Album Review: Thee Cee Cees – “Solution Songs”
I’ve said this before on these pages, but bands with a serious political point to make these days are depressingly sparse. With the honourable exceptions of the Roughneck Riot and the Bermondsey Joyriders, albums with a serious message to the kids along the lines of “You don’t have to take this crap” have been few and far between. And in an era where the Murdoch scumrags are currently trying to hoodwink the youth of today into cutting the throats of their futures en masse by voting Tory, it’s fair to say that some dissenting voices are badly needed.
So it’s good to come across a band who definitely have set their stall very much out in this neck of the woods, lyrically harking back to the ’80s and bands like The Newtown Neurotics, Angelic Upstarts and The Lords of the New Church. Featuring occasional Frank Turner collaborator Chris T-T and ex-Bluetones guitarist Adam Devlin among their ranks, there’s a real fire in these guys’ bellies, and it’s refreshing to hear in this day and age.
Opener Deft Left sets out the message for the 35 minutes ahead – “Every day I wonder/When did we surrender?/Did I miss that meeting, comrade?” snarls Chris as the band snap into action behind him. It’s angry and with a point to make, but it keeps things well on the right side of listenable. Imagine if Jackdaw 4 had been given some songwriting tips by Joe Strummer and you might just be in the right area. Soapbox definitely harks back to The Newtown Neurotics (or the Lords’ Open Your Eyes) with its message of defiance against what the mainstream media in this country will try to brainwash you with.
Never Cross with its message of solidarity with those striking to try and earn a better deal for themselves could almost be a more mellow Angelic Upstarts, while the self-explanatory Better Than Wages, Vote!, the more considered Relentless (which even sees the band borrowing the Manics’ string section) and Ready (for the rising) are Thee Cee Cees’ message writ large.
Overall, this is 35 minutes of crackling punk/new wave energy with something to say for itself. Oh, and if you’re still having trouble making your mind up, there’s an instrumental track on here called Iain Duncan Smith’s Weeping Haemorrhoids. What more of a recommendation do you need?
It's good to see a band setting up their stall on the barricades and calling the kids up to join them. Thee Cee Cees' message is simple - just open your eyes, see the world around you and ask yourself how you can change it (hence why this album is called Solution Songs rather than protest songs). But even if you disregard the message within, this is 35 minutes of supremely tuneful and tight punk/new wave energy which demands to be heard. Give it a spin, and get yourself an education.