I have already confessed to loving songs with talkie bits in and sweary, funny songs. Another big like of mine are 10″ records. No, I’m not sure why either. Could be an Aerosmith influence, or just the whole ‘is it a big single, or a little album?’ debate which rages in my head when I hold one in my hand. But regardless, I do love them; even if I can’t find any 10″ plastic sleeves to fit them and they stand there looking all forlorn in their too-big protective sleeves looking like teenagers forced to wear jumble sale jumpers – sorry, am I scaring you yet?
One particularly good one is Breakfast at Pappa’s by Consumed, which I bought almost 13 years ago today after hearing a track of theirs on Short Music for Short People compilation (‘Delraiser Pt.3 – Del On Earth’) . That track was funny, fast and heavy, this is the same, but with slightly less funny. They were from Nottingham and signed to Fat Wreck Chords in the US who I love pretty unreservedly, but other than that I am totally ignorant about them – if anyone knows more, please tell me. I know they did at least one more LP but this was enough for me and I mean that in a good way.
They explode out of the traps with ‘Heavy Metal Winner’, ‘Bye, Bye Fatman’ and ‘Brutal Tooth’ on the first side, all three of which are fast, heavy as hell and punked to bits and the best three tracks here, narrowly. There is absolutely no lean meat on this music at all, its chopped down to essentials, great rhythm section, really good vocals and choppy guitars. However, there’s a lot of tune here too, particularly on ‘..Fatman’, which saves listening to this LP from being more than the equivalent of someone shouting at you on a bus from very close range. ‘..Tooth’ is the heaviest track here and just long (1:34) and loud enough to do maximum damage. The second side is, almost, every bit as good, especially the first track ‘Stand Under Me’ and the, well-titled, ‘Bigger Shoe’ (say it quickly).
The production by Andy Sneap is excellent too, just enough clarity to avoid it being a mushy noise, but just enough clarity to keep it from sounding too precise. The only theoretical points deduction comes from the inner sleeve where the lyrics are printed with background pictures which make them all but indecipherable.
I hadn’t listened to this one for a year or so and immediately wondered why that was so. If you want the angrier British version of So-Cal punk, this is just the ticket. In fact I think its brilliant, and not just because it’s a 10″.
‘You’re acting like a prick / Your head is made of brick / is there anyone in there? / You could make it happen / If you had the balls / But I think you’re a coward’