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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Record Review: Bubblegum Screw

self-released download
Amazon, Bandcamp, iTunes etc.

I must say I’ve had a very good year with punk gigs: New York Dolls (twice), Billy Rath, Walter Lure...and yet the band that I love watching the most is London’s own Bubblegum Screw. After tearing it up onstage these past few years the debut album has landed, and it’s a monstrous seventeen tracks wide. Let us not kid ourselves: if it wasn’t for the Dolls and The Dead Boys and The Stooges and The Heartbreakers this music would never have been made. Yet I can’t get enough of their glam garage punk roar: singer Mark Thorn sounds as rough as a badgers back passage, but this just adds an authenticity to the sheet metal guitars that onslaught every way you turn. He also has a simple-but-clever way with words: to make you laugh, to make you angry, to make you want to drink more cheap lager than is probably advisable.

The song ‘I Was A Teenage Fuck-Up’ pretty much sums up their appeal: searing riffs and a great chorus. ‘Rock’n’Roll Loser’ would make Joan Jett proud if she ever heard it. You can almost feel the spittle hit your face from within your computer on these songs. I’m a stickler and will say the five men called Screw work best when on stage, but as a souvenir of those great gigs you saw this does not disappoint. If you want fun you’ve come to the right place: all fans of classic rock and New York punk should check out with further delay.

Phil Istine

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