Album Review: Eight Rounds Rapid – “Objet D’Art”
We first encountered Canvey Island art-rock types Eight Rounds Rapid back in 2014 with their debut album Lossleader, which was a decent first effort but not the most accessible, owing a heavy debt in its sound to bands like Alternative TV and Wire. Come 2017 and they’re back for a second bite of the cherry and, it would seem, packing a bit more of a punch this time around.
It seems a bit of the old Oil City DNA has belatedly crept into Eight Rounds Rapid’s sound on Objet D’Art, and to be honest, it’s done them the world of good. The opening one-two-three of Bully Boy, Practical and Working Man crash through, hardly allowing a pause for breath in a whirlwind of tightwire Feelgood style riffs and harmonica (maybe not a surprise as ERR’s guitarist is one Simon Johnson – I’ll let you work the rest out). It’s a whole new side to their sound and it adds an urgency and tightness that was maybe a bit lacking previously.
Thereafter, Objet D’Art blasts through agreeably quickly with far more hits than misses. True, they don’t quite get it right every time (Black Soul and String Theory are both a bit meandering and aimless), but the slightly off-target shots are more than compensated by the strutting Johnny Ray, the lurching Reverse and the haunting bluesy closer Mystery. A good step in the right direction all told, and hopefully proof that this lot are in it for the long haul.
A good second album from Eight Rounds Rapid which cuts out a lot of the inconsistencies from their debut, while building on the promising bits, to come up with a rollicking slice of punked up bluesy pub rock. It's not completely perfect, but if album number three shows the same level of improvement that this one has then expect plenty of good things to come.