5 Track EP
Grow Your Own Records
The Fleas spread out a sound reminiscent of the likes of the dual Hagar The Womb vocals of the 80’s. it’s snotty and brash. Musically it is 4:4 punk rock of various speeds that will have you humming along in no time.
There’s 5 songs on this Grow Your Own records debut EP from the band. Starting off with Heartbreaker – “I’m a heatrbreaker and I don’t give a shit” they repeat before introducing some sax with ‘Selling Out’ which wonders about hypocricy of bands lyrics and “selling out is not what it’s all about”. We then move on to Riot which tells the tail of ‘there’s gonna be a riot tonight’ not unlike gold blade but more telling it as it is rather than Goldblade’s proclamation. “Watts your problem” is a bit slower tempo but still that staright forward punk rock beat with cockney fuelled anger vocals. it all ends with the straight forward punk rock of Nothing you Can Do – less than 10 minutes later it’s done, lovely stuff
This is the eigth in a series all taken from the Fanzine Hope *.2. The fanzine sees a collection of 70 contributors from the punk rock world. All asked the same question What is Your Favourite Gig. The zine is €5 including postage to anywhere It is a benefit for Pikpa Refugee Centre, Lesvos Pay by paypal, here
This week it is Karen Amsden from hagar The Womb whose new album is now available
I have seen 1000s of band so this was hard. I was very surprised by my choice having been lucky enough to see the Clash, Nirvana, Johnny Cash and most of the bands that I have ever wanted to see. Although cross that I have never seen the Smiths, Xray Spex, the Slits and Magazine, I thought I would choose a gig like Pulp at Glastonbury in 1995 which is famous for how great it was (still taunt my partner for going to see Tricky instead).
The gig I have chosen though is seeing the Mekons in 1981 for the first time at an unknown venue in London. My boyfriend of the time, as well as repeated plays by John Peel, meant I was in love with their single ‘Where were you?’ and desperate to see them play it in front of me. All I remember is dancing furiously in the front row and developing a bit of a crush on the floppy haired singer Tom. I was so thrilled by the gig, didn’t even mind the two hour wait for the night bus home. Rather drunk and over excited, not helped by my parents leaving me alone at home for the fortnight, I passed out in my front garden clutching the set list given to me by the band. Next morning about 6am I sheepishly let myself in my home and then spent the next decade going to see the Mekons and Three Johns as much as I could.
Still wish I had that set list….
Slice of Life
Love and a Lampost
Steve Ignorant finally gets to sing, under the studio microscope. I’ve listened to him in various formats over the years, Crass and Schwarzennegar being the main two. Steve’s vocals have always been covered by the racous noise of Crass or the electric sound of Schwarzennegar. It is now stripped bare with acoustic accompaniment.
I have seen Slice of life live a couple of times and Steves anger and passion is to the fore (and sometimes an alcohol abetted voice and attitude), however there’s nothing to hide behind here. No Deko to counteract or PA’s guitar cutting in like when he did the album with Paranoid Visions.
And it is still spoken in many parts, prose poetry and art. There’s piano, acoustic guitar, upright bass and even a trumpet.
History has put many people up on pedestals, usually with an alternative version ready to knock them down again. Since the dawn of time many garden paths have been well worn with peoples footsteps being brought up them, and left. Abandoned. Thinking, “we were nearly there”, wondering “If only”. Music and culture changed the lives of many of those troubadors. We are the vegans, vegetarians and souls that were changed. Meat Is Murder, Coal Not Dole, Red Wedge or There is No Authority But Yourself are all clarion calls from the 70’s/80’s. It is a period in history that may be remembered for revolutionary statements on vinyl. Today our cassettes are on mp3, our fanzines digitised by blogs and some people on the edges are running ethical businesses.
Many of the venues that remain open are still driven by profit and alcohol, many of the promoters are using music as a means to pay their bills and few paths are being laid. We looked to bands like Crass and Fugazi to bring us on a different route which some of us took. Slice of Life have taken that musical route. The message is strong and the sound is pleasant. Ideally this band wouldn’t be looking to the mainstream venues and we would have an alternative built over the past 30 years. That doesn’t exist as we co-exist with those we rally against.
If only eh?
Time has moved on and it is good to hear Slice of Life bringing a sound forward. Long may that wheel move forward, open your mind and give this a chance punk.