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This is Punk Rock Blues Punk Rock Blues Records
Review by Ricardo

Punk ROck Blues

This is a sampler album to celebrate and document all the bands and performers who have played at Not The Same Old Blues Crap (See our feature here). Of the 18 tracks featured all but two are previously unreleased.

When I first started producing this site it I was getting back into the blues after a long period more or less away. The bubble of interest that got me started in the eighties had burst fairly quickly, with only the 'rockabilly' authenticists doing anything new and interesting as the nineties progressed, and then even they seemed to run out of steam. I still loved much of the music, but it seemed that the world of the The Blues was being run by people with an agenda different to mine.

Along with a lot of my generation I was swept up in the euphoria of the dance scene that, then, was the most vibrant and relevant thing going on. When Beck came out with the magnificent 'Odelay' in 1996 I knew it was a blues record, likewise when I discovered G Love & Special Sauce, but to the 'Blues Establishment' these didn't even register and it was either still 1964, or else we were all supposed to be over at Hollywood Fats' house tinkering with our vintage amps. Not surprising then that 'The Kids' stayed away in their droves and 'The Blues' became a by-word for bearded real-ale conservatism in music.

Now I quite like real ale, and I have been known to sport a beard too, so it's a shame that they have to be the metaphor, but you know what I mean...

Anyway, back to me starting to produce this site...

I had hoped, amongst other things, to discover a vibrant scene of cool blues related stuff where 'The Kids' were doing their 'thing' and keeping the spirit of the blues alive and meaningful and relevant, not to picking cotton in 1924 but to living now, here in London in 2005.

It was with great pleasure then that I came upon Not The Same Old Blues Crap/Punk Rock Records - the South London 'promoters of hard rockin', punked-up, primal blues mayhem.'

True, many of the artists featured could hardly be classed as 'The Kids', quite a lot of the music is not especially ground-breaking and I'm sure I've seen a beard or two at their gigs, but here, at least, is an effort to present the blues not as a museum piece which must be earnestly revered, but as a living, breathing and vital music.

This isn't a comprehensive round-up of new directions in blues music either of course. These guys have their own view and that's what's on offer here. The clue is in the title. 'Punk Rock Blues' presents us with a selection of (mainly) hard driving punky thrash monsters that owe as much to the spirit of 76 and all it's bastard progeny, as to the universal truths of the blues.

For me the standout tracks include the psychobilly r'n'b mayhem of Mudlow's 'Zane Moreet' (remember Barrance Whitfield?) with its unhinged sax malarky, Chicken Legs Weaver's powerful 'Street Cleaner', Seasick Steve's filthy 'Ruff Side' and of course T-Model Ford showing us the straight line back to where it all began with the trancey 'Take a Ride With Me'.

Special mention also has to go to Clambake for coming up with the magnificent title 'Dogging Spot No.1' for their rockin' instrumental. The Immortal Lee County Killers probably take top honours for their soundscape riffery on the hair raising 'Blues'.

If, like me, you still put 'The Ramones' on now and again then you're going to like this CD. If not, then remember we're all brothers in the blues and that 'the enemy of your enemy is your friend'. If the insipid, regurgitated, corporate blandery that passes for a lot of todays 'music' is the enemy, then Punk Rock Blues are our friends.

CD £6.99 from AMAZON