'7" Plus!' (vera001) CD
Alfreton in Derbyshire may not be a hard-core punk bastion to most people. But
this quiet unassuming outcrop sandwiched between Derby and Mansfield in the
UK, deserves it's own sweaty deposit amongst punk rock folklore. For it's here
local heroes the Apocalypse Babys reside and created this absorbing collection.
'7" Plus!' shows off an excellent array of twenty cuts that spans the bands previous
12 year career. Criminally overlooked and dogged by unsteady line-ups, this prime
time sounding punk rock outfit still managed to put out some remarkably high
quality punk rock tunes to thrill the masses. Or maybe the locals down the Vic?
The Apocalypse Babys are a band who sing about the real world of dole drums,
council flats, cops, violence, and dreaming of the big break!!!
The big break being something most punk bands secretly want, but shun! Coz they
are either too sanitary to admit it, or just ain't got the talent anyway. However these
Derbyshire lads really do have loads of pulling power in the hook department. A
talent that should by rights be heard by a bigger audience. But like so many bands
before em, they seem destined to be heard by so few. What they got here that is
sadly lacking in the punk scene today, is variation in composition and execution.
Their songs don't all dwell on oppression or getting the girl. They merely reflect a
bigger picture called real life. They certainly don't sound the same either! Whether
they're blitzin through the saturated riffing on 'Local Hero', slowing down for the
wife beating anthem of 'Jacqueline' or just waltzing through the cop corruption of
'Scapegoat'. Nope they can't be faulted! Fronted by the strutting mainstay Asterix
the Brat, who's Elvis Costello meets the Jags vocalisations gives em an
unworldly late 70's fixation. Also manages to give em their very own niche. Mixed in
with a heavy dose of the Ramones and some Pistol packing riffs to boot up the
power. Which can only make these guttersnipes the envy of the monotonous
squalor that litters the current UK punk arena. The often copied but rarely
captured spirit of '77 drifts through a lot of this bands songs. And gives em the
distinction that lesser monotone proles merely dream of. But at the same time they
ain't got a jaded feel either. '7" Plus' is timeless, it's now and it's a good time to
check em out if you ain't already! Like Asterix spells out on possibly the bands
finest offering, the impressive pop punk of 'Still Unsigned'... "Tunes, melodies,
lyrics that people can understand". Forget EMI etc. coz most of the bigger punk
labels selling us their wares are as deaf, dumb and blind, unless maybe you got a
big mohawk and studs. So hey kids tune in to what's really going on. Don't wait till
your 40 to discover what real punk was all about, coz there's a whole legion of
sights 'n' sounds to check out now! And you can do know wrong in starting with the
Apocalypse Babys coz they're a band who create crafty often humourous buzsaw
tunes to sing along to without making ya vomit. This record will leave you boppin'
till the next release which is promised along with a new line-up later this year.
Alcoholacaust' (vera002) CD
This latest offering from the sons of Alfreton...Apocalypse Babys was very much
anticipated here in the Wolf's Lair. The nuclear tots have been busy taking their
spunky Ramones fixations to such far flung exotic locations as Italy and Glasgow
most recently. And shock horror the US could be their next port of call...so watch
out Yanks!? The Babys gawd bless em really don't know the meaning of defeat in
the face of record company apathy. They have released this their 5th album on
their own gorgeous Vinyl Vera label. And you know what, it's a very pro package
indeed! Comes with full colour foldout lyric sleeve, plus various blindo band shots,
that gives this record a certain bed wetting ambience. So who really needs record
companies if you can put out first class product such as this? Answers on a
postcard to the Alfreton's DHSS please. This new liquored up set however, don't
exactly get us up on the tables quite as much as previous releases. The
commanding production is spot on, their dry wit is still on show, but they don't give
us anything really new from what we already know of the band. Fun punk springs
to mind if your a new listener, but shows these gurgling babys can still write a
decent record or two despite not being half as essential as their recent classy '7"
Plus' CD collection. And those worthy tracks on here to keep your interest while
ordering a pint are the rampaging axe attack of 'Guantanamo Bay' or the sinister
delivery of 'Dirty Bomb'. Apocalypse Babys may not be pious enough for some
hard-line punks, but they still ain't walking round the bar with their heads stuck in a
pint glass, although you can be forgiven for thinking so. Even that smelly old punk
rock institution called Charlie Harper gets a slap on the back with their 'UK Subs'
tribute track. Which I'm sure is really touching in Tooting, but I find it a bit dubious
when punk icons suddenly become senior citizens... or present dodgy wildlife
documentaries!!! Asterix's vocals are more gnarly on this session, he seems to
have given the smooth ballads neck, in favour of a moody skank called 'Reggae
Maan', which incorporates a 'Nice N Sleazy' riff and even has some Carl Douglas
('Kung Fu Fighting') influenced backing vocalisations. But with 3 covers in this 13
song set, it does beg the question of filler? And when you get some really dodgy
material like 'Lets Jump The Broomstick'...it's no thanks! They do finish on the
boozy crashcourse of the title track that'll probably be another bawdy set closer on
the bands up and coming live dates.
WORTH A LISTEN