STEVE TOWSON & THE CONSCRIPTS / MY PRECIOUS split-CD
Steve Towson & The Conscripts / My Precious
The Venom in My Veins split-CD
Tell you the truth, I’ve never got into Steve Towson’s brand of fiery solo-punkrocker-with-an-electric-guitar tunes. The early solo releases are commendable in its unbridled passion and political concerns; but ultimately a let-down musically (at least for me!). When I first met him many years ago, I was expecting early Billy Bragg-type of folkie-punk, and that expectation was not that far off, only the songs were lacking in hooks and immediacy as Bragg’s early stuff. Steve’s offering was harder, faster and very, very distorted raw; effectively burying the melodies and charms I was looking for.
His 3 songs on this latest release however, are of a different tack. They bowled me over almost as soon as I push play! This is really potent stuff indeed and it’s not only Steve that makes this CD a must have, My Precious tracks are awesome too.
The 6-tracker opens with Steve’s A Beautiful Murri Girl, an intense love paean to an aboriginal woman; touching upon the racist One Nation Party of his home state of Queensland, Australia and a promise to make them pay for their crimes.
The song started with a wailing didge and quickly segued into a strident, marching drums and stabbing rockabilly bar-chords and surfy lines; reminding me of The Lords of the New Church (a super-band of sorts in the early-80s featuring members of The Damned, Dead Boys and Sham 69). It rocks ominously like no other, and there is this chorus going “whoooa-whooa” at the background unlike The Meteors version of “Johnny Remember Me”; with visions of wind-swept sadness and darkening skies whirling all around. Fucking excellent!
The second tune, Long Drive Through Ipswich, carries the same intent and approach, with a more sedate beat and a beautiful cello blanketing the procession. The rockabilly guitars are now at the fore with Steve wailing hoarse, threatening to burst apart at the seam at any minute.
On the final Steve offering; Tonight We Storm The Bastille, a song of people’s power and the overthrow of the state, it starts slow and understated before storming into an almost The Clash-like groove. Like the other two, it’s a bulldozer of a tune, there’s no let-up in the rumble until Steve’s guitar fades in lovely feedback noise. To call this refreshing is a bit short but I think for year 2005, these songs have made my year!
I have seen My Precious a coupla times in KL and they have always been an excellent gang to experience. Two girls screaming upfront with a cracking post-HC band expertly manning the underlying attack. Always furious, always intense and always moving forward in its musicality.
The three tracks here are testaments to their on-going commitment to be an amazing band; very good musicianship, very good recording and, of course, top-notch songs. Their part starts with the short (27 seconds) Stars – an amazingly hurried rush with a surfy middle-break. The second song Middle Finger Jeopardy is a throwback to the usual screamo-HC basics I’ve seen them live with, but the final track KeiGo! is an eye opener of sorts; imagine bits of Fugazi breaks meeting Bikini Kill choruses and the ever reliable My Precious high-energy kicks!
What can I say, you lot! Go out and get this ASAP! As for myself, I’ll be hunting for more Steve Towson & The Conscripts stuff, they are right on my alley what brilliant punk rock is supposed to be and I’m stoked!