Pleasures of Despair, Electric – The Suicide Notes (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

I didn’t realise that people still made music like this. I’m sure glad that they do. It’s everything that I grew up on. Low-slung rock’n’roll, whiskey soaked, growling vocals, a punk swagger mixed with easy, sing-a-long melodicism, foot-on-the-monitor bravado and a catalogue of tales of debauchery. In short, a quick game of three chord brag!

It is easy to see the sonic family tree which has got us to this point, stretching back through bands like Dogs D’Amour to early New York punk to The Stones to …well, every cultural rebel and society misfit since… since the first ancient bard to cut his hair short and re-tune his harp to open G.

The songs, particularly the epic Ragdoll with its unexpected, gratuitous sax play out, are reminiscent of what has gone before but you love them anyway. This is definitely “if it ain’t broke…” territory, but why not? If you have the songs, and The Suicide Notes certainly have the songs, then why not add another small chapter to the annals of rock ’n’roll.

Okay, let’s put it this way. These chaps might be re-inventing the wheel slightly but their justification is that they then taken said wheel, added some white wall tyres and taken it for a spin around the block smoking up the place, waking up the neighbourhood as they write their name on the road in rubber (dotting the i’s was a particularly neat trick to say the least.) 

Rock ’n’ roll isn’t about innovation and invention anyway, not really, the work has already been done and too many people have died for the cause. All we can do now is honour the fallen, celebrate the movement and have fun along the way. And if you don’t know what that sounds like…well, The Suicide Notes have produced this handy sonic guide which explains everything perfectly.

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