It was typical Saturday morning in the late 90s when I rode my bike to a friend’s house to hang out and do much of nothing for the day. His family had just accommodated some Swedish exchange students who had kindly given him a couple of CDs – Sator’s ‘Headquake’ and Atomic Swing’s ‘Car Crash into the Blue’. From that day we listened to them both religiously, and over time I delved fully into the Sator discography. It wasn’t until 2014 that I finally got the chance to see them, when they finally headed to The Pipeline in London for a blistering show with The Nomads.

The band have recently announced some re-releases on CD and vinyl, including the re-mastered ‘Basement Noise’ (originally recorded in 2006), which will be released in early June 2021. Sator have always blended hard rock and all-out punk together with ease, and ‘Basement Noise’ is no different. What makes Sator so good, though, is simply the relationship between brilliant songwriting and sharp production. Chips Kiesbye has a way of bringing out the best in any record – only a couple of years ago I bought The Dahlmanns ‘American Heartbeat’ and wondered at the production of it (Kiesbye is also a songwriter on it). He’s also worked closely with bands such as the Hellacopters and Sahara Hotnights.

‘Basement Noise’, with its black leather front cover, is a brawling album full of Sator’s typical hard sound and pop rock melodies, stuffed with harmonies and singalong choruses. From the rolling opener of ‘So Dressed Up’ the album doesn’t let up for a minute – the garage rock of ‘Angelina and Sister Ray’ or the punk rock party of ‘Escape from Pigvalley Beach’, there’s not a single dud on this record. Like many of Sator’s albums, ‘Basement Noise’ is a delightful bundle of the band’s various influences all tied up in a collection of tight tunes. And talking about influences – this album has one of Sator’s greatest and saddest songs, ‘Goodbye Joey’, in honour of the late Ramones singer, who passed away 20 years ago this month. Listening to this album again now, ‘This Ain’t the Way Home’ brings back memories of first hearing ‘I Wanna Go Home’ from the ‘Headquake’ album – both such wonderful songs. Whether it’s the almost Kiss-esque riot of ‘Water on a Drowning Man’, the stomping ‘At the End of Time’, or the searing ‘You Walk Alone’, this album simply kicks from first to last.



WEB: Website / Wild Kingdom


Author: Craggy Collyde