7 ” EP
Out July 2013 (advance issue via ATM Singles Club)
Nathan Brown listens to the latest collaboration between the Crass frontman and Dublin’s punk miscreants.
What we have here is a diverse release with 3 very different sounding tracks on one EP that clocks in at 10 minutes of music. Rather than plump for some straight up “It’s what the kids want” anarcho-punk revue, our artistes seem to have opted to experiment a little.
The A side, “Join The Dots”, starts off with a few samples then kicks in with a sustained guitar which turns into a buzzing chainsaw. The tune builds up and Steve’s angry vocals leading the charge. If you’re looking for a reference point think early Schwarzeneggar rather than Crass (specifically there are some similarities to “Art & Craft”). On first listen I felt the production could have been clearer, but by the second play that was no longer a concern as it had developed into an earworm – there is a damn catchy tune in the chorus that breaks through: “All I ever wanted was to be loved, someone I could be proud of…” . Some emotional angst being worked through here, I guess. Aoife and Sarah’s vocals on that chorus make this song stand out from the crowd. There are shades of the Blaggers ITA in the delivery – the nifty lead guitar work in the chorus, the tempo of the song, the style of Steve and Deko’s vocals and the dramatic, threatening “It stops here” shouted in the break in the middle of the song.
If “Join The Dots” is Steve Ignorant’s moment to shine then “When” on the B side is Deko’s opportunity to take the lead. He employs pantomime villain vocals atop a ska cum stomp beat – for a second I forgot I was listening to Paranoid Visions and thought it was Striknien DC (Deko’s outfit after PV split and before they reformed). Then Steve Ignorant kicks in with his East End vocals! Not bad but pales in comparison with the other 2 tracks.
“The Cycle Repeats” is a rhythmic, repetition-based song about the cycle of heroin abuse that some communities seem destined never to escape. In one song it cleverly captures both the daily cycle and the intergenerational cycle that blights Dublin. Anyone who has been there in recent years will have the seen the hordes of walking dead. It’s happening and its on their door step.
There’s an almost psychedelic feel to this song with harmonics and multi-layered vocals, and it reminds me of early Banshees tracks. It certainly puts you on edge and you could almost say it’s the aural equivalent of a nightmare which is pretty apt considering the subject matter. The music reinforces the lyrical content. I think that’s what you call “art”.
As with all other All The Madmen 7 inch releases, if you want to get this 2 weeks before it hits the streets, on limited edition white vinyl and with bonus download tracks then sign up for the All The Madmen 7 inch singles club
Words by Nathan Brown. You can read more of his ramblings here