LPs Round-Up: Goldblade, Ruts DC, The Sudden Death of Stars
Published on June 3rd, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Rocksucker reviews new albums from the firmly established Goldblade and Ruts DC as well as a debut LP from The Sudden Death of Stars, the latest psychedelic treat from Cornershop’s remarkably fruitful Ample Play label…
Goldblade – The Terror of Modern Life
As an opinionated, articulate and witty scribe and commentator/talking head, all that John Robb required to be the perfect punk front man was some kind of spectacular rasping growl; he got it, and the Stone Roses biographer is in crack(l)ing form on his sixth Goldblade album, as are his band.
“This is War” does good by its title in kicking off with the scuzziest of scuzzy guitar lines, then a screaming Joey-Santiago-on-speed guitar solo before Robb gets his lyrical groove on barking the likes of “Start a war in a paper bag, even watch it on TV”. The Terror of Modern Life proceeds to throw in some of the most frenetic and exciting music heard all year: grammatical error/troll notwithstanding, “The Shaman Are Coming” is utterly fantastic, while the superbly titled “They Kiss Like Humans, Act Like Machines” is sheer blistering awesomeness.
There’s more besides; “Serious Business” gets down to it with a dirty ska skank and Robb’s lunatic exhortation to “Listen up! Turn up!”, to which it’s easy to conclude that you’d better do as the man says. “We’re All in It Together” sounds like a jolly enough Sex Pistols chugathon but, like the Pistols, it enshrouds its righteous mischief in irony; basically, it may sound like a call to arms, but at its core it’s equally a stern reminder. Certainly, the reference to Cameron’s “big society” is not a celebratory one.
“Someone Stole My Brain” swipes at you with metallic power chords and shredding fast-picked surf-punk badassery, its chorus ramping up the lunacy levels by throwing in actual laughter. “Sick / Tired” goes from orthodox punk to something altogether meaner then back again, and finally “Hey You! Elastic Face” is just tremendous. Goldblade are like a sort of missing link between At the Drive-In and early Half Man Half Biscuit, two bands we weren’t expecting to mention in the same breath any time soon.
Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!
The Terror of Modern Life is out now on Overground Records.
Ruts DC – Rhythm Collision Volume 2
Dub king Mad Professor remains a splendid choice of collaborator for most anyone, whether you’re Massive Attack, Sly and Robbie or Ruts DC, formerly London punk heroes The Ruts. Well, they were Ruts DC back when they collaborated with Mad Professor for the original Rhythm Collision in 1982. You can imagine the manner of echo-heavy skank that ensues but still revel in it, especially when it’s swirling its way through the barmy shuffle of “Mix Up”, the gurgling, squelchy synth of “One Step” and the good-natured/swaggering brass of “Sun & The Stars” and “Technology (Super Dub)” respectively.
Choice guest spots abound: Aynzli Jones puts a great bendy inflection on his vocal to the sweet, strange dub of “Smiling Culture”, Jessica McIntyre’s sultry voice illuminates “The Road” and there are more besides. Worth the wait, basically.
Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!
Rhythm Collision, Vol. 2 is out now on Sosumi Recordings.
The Sudden Death of Stars – Getting Up, Going Down
The latest to arrive at us via the ever-reliable Ample Play production line, these French psychedelics make a lovely stoned mess on their debut album in a way that both reflects the beauty of the area it was made in (Brittany) and suggests even lovelier loveliness to come. Here we’re treated to rumbling drums, Gaelic/Gallic psych, twangy sitar that occasionally sounds like banjo (maybe there’s both?), stoned/detached vocals, a riff somewhere in amongst it all that reminds of Belle and Sebastian’s “Legal Man”, as well as flashes of The Velvet Underground and Can.
Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!
Getting Up, Going Down will be released on June 10th by Ample Play.