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Len Price 3 - Chinese Burn

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 16 / 4 / 2005



Len Price 3 - Chinese Burn
Label: Laughing Outlaw
Format: CD

intro

Debut album from much acclaimed Medway Delta trio The Len Price 3, which recorded in glorious mono, has a "gritty 60’s r’n’b sound infused with a punky attitude and passion"


After receiving glowing reviews for both their live gigs, which apparently are something else, and the recent ‘Christian In The Desert’ single the Medway Delta trio now unleash their much anticipated debut album. It’s blindingly obvious from the mod inspired CD cover, to the Rickenbecker guitars which adorn the CD booklet to the fact that the album was made in glorious mono where The Len Price Three are coming from. But before they are written off as say mere Jam copyists, it must be said that these guys have that gritty 60’s r’n’b sound infused with a punky attitude and passion really sewn up. And dare one say, The Len Price 3 make a better job of bringing a fresh new edge to the sounds of The Who, The Kinks and The Small Faces than Weller and co. managed on their first two albums. One of the tracks on the ‘Christian In The Desert’ single, namely ‘Amsterdam’ showed a less frenetic side of this trio and it’s a side which this writer for one wanted to hear a lot more of but I had doubts that the band would show more of this mellower side on their debut simply because it’s that; their debut. Think of the major step The Who took from their first album to ‘Sell Out’. For the most part they had deserted their r’n’b roots and embraced the typically English strain of psychedelia. The Len Price 3 manage to leap from the gritty r’n’b of ‘Lai-Ha Lam’ (a love song from an 11 year old to a Vietnamese girl) to the Byrdsian ‘The Last Hotel’, which is the most surprising song on the album and at the moment the most played round these parts, to the aforementioned ‘Amsterdam’ and those cut of the same cloth ; ‘Shirley Crabtree’ ( a tribute to the Saturday afternoon wrestler Big Daddy), ‘She’s Lost Control’ and ‘Fire In My Heart’ all of which sound far too good and accomplished to be on a debut album. Consider this; although The Who’s second album ‘A Quick One’ still threw up their r’n’b roots at times it also showed the progression they were making, not least in the title track, which paved the way for the sound of ‘Sell Out’. The Jam didn’t hit their stride until ‘All Mod Cons’, their third album, and let’s be honest how many Jam fans still play those first two albums today? The odd song here and there still sound good but it wasn’t until ‘Mod Cons’ that they produced a whole album of great songs. The Len Price 3 have got it right from the start. With these 15 short songs ( the whole album lasts little over 30 minutes, just as it should be) the band prove that they are capable of producing more than just good old fashioned first class r’n’b. Where other bands have taken two or three albums to really make their mark the Len Price 3 have done it with their first attempt. Add to that the fact that there is only one cover version on this debut namely ‘Comanche’, and it really is quite frightening and surprising what this trio have accomplished across these 15 songs. While basking in the well deserved praise the band is receiving at the moment my only worry if I was them would be how the hell to follow this album. It was a pure coincidence but just prior to playing this album for the first time I had been watching ‘The Kids Are Alright’ DVD by The Who. It reminded me just how good that band were way back then and how music with that energy and passion is thin on the ground today especially when one is looking for those harmonies and melodies as well. Countless bands have tried to recapture that sound and failed but The Len Price 3 manage it with ease while injecting enough of their own identity to drag that sound well into 2005. All 3 members of the band certainly sound accomplished on their chosen instruments, lead singer and guitarist Glenn Page while no Steve Marriott handles the vocals well, more a Pete Townsend than a Roger Daltrey, but at least there’s no false soul being injected into these songs, and Page has a knack of sounding different on a number of songs, if I didn’t know better I’d go as far as to say the vocalist on say ‘Amsterdam’ or ‘The Last Hotel’ is a different guy to the one singing on ‘Christian In The Desert’ or the title track of the album. And without wishing to play down the excellent bass playing of Steve Huggins (who also supplies those spot on harmonies) special mention must be made of the drumming by Neil Fromow which is outstanding throughout the whole album. It might be verging on boring now, but again The Who come to mind. How many drummers have you noticed doing an outstanding job since Moon occupied that seat decades ago? This then is an outstanding debut from a group who still seem to have their sense of humour intact and sound like they enjoy making the sounds on this album, I’m sure the band treat their music seriously but there is a underlying sense that a lot of fun was had in the making of this record. Where they go from here is anybody’s guess, but the fact that the album is so short but varied is a stroke of genius, because it leaves the listener wanting more of the same so a second helping along the same lines would be met with the same enthusiasm as this first offering. It would give the band a little breathing space before that ‘difficult’ third album. The first consistently brilliant album of 2005? Without a doubt, and it’s one that we will still be playing not just next year but for years to come.



Track Listing:-
1 Christian in the Desert
2 Chinese Burn
3 Lai-Ha Lam
4 Viva Viva
5 The Last Hotel
6 Swine Fever
7 Amsterdam
8 Comanche!
9 Chatham Town Spawns Devils
10 Hard Times Forever
11 Shirley Crabtree
12 She's Lost Control
13 Medway Eye
14 Heavy Atmosphere
15 Fire in My Heart


Band Links:-
https://twitter.com/thelenprice3
http://www.thelenprice3.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/thelenprice3


Label Links:-
http://www.laughingoutlaw.com.au/
https://www.facebook.com/laughingoutlawrecordsandmanagement
https://laughingoutlaw.bandcamp.com/



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