Top Sounds - E

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)

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)

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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