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- All At Once by The Stockholm Monsters
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I’ve enjoyed all manner of musics from the early 80’s Factory era but seem to have completely ignored Stockholm Monsters. They were the first band to come out of Burnage, Manchester and it is said were an influence on the young Noel Gallagher.
Contrary to many Factory bands of the era they were quite bright and bouncy. The first two tracks here ‘Terror’ and ‘Where I Belong’ sound like a New Order that had signed to Sarah Records - the regulation strummy guitars and melodic bass is intact and joined by a particularly parpy trumpet. ‘Where I Belong’ in particular bounces along culminating with a singalong C86 flourish. I’m struggling to find anything on the A side to live up to the up to the opening one/ two. The remaining tracks appear to be ill-conceived ballads with woefully out of key singing until you get to the dancefloor thump of ‘All At Once’ which sounds more like Toto Coelo than A Certain Ratio.
The band are better when doing strangely aggressive 3 minute pop songs. ‘Life’s Two Faces’ reminds me of a rainy English version of Game Theory’s early synth heavy Sparks-like pop. That same synth is heavy throughout side B, on ‘EW’ they sound like China Crisis’s thuggish younger brothers, the vocals recalling Bernard Sumner gargling glass. It’s an interesting document for sure, almost comically of its era at times with some tracks I really liked alongside many I’d prefer not to hear again.
Captured Tracks as usual do a great job with the packaging with 22 tracks across two slabs of vinyl plus a 7” of their classic ‘Fairy Tales’ 7”. Will appeal to fans of the Wake, Section 25 and New Order but really, truthfully this ain’t no lost classic.
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