production and inventive arrangements but it didn’t really thrill me that much; the tracks seemed a bit over complicated and cluttered. Not one I’ll head back to too often. (22.06.19)
ELDER ABUSE - Burnt {Little Rocket Records} Firstly, that band name is fucking awful. Yeah, it’s meant to be a bit humorous, but it put me off before even playing the record. This band features ex-members of DAGGER MOUTH (including their stunning drummer Dan Don) and is based out in Winnipeg, Canada. You get ten songs that fuse that 90s Punk of NO USE FOR A NAME Pop-Punk thing with the soaring sound of SAMIAM, a splish of GOOD RIDDANCE and the rough edges of OFF WITH THEIR HEADS. Highlights include the raging ‘Better Off Dad’, ‘Captain’ that displays those great drumming skills and the freewheeling ‘The Winner’s Circle’ while best track is ‘Weatherman’ that emphasises the OWTH vibe. Nice 12” yellow/red split vinyl that spins at 45 and yes, better (in fact, way better) than I was expecting. Just a shame about that band name - it totally misrepresents the band. (30.10.20)

ELECTRO HIPPIES - Collected Works 1985-1987 {Boss Tuneage} PODCAST PLAYED Here’s a name from the past!! ELECTRO HIPPIES, if you didn’t know, was part of what the music press of the day referred to as Britcore and played short, fast and often silly songs. This is a massive 60-track compilation of all of the band’s earliest material and predates their output on Peaceville. So - whatdya get? Highlight for me by far is the band’s solitary John Peel Session from 1987; that session’s nine tracks also start this collection off. From there you get an array of demos, live recordings, practices (including the band’s very first from February 1985) and the tracks from the split album with GENERIC, ‘Play Fast Or Don’t’. Packaging is your typically fine Boss Tuneage deal with layouts done by Welly Artcore. As the comp has been released in conjunction with the band, you get a slew of smart photos too. Have to say, while this was an OK listen and brought back memories of seeing the band in Ipswich along side the likes of ENT, it’s not really something I’ll be coming back to too often. While it was all new and exciting 30 years ago (and I wasn’t a huge fan back then), it just sounds too chaotic and noisy for me today. Must be getting old!! An excellent document of a bygone era, but not sounds that sound quite so excellent after 30 years. (22.06.18)

EPIC PROBLEM - Grace {Brassneck} PODCAST PLAYED Final release from this band that has put out a rather formidable and fantastic body of work. You get three songs on this 7” all of which feature those gruff, anthemic vocals and some soaring, incendiary songwriting. Lead track, ‘Bleeding Out’ is the most instantly accessible careering along on an insistent guitar lead and HOT WATER MUSIC vibe with a genuinely uplifting closing phase. Of the remaining tracks, ‘Better Days’ and ‘Curse Cure’, the former is brisk, spritely Punk Rock ramalama while the latter is probably the standout track evoking prime-time LEATHERFACE with a huge chorus and some sublime guitar work. Production is bold and clear, energy levels seemingly injected with Red Bull and vodka and, if this band’s previous work features in your collection (and it should), then you really need this. Total quality from a band of total quality... And one that will be missed. (22.09.20)
E.T. EXPLORE ME - Shine {Voodoo Rhythm} Although having been around for a number of years, this is the debut album from this trio outta Haarlem, Netherlands. It’s wigged-out, fuzzed organ, Garage Rock meets Post-Punk that’s equally psychotic, psychedelic and guttural. Think SCREAMERS with a bass player cranking some tracks from 'Nuggets' and splash of THE DOORS psychosis. You might just about be there. Plenty of interesting stuff going on here, be it the instantly-grabbing opener ‘Let Me In’, the lurching Psyche of ‘Psychonaut’, ‘Soulbleed’ that’s kinda GUN CLUB with a downbeat, distorted vocal, the rolling rhythms of closer ‘Fincheye’ and the epic ‘H.Z. Statue’ that evokes the most moody JOY DIVISION at their hypnotic best while ‘Demons’ was rather ethereal and could be the best track on the album. Genuinely interesting stuff which reveals new sounds on repeated listens. (04.07.19)

EXTERNAL MENACE - The Process Of Elimination {Westworld} Timely reissue of one of UK Punk’s most underrated albums, originally recorded by this Scottish band in 1997. You get 14 crackers which span the gamut of Punk from ‘77-inspired tracks to a bit of Ska-Punk, some bruising 80s Anarcho-influenced tracks and even a bit of flat out Hardcore(ish) Street Punk. All the songs are well constructed and intelligent, and the various styles combine to make a really sold album. Plenty of highlights too, be it solid Punk songs like opener ‘This Country’, ‘Seize The Day’ or ‘Bullet Of Persuasion’, through to the DRONES-esque ‘Standin’ On The UK’. A clear RUTS vibe is present too be it the bass lead of ‘These Pricks Are Wrong’ through to best-song contender ‘Rude Awakening’. Then there’s the CULTURE SHOCK-ish groove of ‘Killin’ Me Asylum’ and the other best-track contender ‘In This Time’ that’s got sublime guitar work and a killer chorus. There’s a liberal sprinkling of well placed, and well chosen samples, best shown on closer ‘Sort It Out’. I’ve never understood why EXTERNAL MENACE are often grouped with pedestrian, lumpen Oi! Bands. These guys are light years beyond most of that stodge and this album continually proves that. A cracker of a record which, if there’s any justice, will one day be seen as a cult classic. (13.03.18)

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