- by Rob Taylor Release Date:2017-02-17 Label: Beggars Arkive
For the excellent review of The Closer You Get on these pages, I defer to Steve Reynolds and restrict myself to a discussion about the bonus cuts contained on the second LP of the reissue.
Consisting of Peel Sessions and some B-Sides, this bonus release is something of a mixed bag , but still has a couple of choice selections which elevate the album titles, their sheer unruliness making this wildly underrated group even more potent.
‘Overnight Success’ was always a humourously mocking track, and here the venom in Chris Olley’s vocal is accentuated with the deliberate emphasis on the words ‘overnight success’, in affect rather like John Lydon’s snickering emphasis on ‘Submission’ or ‘EMI’. The enmeshing of the guitars on the power-driven outro is really exciting stuff, with the seemingly contraindicated white noise and wah-wah sounding pretty feral, brilliantly underpinned by the thunderous rhythm section. A very good taste of how awesome the live sound is likely to be, for those lucky enough to catch their last tour.
The great punk rock miniature, ‘Sawn-Off Metallica T-Shirt’ here is more fun, more unfettered than the better recorded original, the loss of production values giving it more underground authenticity.
‘Another Love Song’ inexplicably loses power when compared with the original and here the better production values do more favours to the song than the far too recessed Peel Session version.
There’s not a lot to distinguish the two versions of ‘England and a Broken Radio’ except the better recording on the original album.
The B-Sides present a less hectic sombreness to the general ruckus of The Closer You Get, but then the character of the first album is reflected in the alter-ego.
For the fantastic versions of Overnight Success and Sawn-Off Metallica T-Shirt, essential for fans.