Bruce Foxton - Smash the Clock

by Rob Jones Rating:7 Release Date:2016-05-20

Bruce Foxton has been on a musical journey since the 70s. Whether it is with The Jam, solo projects, a lengthy stint in Stiff Little Fingers or a tribute to his original glories in From the Jam, this guy likes to busy himself.

The bass baron has now returned with the album Smash the Clock, which has been released under his own name. However, he has called in From the Jam frontman Russell Hastings plus the leader of The Jam, Paul Weller, and also Wilko Johnson and Paul Jones among others. From such a stellar cast one expects creative sounds and, that is what is delivered with a major nod to sonic styles of pop past. 

These Foxton recordings were completed at Paul Weller’s Black Barn studios and the influence of the owner of this facility is spread across this 13 track offering. This release beds in a yesteryear tinged mix of psychedelic soul, the pastoral ballad and tunes that put one in mind of the Beat Surrender pomp of The Jam. Foxton played a very distant second fiddle to Weller on the songwriting front in the illustrious period that they were group mates. However, he has proven that he can construct a tune and if Weller is selling bucket loads of units then this effort deserves to be placed in the same commercial category.
 
Once again Foxton has displayed that he is a popular force as this offering like his last long player has come through the fans support via Pledge Music. In return he certainly will not leave his public down with this musical and lyrical marriage of ideas that harks back to the summer sun of the swinging sixties.
 
Buoyant brass, mellifluous melodies, guitar grooves, prominent piano and clever construction are all factors that come to the fore. One is also given that justification that The Jam are still a reality via the Weller leanings of Hastings and the precision power of our Brucie. 
 
Expect these tunes to be taken on tour as late 2016 dates with From the Jam will also include devotion to those precious ‘A’ and ‘B’ sides that impressed upon the charts between 1977 and 1982 (with the introduction of rarities coming in to the fold as well). 
 
If you need a feel of this experience check out this review of the lads at The Factory, Porth in 2013: 
 
FROM THE JAM AT THE FACTORY, PORTH (2013)
 
Bruce Foxton can be applauded for his affection with Wales. Bruce has played the principality with the likes of The Jam, Stiff Little Fingers; and as a solo artist he once graced the defunct Library Club in Llwynypia.
 
The youthful exuberance of The Jam (1976-1982) cast its wand over many renowned bands that came in their wake e.g. The Smiths, Oasis, The Enemy, Blur and Ocean Colour Scene. In 2012 Bruce returned to the Rhondda with From The Jam; and, this three man act rekindle magic memories from a halcyon musical era. 
 
The bass bombast of Bruce can nullify scores of young pop pretenders; and the fans venture to a special zone when their hero takes lead vocals on David Watts, News of the World and Smithers-Jones. The backbeat is solid and Russell Hastings takes on the unenviable job of the Paul Weller role. Weller in essence was the ‘fire and skill’ behind The Jam as he composed the majority of the tunes and he directed the band with his passionate poetry and Rickenbacker rhythms. Weller and original Jam drummer Rick Buckler are absent; but, the public did not seem to care as numerous aural anthems warmed up a freezing February night; and The Factory, Porth recorded its largest crowd to date.
 
An adoring audience feasted upon: The modern World, Down in the tube station at MidnightThat’s Entertainment,When you’re Young, Strange Town, The Eton Rifles, Going Underground, Town called Malice and many others! Hastingsadopts most of the singing duties and the punters return the lyrics with devotion. From The Jam thrive on an illustrious past and new material also features. There is always a welcome in the hillsides for the mod god that is Bruce Almighty!
 
Therefore, in 2016 if you fancy either the studio or stage style of Foxton and his associates there are certainly options. Smash the Clock because Bruce has proven that it can be any period you want it to be-and, if the past can sound so good in the present we can enjoy the future.

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