Crashed Out: 20 Years 1995 – 2015 (Randale Records)
CD – limited
Jarow based street punk band Crashed Out have an anniversary to celebrate, and they’re doing so with another vital release, says Sean Valentine.
Twenty years. That’s how long it is since Crashed Out first ‘crashed’ (shoot me) onto the UK scene, and what a ride it has been so far.
To coincide with this mile stone, the North East street punk rock ‘n’ rollers have released a new EP with four brand new tracks as a limited run CD with plans for a special addition anniversary box set to be released on Randale Records later this year, including the band’s previous releases as well as the new EP on vinyl (ooooh) with new artwork and write ups.
Kicking things straight off with the aptly named “Tyne and Wear”, lyrically dealing with the strife of feeling ‘stuck’ in your home town but still having a sense of pride about where you are from is something that is a tried and tested subject matter across the board. It is relatable and more importantly believable.
As CJ Ramone once said and continues to say, no one can replicate the sound of the Ramones. Reason being, is that the guitar parts are all downstrokes, and downstrokes on a guitar cannot be beaten. Guitar nerd-ness will not take over, however with that being said, nothing sounds more urgent, which is the sound you get within the first five seconds of this EP – a sense of urgency – that Crashed Out have something to say, so pay attention.
The sense of pride that comes with being involved in such a close knit punk rock / hardcore (insert every other sub-genre here) scene is showcased in “Here to Stay”. Drum and bass guitar intros are a staple on any EP or long play to mix it up a bit, and it’s done in the right way here. Nailed.
Musically and rhythmically they have it all. The dynamic drums of Jonnie Halling, pounding bass guitar of Spencer Brown and the signature screaming guitar sound of Crashed Out’s founder Lee Wright can all be described as hard hitting, clean cut, tighter than a hamster’s waste coat and with the vocals on top rasping from the very stomach of front man Chris Wright, it’s a formula that works.
Making clever, quirky lyrical references to their previous releases and other songs throughout “Twenty Years Strong” is another personal favourite perk of this album, again demonstrating the passion and genuine love for what this band is about, with a little bit of spice.
Ending with an acoustic rendition of “This Is Our Music” as the afore mentioned fourth and final track comes to an end is a clever touch, paying tribute to their early days whilst reinforcing that this is Crashed Out, this is what they do, and no one is ever going to change that.
Crashed Out are one of the main players in the UK punk rock scene and have gone from strength to strength over the years and this EP takes the best of everything they have achieved so far and compresses it down into a nice little package. It reminds me of the kind of CD you would make for your friends in school if you wanted to introduce them to a band – taking the best songs they have which cover all of the bases of their sound.
You wanna know Crashed Out? Check out this EP.
Without sounding like their influences, any punk rock fan will recognise the homage paid to bands such as the Exploited, the Dickies, the Toy Dolls, Rancid, and of course, Green Day. This is something Crashed Out have honed into their own sound and style both musically and lyrically – taking influence and understanding from what is around them, putting it through the machine and churning out something that is the best combination of all of that.
Here’s to another twenty years.
All words by Sean Valentine. More writing by Sean on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.