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Eighties Matchbox B Line Disaster - Horse Of The Dog

  by Lisa Mundy

published: 26 / 10 / 2002

Eighties Matchbox B Line Disaster - Horse Of The Dog
Label: Select Label
Format: CD


"10 track, 25-minute testimony to all things heavy, sleazy and downright rock n roll" on debut album from Brighton five piece, Eighties Matchbox B-line Disaster

The first rule of the Eighties Matchbox B-line Disaster is you have to see them live. The second rule of the Eighties Matchbox B-line Disaster is you have to see them live. Anyone who has witnessed this Brighton five piece blowing the ass off the Parkinsons and Ikara Colt on the ‘We love this fucking tour’ tour earlier this year, supporting King Iggy at Brixton Academy, or at one of their toilet gigs in the past 12 months needs to buy ‘Horse of the Dog’ to remember quite how much they rocked your world. If you haven’t seen them live yet, ‘Horse of the Dog’ will serve as a nice little appetiser. Not many bands could sleep easy about signing to a major label when they have such an obvious desire to remain independent. The B-line seem to be using the same principal as the Flaming Lips at Warner Bros.; be the token credible indulgence of the label's one cool A&R man and get away with murder. If Universal is willing to fund the conversion of a 1948 Humber Pullman into the actual Eighties Matchbox B-line Disaster, complete with flames on the bonnet and logo on the side, you may as well ride with it. If the music press want to lump you in with a rubbish media-created genre, so what? Suck them dry, and then discard them. The days when photocopied zines and hand-numbered 7’’s were an essential tool of credibility are long gone; the only way to succeed in these savvy times is to play the mainstream media game, but by your own rules. First impressions of this 10 track, 25-minute testimony to all things heavy, sleazy and downright rock n roll may lead you to believe it is lacking a choon or two. Stick at it, they will become evident after a few listens and lodge in your head like those evil worms from the Wrath of Khan. Latest single ‘Celebrate Your Mother’ is the most obvious track on the LP, its sing-a-long-a-Oedipus lyrics making it an unlikely indie disco choice. It’s so commercially viable it even gave Will and Gareth a good run for their money, reaching the lofty heights of number 66 in the charts. Their debut ‘Morning has Broken’ is here as well, complete with fantastic Grohl-esque drumming and killer tempo change. Best track on the LP though is ‘Psychosis Safari’; not many bands could get away with the phrase "my mind’s in a furry cup" without sounding like Ali G, but this lot are the sort of band who can make anything sound cool. They even get away with calling a song ‘Fishfingers’. These guys have a lot more in common with the seminal punk-blues of the Cramps and the Birthday Party than with walking haircuts The Cooper Temple Clause and the out and out terrible Hoggboy. Why? Because they give so much of a shit that they will force you to care about them. Bringing passion to a genre where yelling at the top of your lungs is obligatory isn’t easy, yet singer Guy McKnight is one of the most passionate performers you’ll ever see. It would be easy to pass off his antics as a shameless plagiarisation of his heroes, much like Craig Nicholls’ pathetically contrived Cobain-by-numbers. But while McKnight is on stage he is genuinely in the Zone, certainly comparable to shamanic trance heavyweights Jim Morrison and Iggy Pop, yet creating an original persona untainted by feeble hero worship. This much pent-up stage energy could never fully translate; ultimately some of the tension is lost, but the swamp-blues aspect of the music is accentuated on record at the expense of the piledriving juggernaut heaviness of their live shows. All five songwriters have an ear for melody comparable to Kurt Cobain’s embryonic ability on ‘Bleach’, first listen and its all dirty riffs, thundering bass and crashing drums to the forefront of the recording. Yet underneath all that NOISE™ you’ll find ten well-written pop songs screaming at the top of their lungs to get out. Whether The Eighties Matchbox B-line Disaster have the staying power to ride out the current Wave of Rock remains to be seen. It won’t be easy to write a second LP significantly different enough in style to sustain the interest of their more fickle admirers, and there is a real possibility they will be swept aside with lesser bands when The Next Big Thing hits. Yet it seems everyone who has come into contact with them has been left with a lasting impression, so we live in hope that the Eighties Matchbox B-line Disaster will manage to come up with the goods time after time and become more than just another one of those loud bands with a slightly absurd name.

Track Listing:-
1 Celebrate Your Mother
2 Chicken
3 Whack Of Shit
4 Psychosis Safari
5 Giant Bones
6 Fishfingers
7 Charge The Guns
8 Morning Has Broken
9 Team Meat
10 Presidential Wave

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Interview (2007)
Eighties Matchbox B Line Disaster - Interview
Psychedelic blues punks Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster have had a tough few years, being dropped by their label and losing their guitarist. Aaron brown speaks to frontman Guy McKnight about getting back on the road after a long absence and their soon-to-be-released third album
Interview (2002)

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