This is Scottish new wave apparently.
I haven’t heard their earlier albums but this, their third and last album, is new wave but taking the genre as far as it can go without leaving it, and not in a good way.
Allmusic: Formed by Scottish-born singer/guitarist Jimmie O’Neill in 1978, the ‘Printz slowed down punk’s careening guitar rock, adding clever, rhythmic twists and turns, and offering up deftly written stories about lust, angst, and urban desolation.
The band has a positive critical reputation but this album is, to my ears, just hard to listen to.
I cringe whenever reggae enters onto punk, as it inevitably does in English punk, and as it does here. Why ? Possibly because English music is looking for it’s own authentic roots but the sounds just don’t gel well…together they are neither here nor there. How do you get both adrenaline (punk) and pot (reggae) to live harmoniously with each other?
On this album a funkier reggae back beat, heavy bass lines, horns and occasional slowed down disco beats all seem at odds with the angst, urban dislocation, paranoia and film noir themes.
“Beat Noir” probably is a good title for the album though, when you think about it.
I suppose it is post punk or art punk but ultimately a lot of it sounds like
I don’t deny there is something here – I just don’t like it and it reminds me a lot of bands in Brisbane (at least) that embraced English post punk (and were played on the local community radio station 4ZZZ) and were very, very dull.
Tracks (best in italics)
- The Beat Escape – New Wave disco? Is it possible? Should it be allowed? A good example of the English making something trivial but arguably fun (disco), worse.
- The Chase – that chase went on forever or felt like it.
- Catwalk – Why, why do I do this to myself?
- Changing – hmpff.
- Get Civilised – Bad hairdresser music, for hairdressers from the 1980s.
- Shadowed – a dash of Blondie and a dash of Roxy Music with a sprinkle of Talking Heads which turns jazzy half way through. Novel and pretty good.
- Touch Sense – filler
- Echohead – a tribal beat going through the song makes it a little interesting even though this is a variation on what Adam and the Ants had done the year previous.
- Going, Going, Gone – filler
- Famous Last Words – some nice Ribot-esque guitar amongst the dance beats.
Perhaps I was too flippant with this album but it was a hard slog for me. Clearly it’s not my cup of tea …. sell.
1982 The Beat Escape Dance Music/Club Play Singles #24
The Beat Escape
Going, Going, Gone
- Wikipedia: Before forming The Silencers, vocalist Jimme O’Neill and guitarist Cha Burns were active in
‘s new wave music scene. O’Neill wrote songs for Paul Young and Lene Lovich, while Burns played guitar in Adam Ant’s backing band during 1982-1984 together with Fingerprintz drummer Bogdan Wiczling. O’Neill, who, in the mid 1970s, had worked for a time as a clerical assistant in the Department of Health and Social Security, released a single for Oval Records in 1975, "Achin’ in My Heart"/"Cold on Me", under the name Jimme Shelter (a throwback to the song, "Gimme Shelter" by The Rolling Stones). London
- 2 of the guys went into the Silencers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Silencers_(band)