Back in the spring of 2021, I made a decision to bring MV into the social media age, something I’d always resisted as I believe social media to be dangerous.
The first review I put up on our shiny new Instagram account (which I still don’t know how to use!) was a review by London’s self-proclaimed “loudest rock n roll band,” The Heat Inc. It was perfect for our launch, in fairness. This was a modern rock n roll band, one with style, swagger, and substance. Yet, they could appeal to the analogue kids too. This was a real band, one that would have sounded great in any era, a punk sneer mixed with an indie cool. They could have hung out in Denmark Street with The Pistols, just as easily as they’re sipping Oat Milk Latte with the Shoreditch set.
Praise came in from everywhere for the EP. My favorite quote from anyone belongs to Paul Simonon, who called it “proper good” (if there’s an antithesis to my own wordy hyperbole, it’s this, surely?), but your man is right.
You can’t listen to “Asleep In The Ejector Seat” and come up with any other conclusion.
That’s true right from the opener. “Souvenir” comes on like a combination of raucous energy and Cult-like flavors, and if highlights are wherever you look, then they don’t get better than “Draw Blood For Proof,” a more punky attack, but so incredibly catchy it actually seems to embed itself in your consciousness.
There seems to be darkness in these songs; “Little Knuckle Charlie” belongs in a sweaty club about 3 am, while the bass of Nicholas Rigot makes “98” what it is. The Strokes went gold on less, let’s be honest. And there’s something of the turn of the 00s into the 2010s about this too. You can imagine Gaslight Anthem doing this, if they’d grown up in the London Streets instead of the swamps of Jersey (as every Springsteen song calls them).
Indeed, it’s tempting to think of these as disparate songs, such are the disparate threads here; “This Thing Called Love” finds some dark desperation, and it sounds totally different from the rest, save for the wonderful, rich vocals of Jon Dodd. “Akaska Murder Squad” is typical of their untypical approach to the lyrical content. “Get Wild” might sound like the title of an unreleased Poison song from 1986, but the groove alone is a million miles away. It also contains the title of the record.
“Ms. Willie Mae” is another turn and contains the mighty thought, “whoever heard of an alibi so ironclad it could have killed,” and there’s a kind of dark poetry throughout. “Be my 7th sin,” they sing on “Samson”; let’s be honest, there’s more than that, and they know it. The thing lurks, almost promising violence.
The contrary nature of the record is never better shown than the closing “ultra-violence” is a ballad. “Kubrick’s on the Television,” they sing. And like his films, there’s something unsettling here too, not quite right.
Many of the tones on the record come from the quite magnificent guitar work of Marco Simoncelli, and speaking of Instagram as we did at the start, he messaged the site on the platform the other day to make sure we’d been sent a copy. His only listening instructions? “Play loud.”
That would be enough to end the review usually, except this deserves more. Essentially, everyone who writes reviews is looking for their own Jon Landau moment: the one where you hear a band and just know. “I’ve seen rock n roll future, and its name is Bruce Springsteen,” he’s often credited as saying.
It’s nigh on impossible to listen to “Asleep In The Ejector Seat” and not get similarly excited.
It’s wonderful. Get on board now so you don’t have to lie in a decade and claim you were on them from the start.