Bristol Archive Records Blog

Fussing and Fighting album review

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Bristol Archive Records

Good Gawd, first I review Europeans, once home of Specimen’s Jon Klein, on this Bristol re-release goldmine label and now it’s X-certs who included Kev Mills. So here we have a band formed in 1978 who lasted three years and regard their highlight ass supporting The Clash in Cardiff. They certainly liked The Clash because opening track ‘Together’ is their positively weedy take on ‘White Man In Hammersmith Palais’ with an anti-authority spine. It jingles and burbles away quite harmlessly, but back then maybe it sounded dead exciting. Now it sounds punky but relaxed and almost cute. I’m surprised they never wrote ‘Guns Of Bristol.’ ‘Queen And Country’ is a chirpy call to no-arms, ‘Visions Of Fate’ more generally life-affirming with hope and determination, like the bubbliness The Cortinas came to provide. ‘Secrets’ gets a bit wishy-washy rocknrolly, but it’s jolly and the loping dub of ‘Stop The Fussing And Fighting’ is equally sweet. This is Punk your gran wouldn’t have minded.

‘Slow Down’ goes more spiky r’n’b than poonk rawk, and is ‘Let’s Dance’ twisted around really. ‘No One Gives’ is a perky bit of fury over society’s lack of caring, and apparently recorded live, which certainly suggests they were pretty classy live even though the lyrics are pretty banal. ‘Youth Is Calling’ is more reggae, like a bloodless Ruts but hey, give them a chance. Oh hang on, it’s pretty much the same through ‘Frustration’, dribbling happily away with choppy guitar and a smooth rhythm, and the singer isn’t bad, just curiously undemonstrative in his style, as though he’s perfectly content while railing against something or other. ‘Together’, still live, did eventually emerge as a single, and we’ve already been there. Ditto ‘Visions Of Fate’, grittier live, with some echo, then we draw the curtains and bemoan the passing of our youth as ‘Untogether’ does a falling downstairs in the tardis dub.

Not a demanding or energising record in any way but you can’t help liking it, it’s just so bloody cheerful, even when supposedly downcast

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