The Best of British Suicide

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This debut EP from the London-based three piece is full of promise and well worth a listen on its own merits. The Best of British Suicide (or "The BOBS", nice acronym!) describe themselves as "an antidote to the seemingly endless raft of so-called Rock bands who play it safe with neutered production, knackered old riffs, and bland subject matter". These four songs are delivered through caustic, jagged riffs and tackle weighty issues - from religious fundamentalism to the 2011 London riots - A band that cares about lyrics? Thank fuck!

'God 1.0' opens with a Nirvana-like riff and burgeoning drums while Burgess describes a conversation between God and a religious fundamentalist who, it seems, has perpetrated some divinely-inspired atrocity. The staccato structure complements the thoughtful lyrics - ‘God gave the answer to the question "What harm could it do?" when he burnt the scum forever for what he made him do' is a particular gem - and the tune itself is infectious.

'The Louts of Love' has a decidedly more British sound though its far heavier than the majority of the insipid fare from these isles in the past decade. This definitely stems from the S*M*A*S*H/(early) Manics school and again the lyrics command attention; this time a sarcastic critique of the archetypal loner with "first world problems" taking a gun in his hand.

'London Riots' is built around a thundering bass riff which adds menace to the busy vocals. It's ominous throughout, breaking only for crashing, vocal-free choruses. The song, drives towards a crescendo - "only time will tell" sings Burgess repeatedly - and yet the much-anticipated release doesn't come and the song ends abruptly; an opportunity lost I think.

Lastly, 'Deep Freeze' rails against aging and the futility of life. It's the disillusioned lament of an old man aghast at his 'zombie' like appearance and the indifference of all around him; again the song itself - though certainly aggressive - lacks the moment of fury its seems to precipitate.

This EP is energetic, confrontational and lyrically rich; an unashamedly political statement which augurs well for The Best of British Suicide. Burgess's keenly-observed lyrics are the most immediate attraction, though the riffs themselves are suitably abrasive and the musicianship is tight. At times I felt the songs would have benefitted from allowing the music to explode more; the power of the guitar/bass/drums is arguably under-used. The vocals too could perhaps profit from the occasional lapse into the unrestrained.

Nonetheless, an impressive debut; it improves which each listen and is definitely more engaging and honest than most "alternative" music currently polluting the airwaves/gig circuit. The Best of British Suicide are working on a full album and I'm looking forward to hearing it.

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