The name Andy
Hitchcock might not mean much to most but for fans of the much vaunted
(defunct) Sarah Records label it would mean a whole lot. Hitchcock made his
fame and fortune on the label while recording with his band Action Painting,
who released three singles and several compilation tracks for the label. I’m
not sure what he has done, musically speaking, in between the demise of Action
Painting and this new combo but it seems like he’s lost nothing on his
curveball in the interim.
Socialist leisure Party he’s gathered up his Action Paining bandmate Kevin
House and two other chaps and have released this terrific 8 song record (6
songs on the cd and 2 on the 7″ which all comes together in another one of
Shelflife’s amazing packages (colorful 7″ gatefold sleeve with the cd stuck to
a spindle). Influenced by early 80’s Scotland (Orange Juice, Josef K,)
plus other oddball stuff (Monochrome Set, Television Personalities, etc.) each
of these 8 songs takes on a life of its own.
Opener “Scented Crowbar” sounds like a lost classic from the 80’s that
you’ve heard before (except you haven’t) while “No Tattoos” crackles with the
kind of energy and excitement not heard since the earliest days of the Wedding
Present (when our man Gedge was but a wee lad).
Elsewhere, “Down with the Kids” has a punk sneer out on outside while
not forgetting the melody (with Andy spitting “You’re so criminally young!”).
The punk-pop spirit continues until the end and while Dan Treacy may be missing
in action once again, Andy Hitchcock is here to step in and offers up a plate
of musical nuggets. It would be just plain rude to not try one (or eight).
Standout Tracks: “Down with the Kids”, “No Tattoos”,
“Scented Crowbar” TIM HINELY