Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Lost Bands of Britpop (Part One)

This series may increase my readership through the roof or it may single handily destroy everything I have accomplished to this point (which frankly is not saying much). Following the viewing of the aforementioned SEVEN AGES OF ROCK I traipsed through the old record collection and dusted off a few choice Britpop nuggets that I hadn't spun in a while. I have no idea how many of these posts there will be and if I can sustain a fascination with Britpop for any length of time, but here is the first of those records that at the time I thought were brilliant.

CARTER THE UNSTOPPABLE SEX MACHINE gained most of it's notoriety due to its name and the play on words they often employed in their song titles. I often felt ridiculously cool playing this for friends because it seemed a bit seamy and dirty as a band name. (Admittedly, I was a giant dork in my youth) "101 Damnations" was their debut album and came out during the "Madchester" scene of the late 80's and early 90's. Similar to Happy Mondays and EMF, Carter deployed a healthy dose of keyboards, drum beats and samples to fashion a danceable eletropop sound. Lyrically, the themes of disenfranchisement and the life of the working class in England are housed in a spitfire, rap delivery by lead singer Jim "Jim Bob" Morrison. In many ways Carter is a great example of a band that should have been more of a cult act but because of the success of other Brits they attained a higher place in music then they might have deserved. Still, songs like "Sheriff Fatman" and "Twenty Four Minutes to Tulse Hill" have their charm (I dare you not to clap along to the intro to "Fatman").


JC said...

Atremendously under-rated act. Saw them live loads of times - they had a great energy about them and never failed to be anything less than amazing.

While they are best known for their first two LPs ('101 Damnations' and '30 Something'), you should, if you get the chance, listen to some of the later stuff. The lyrics are particularly vicious about how shit life was in the UK in the mid 90s.

Oh and read "Goodnight Jim Bob: On the Road with Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine", one of the best music bios ever written....

Ctelblog said...

JC's right you know, as he so often is. Fantastic live band. Always unfashionable. But who cared?

"You fat bastard"