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Monday, December 19, 2011

(the) Inmates - First Offence

Name: (the) Inmates
Album: First Offence
Year: 1979
Style: Garage / Pub Rock
Similar Bands: Rollign Stones, J. Geils Band, Steppenwolf, Ace, Charlie & The Pep Boys, Van Morrison
"One Word" Review: R, B & Roll Rebirth
Based Out Of: London, England
Label: Radarscope Records, Radar Records, Polydor
First Offence - Cover & Record
First Offence - Back & Aquarian Clipping.

First Offence (1979)
  1. Dirty Water 3:00
  2. Love Got Me 3:36
  3. Midnight to Six Man 2:20
  4. The Walk 2:44
  5. You're The One That Done It 2:29
  6. Jealousy 2:57 /
  7. Mr. Unreliable 2:52
  8. Three Time Loser 2:33
  9. I Can't Sleep 3:03
  10. If Time Could Turn Backwards 4:04
  11. Back In History 2:17
Album Review (1-10): 6.5

Members & Other Bands:Ray Beavis - Sax (Tenor)
John Bull - Drums
Ben Donnelly - Bass
John Earle - Baritone Sax
Laurie Garman - Harmonica
Malcolm Garrett - Design, Sleeve Design
Peter Gunn - Guitar, Vocals
Dick Hanson - Trumpet
Eddie Hedges - Drums (Blessed Union of Souls, The Vibrators)
Bill Hurley - Vocals
Vic Maile - Producer
Tony Oliver - Guitar (Rhythm), Vocals
Gavin Povey - Keyboards, Organ
Tim Read - Design
Sheila Rock - Photography

Unknown-ness: I love the look of the band, the name’s random capitalization / logo, the dark color and the play on words with the band name and album title. Whoever got rid of this record included a neat artifact in the record sleeve: a page out of the NJ music mag Aquarian around the time the album came out, and when the band was touring the states. From these elements of judgment, I’d guess that this band is going to be a great, angular new wave pop band with bouncy melodies and a driving vibe. I’m kinda excited to listen to and review this record.

Album Review: So it turns out the band is British, and consists of mainly pub & garage rock roots, taking aim at early Stones style. And their first track was their “hit,” which is a cover of the Standell’s “Dirty Water.” The band is also, apparently, still somewhat active with an updated website and all, as of 12/19/11.

“Dirty Water” immediately feels like it is a live recording in a pub. And the vocals are borrowed straight from Jagger. The guitar is a simple hook, and the rhythm is steady, but not really driving. The guitar solo is gritty and feels grimy like the best of pub rock.
“Love Got Me” starts right off with a guitar right out of Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild.” It is song best listened to while driving. And just when I got the feeling that there was going to be an ultra catchy chorus, the song just reverted back to the verse melody. There is not much diversity to the song, as it stays fast to the simgle melody.
“Midnight to Six Man” is a much more motivated, 60’s inspired garage band song. It features a harmonic dual vocal that splits apart in the chorus.
“The Walk” feels like a happy-go-lucky R&B strut. It also feels a little dopey, as in I could see back a dopey, aw-shucks character in a film montage. Maybe it feels like it should be in a Kids In The Hall sketch.
“You're The One That Done It” has a start stop bass groove that feels a little like Depeche Mode (whom I’m not a fan of) It covers its tracks well with the R&B slide guitar and Jagger vocals.
“Jealousy” drives right from the get go with a motor like bass line and a guitar that feels like the echo of a train passing a station. The chorus here does carry through with an anticipated catchy chord progression and I’d imagine the energy in the song performed live would be quite intense.

“Mr. Unreliable” is slower and darker, and actually feels like a different vocalist. Not to say this is a slow song, because the bass line is still full of punch and the guitar does not let you sit. The song has a building feeling like it has the chance to go faster, but it is comfortable at its set course.
“Three Time Loser” blasts off with a horn section, and immediately settles itself in for a groovy, bluesy, confident tempo. The vocals n this song remind me of Van Morrison’s “Wild Night”
“I Can't Sleep” takes us back again to a simple 60’s garage rock song. It is simple in composition, and relies heavily on the bass groove. It is just a bit too simple and lacks a musical challenge.
“If Time Could Turn Backwards” slows things down tempo and singing wise. This is the sweaty, mid-show-stopper “Time Is On My Side” ballad that makes the ladies swoon. “Back In History” has a somewhat annoying use of the vocals, hanging onto the word baby. The rest is great example of classic rock n’ roll: a Chuck Berry esq song.

Stand Out Track: Midnight to Six Man

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