Originally formed in Christchurch, New Zealand all the way back in 1981 (and hence the NZ part of their name), this 2021 version of Desperate Measures is much more London-centric with singer Eugene Butcher the only band member remaining from those formative years. With an interchangeable UK lineup allowing the band to play live over the years since Eugene relocated to Blighty, he has now assembled the band’s definitive line up, boasting ex-Glitterati and current Rich Ragany & The Digressions guitarist Gaff, ex-Done Lying Down and current Dealing With Damage drummer James Sherry along with ex-UK Subs bassist Ricky McGuire with which to write and record this six track mini-album.


The beefy chug of Gaff’s guitar heralds the arrival of opener ‘Scars & Memories’ a song very much honed by the post-Pistols sonic attack of The Professionals (a band they will soon be touring the UK with) and I must admit this is incendiary stuff from the Measures where you can almost feel Butcher’s breath on your face as his gravely Tyla-esque voice spits out the breakdown mid song.


Lead track, and one of the best “Fuck The System” terrace anthems you’ll hear anywhere this year, ‘The Rich-Tual’ is up next and this for me is the band’s defining moment to date, Gaff’s bandmate (and renowned producer) Andy Brook really capturing the Measures balls-out approach to songwriting, and trust me when I say you’ll be screaming the “Woah Oh” outro hook to this one long after your first listen.


After that initial ferocious hook laden opening 1-2 ‘Flowers At Your Door’ slows things down ever so slightly and features some magnificent vocal harmonies plus synth string swells that really give the song a kind of Steve Jones fronting the Lords Of The New Church vibe. So, if that sounds like your kind of thing you really do need to pre-order a copy of this mini album now via the link at the end of this review.


Of the two versions of ‘Lost Angels’ that feature on ‘Rinsed’ the 1988 demo version sits very much sits in the same sleazy back alley as early Dogs D’Amour or in fact the LOTNC whilst the 2021 ‘live in the studio’ reboot thrashes away like the band have been fuelled by 4 bottles of silver label Merrydown, relentlessly driven on by the tight as hell rhythm section of Sherry and McGuire, and whilst being the same song seems a world away from the original demo.


Finishing things off there’s a ‘live in the studio’ run-through of ‘Don’t Gimme No Lip Child’ (shortened here to ‘No Lip’) a 1964 R&B song initially covered as a B side by Dave Berry and then suitably ripped to shreds by the Sex Pistols and included on ‘The Great Rock N Roll Swindle’ album. Here the Measures cover that latter version of the song and in spite of it missing the explosive mid-section of the Pistols version (where Fatty Jones’ guitar literally explodes) it’s still a boisterous homage to Rotten and Co.


‘Rinsed’ is available on CD and 10” vinyl from Easy Action Records and is recommended for anyone who likes their punk rock delivered like a boot to the privates. “This really is great stuff!” (Said with a very squeaky voice after repeated listens.)



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Author: Johnny Hayward