Furious Welsh rock'n'roll alchemy for Single Of The Week
Choosing the single of the week is a difficult business. One has to listen even-handedly, free of bias and expectation, to every single b-side by every single no-mark [a]Iggy & The Stooges[/a] knock-off merchant, gently reclining rock behemoth or loathsome Euro-pop novelty (pity the reviewer who gets landed with upcoming horror ‘Gay Boyfriend’) and, once you’ve done that, think to yourself – what really elevates this above the [a]Stereophonics[/a]?
With My Red Cell, that elevation arrives 55 seconds into ‘Dedication’, the third song on this debut EP. It’s not much of a song up to that point, really – a bunch of simple chords repeated at random intervals, stream-of-consciousness lyrics and a melody that’s been posted missing – but when frontman Russell Toomey shrieks the line “Fuck love and hate, let’s masturbate to ROCK AND ROLLLLLLLLL” everything suddenly crystallizes. It’s not just the greatest lyric you’ll hear this year, it’s the birth of one of the most important bands of next year. Over the course of these four songs, the Welsh quartet – all aged between 19-20 – doff their caps to everything from late 80’s alt.rock, DC hardcore, plain old punk rock and even extremo, meaning that they don’t get angry – they get furious.
It’s easy to thrash a guitar in anger, though; on stripper’s lament ’50 Quid’ (hint: you won’t find it in da club, ho ho) they manage the slightly harder task of slowing their immense racket to a swoony lament and still maintaining interest. Produced by the uber-hip Liam Watson and his Toe Rag mob it may be, but there’s nothing about this record that’s done for vacuous cool. Put simply, this is as visceral and as real as it gets. And lo, in the dark corner of an old man’s boozer, Kelly Jones weeps into his meat and potatoes as yet another NME SOTW eludes him. More wanking references, Kelly, that’s the trick.