‘Violent Dreams’, Is first out of the traps with its angular punk rock borrowing from the USA wave of punks like Minutemen and maybe a little Devo with something that’s not a million miles away from Tubeway Army and the angular early Buzzcocks.
‘Gravure’ is more of the same it’s intense and sparse but well-produced and not at all tinny sounding but full fat or should that be full phat (as the kids would say)
But it’s not at all one-dimensional dum punk that people might expect on hearing the “hanging on by a thread” ‘Richard’ with its basic one-note guitar breaks and thumping bass line. As the Bontempi is plugged in and early Human League gets exercised on ‘Blasted Heath’.
It all goes a lot Devo meets Kraftwerk on ‘Want To Not Wanna’ the vocals get treated and the sampler goes into overdrive before the distorted guitars go off-piste on this captivation and interesting midway point.
It’s not a safe record by any means there are challenges for the listener as Erik leads the players through some difficult runs both high and low. Titles make me giggle like a school kid as the Joy Division inspired ‘(I’ve Got A) Desklamp For A Hand’ is up next. what inspired the title? God only knows but it doesn’t envoke lampshades or missing limbs. You crazy kids…Treat the record as something of a voyage of discovery some bits will stand out whilst others don’t quite work I’ll let you decide which is which but it’s well worth checking out.
‘No Chorus’ strays into Fall territory whilst ‘Make Up To Break Up’ is more straight forward punk rock. ‘Horseshit’ and ‘Stateline’ are both worthy slices of new wave punk rock and are really well delivered. Hop onboard kids – Erik and The Beta Blockers offer an alternative to punk rock and twist it out of shape using the past to progress to the future. Another great release from Drunken Sailor Records one that shouldn’t make anyone Nervous except Erik that is. Go check it out.