A very minor, but interesting phenomenon to report on this time out. Just as a load of the original UK hardcore punks (Anti-nowhere League, Cockney Rejects) ended up making metal LPs, my theory is that it was down to a mix of wanting to do more with increased musical competence, dissatisfaction with elements of their audience and most of all just WANTING TO HAVE SOME FUN; some of their US brethren did the same. Far be it from me, obviously, to suggest that the were only in it for the money.
Junkyard, Sixes, Sevens & Nines and Kick-Happy, Thrill-Hungry, Reckless & Willing are all primo examples of this. Junkyard came first, they were a Kerrang! favourite some of my friends really liked them but I never really got it at the time. The fact that they had a history of being in scary hardcore bands I’d only slightly heard of like Minor Threat, Dag Nasty and The Big Boys meant diddly-squat to me. I just heard a couple of good tunes and a strangulated, poor production job by Tom Werman. I liked ‘Hands off’ and ‘Blooze’ though, partly because the latter had a semi-talking bit in the middle.
Fast forward a year or so ahead and I saw them support The Almighty in Cardiff and they were just incredible, easily the better band live. I suddenly got it – big time! I went back and listened to both LPs and I could suddenly see the traces of an excellent band there, all the Southern rock flourishes of ‘Simple Man’ (although I swore for years that David Roach sang ‘don’t throw your panties in the wishing well’ on that one – listen to it and deny it, I challenge you!) and ‘Slippin’ away’ made sense; the mighty Steve Earle features too. I also really like the last track on Sixes, Sevens & Nines, ‘Lost in the city’ where they cut some proper punk loose when they think no-ones listening.
Best of all though are the two fabulous bitter-as-sin ballads ‘Clean the dirt’ and ‘Hands off’. Great fodder that I listened to whenever one of my, usually imaginary at that point, women wronged me. I can’t really recommend them enough.
On Kick-Happy, Thrill-Hungry, Reckless & Willing ROTA as I will call them to avoid getting RSI, just played it silly. Coming out in 1991 I snapped it up totally judged by the great title and cover, and never looked back. Okay so there’s some filler but this is a great LP in my book. There are even 2 songs with talking bits in the middle and I’m a REAL sucker for songs with talkie bits in them (‘okay all through history they say that behind every man is one foxy lady…’). It’s funny too which I also love, I’ve had several arguments with my earnest friends on this point, all of which I think I’ve won, funny = brilliant in music as far as I’m concerned, okay we all need a bit of moping occasionally but come on listen to ROTA’s ‘Beer and a girl’ and live a bit. ROTA also keep the swear quotient pumped high enough for my tastes on ‘Way down’, my other favourite track on the LP, and there’s even a slower menacing track called ‘The Ride’.
I mean, come on! It’s sweary, funny, great title, great cover and essentially all about riding bikes, drinking, riding hot chicks and drinking again – it ticks every single box there ever was!
Okay so this was a bit of a dead-end of an idea, but it was fun while it lasted and I really enjoyed playing all three LPs through again, I’d only picked tracks off them for years. Stick all the tracks mentioned above on a mix and you’d arrive at work every morning grinning from ear-to-ear – and that’s a scientifically proven true story.