Title: Heroin UK
Catalogue Number: MT6 Records
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2006
Sometimes the thought of putting your fist through a wall is appealing. There's no need to try and explain it, or justify it. Listening to Heroin UK, Baltimore's latest psychedelic punk rockers might prompt you to do just that. Or perhaps it will have you hitting the reefer?
"Sunsplash Dreamland" is quite a misleading title. The metallic buzzing and Goblinesque cawing creates a noise fit to accompany one's journey to hell. You may well find yourself sporting a Mohawk by the end of this song.
The disingenuous song titles continue with "DopeSick". A decidedly folk-rock sound comes, and at that, kills the energy generated on the opener. However, normal service is resumed on "Wasteland", which resounds with a venomous punk rock attitude. While the band clearly have issues with society, they also envelop a mellow side to themselves, in the form of trembling lead guitar. Somewhere along the line, their Ramones CDs must have got mixed up with Yardbirds records.
"Big Nose" is a bass-heavy song seemingly addressing somebody's gigantic schnozzle. This stands as the first true modicum of filler on the album. Guitar solos appear sporadically; best heard on "Don't Wanna Die". Ultimately, what the album needs is a better balance between the psychedelic twanging and punk rock fury. The album ends on "Comin' Down (The Wall)", which is a fair demonstration of the band's ability to pull off a perfectly decent psych-rock sound.
Throughout, the vocals are difficult to understand - think Wattie of The Exploited after ten pints - but were never going to be the centre around which the album revolves. Punk albums generally contain violent riffing and questionable vocals after all. The fluctuating pace on the album doesn't leave it particularly listenable almost as if the band were in two minds over being a punk rock band or a Pink Floyd tribute act. To a degree, it pays off; certainly, their live shows must be a riot. However, this CD - their first - lacks direction, but is something solid which they can aim at bettering.
March 11, 2008
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