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The Madcaps - Hot Sauce


'Unhinged, deranged, completely mad garage savages, The Madcaps, from Rennes, in western France, are pedlars of fast-paced adolescent punk, held together with tight beats and wrapped up in fuzzy guitar' with the power to 'induce longitudinal motion in the listeners’ hips'.

I’m expecting great things after reading that blurb taken from the press release...

Hot Sauce is the second LP from the boys within the past year; following March 2015’s self titled release. Having not heard the first LP I can't comment, however the press release states that they are 'set to unveil a little more of their clear penchant for American garage, and the British beat music of the '60s'.

Whilst you definitely get those flavours coming through, I wouldn't go as far to say that those sounds were predominant. Overall the LP captures said ‘60s American garage and English beat, but also pop, surf, that crazy mod stuff, and a bit of psych; not to mention '70s/'80s new wave and '90s brit pop - phew! They have taken some of the best sounds of the past 50 years or so, and made them their own; and what really comes through is something quite sublime. It's light, breezy, very squeezy and fun with a big fat capital F.

All tracks are very listenable. 'Too Big For Your Boots' has a wee bit of fuzz creeping in there, come on boys - don’t be shy with the fuzz! Twang-y 'One More Chance' is brilliant. 'Walking Back Home' is very much a sultry 60’s girl group number, but sung by boys. 'Crack Me Up' is a psych delight. 'Rainy Day' is kinda what I imagine it would sound like if you put the original Madcap himself Syd Barrett into a blender with The Small Faces / Beach Boys and Blur.

Sunny fuzzy French garage pop with added oomph.

Hot Sauce is available on vinyl, CD and digital download from iTunes & Howlin' Banana Records.

The Senior Service - Depth Charge b/w Hall Of Mirrors (Ltd. 7")


"Instrumentalists", they said. High expectations very often lead to grave disappointment, however I was more than willing to hedge my bets on this lot ...

For those less familiar with these Medway stalwarts, allow me to give you a brief introduction. We have Jon Barker - organ, Graham Day - guitar, Darryl Hartley - bass guitar, and Wolf Howard - drums and percussion. You’ll of course know Day and Howard more recently from the Forefathers; a kind of tribute band to their own exceptional back catalogue. Also, we have ex-members of The Gaolers, The Daggermen, and The Buff Medways to mention but a few.

As good as it was to hear The Forefathers, I was really hoping for some new material to get excited about.

I’m so full of anticipation about hearing the new tracks; knowing full well that this is the one precious time that I’ll hear it brand new. I get myself settled in, and here we go... Wow! and yet, I shouldn’t be too surprised. It’s a sound that I’m more than familiar with having been a follower of most of the band’s members in various guises for the last 25 years or so, particularly Mr Day. I guess it just goes to show that over time, the quality of the aforementioned songwriting abilities are stronger than ever.

Citing influences of high calibre - Barry Gray, John Barry, Ennio Morricone and Booker T & The MG’s, you can certainly catch glimpses of them all here. 'Depth Charge' could have been lifted straight from of an episode of UFO or Space 1999, or incidental party music from a late ‘60s Hammer film. Opening with vibrato that puts the Electric Prunes to shame; It’s groovy, sexy, psychedelic, distinctly British, unmistakably Day, and perfectly paced for a shimmy around the floor.    

'Hall Of Mirrors' has a more laid back Barry-esque feel to it; charming, seductive, and a just little bit dangerous. 

Both tracks were recorded at Borstal Road Studios (Jon’s house), and more tracks will soon be released on twelve inch vinyl by Damaged Goods Records.

Single launch gig at The Half Moon, Putney at the end of the month, which I'll be there to cover (lucky me!). Full details on the flyer below. 

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