Album Review: Eight Rounds Rapid – “Lossleader”
The two things that immediately leap out at you on first glance at Eight Rounds Rapid are that they hail from Canvey Island and that their guitarist is the son of the legendary Wilko Johnson. First appearances though, it seems, can be a bit deceptive as ERR sound absolutely nothing like Dr Feelgood, or indeed pub rock in general, so let’s just get that out of the way before we start here, aye?
What we actually have is a bit of an odd beast. If anything, ERR lean slightly towards the artier end of old-skool punk such as Alternative TV or Wire, with maybe a bit of the Skuzzies’ low-budget take on garage rock, and McLusky’s lyrical weirdness. Tunes such as Channel Swimmer and Stalker barrel by on lower-than-lo-fi production, but there’s some good playing here while frontman David Alexander’s barrow boy bark bears a strong similarity to ATV’s Mark Perry.
If there’s a slight drawback to Lossleader, it’s that like the recent Bad For Lazarus album it isn’t the most immediately accessible album in the world, and there’s a bit of a lack of something to really elevate it to being a brilliant album rather than a good one. But the quirky Steve and the furious reality TV-bashing Talent prove that ERR definitely have enough energy to draw you in, meaning this one definitely has a bit going for it.
As we said earlier, it's a bit of a strange one this, but if you tend to lean towards the weirder artier end of the punk rock spectrum then Lossleader might well appeal to you. It's quirky enough and with enough curveballs to keep you interested, although those who like their rock 'n' roll a bit more straightforward might find it a bit difficult to get into. Still, a promising first effort - hopefully there'll be more to come from them.