Asbo Derek Album Review

Having taken the unusual step of publishing a book, Terry Scott Of The Antarctic, before officially releasing any music, Brighton’s cultural attachés to Hull have now unleashed their debut LP, Ulysses’ Twin, on the legendary Vic Godard’s GNU label.

If you’ve been to an Asbo Derek gig you’ll know what to expect. It’s sweary, mildly lairy and funny as fuck. It begins with singer Jem Price slipping his underwear over his morning glory and setting off to work as Darcy Dench’s scratchy guitar propels him with some jagged riffs.

Their sound is classic garage punk rock and they have a lot of (important) message songs but all have great choruses to join in with and many come with a running gag and punchline. There are songs about demanding outmoded hairstyles, going to see shit bands when you’re stoned (the bouncy ‘On The Night That James Were Excellent’) and odious middle-class couples slumming it on a bendy bus around town.

There aren’t many bands that can get away with a line about “crying a Billy Ocean of tears” in a sorry tale of a loyal employee being cast aside by the Royals like a dead grouse but they are true believers in putting the ‘pun’ back in punk. It features several crooning passages (and a shed load of filth) that could be a nod to local chansonnier and album producer Philip Jeays before Mark Erickson’s bass appears front and centre to rock it to a furious finale

A Psycho Killer bassline introduces a tale of debauchery with a curry delivery man and is followed by ‘Bryan Ferry’s Ball Bag’, a swaggering singalong that describes the joys of shopping at Sports Direct. Side 1 ends with a bizarre and disturbing spoken word piece from which the album takes its name.

‘Latte’ is a punk rock rally cry for lovers of grammar which will have you thinking before you speak when ordering your next LGBT BLT. ‘Velcro Shoes’ heavy rock riffs herald this ode to the joys of sensible footwear, mispronounced discount retailers and Italian desserts while ‘Canary Wharf’ is a very sweary diatribe on the lovely people who moved to London’s Docklands once all the character and characters had been replaced by corporate nastiness.

The band love having a pop at Tory MPs and while live favourite ‘Theresa May’ is notably absent, drummer Brian ‘SuBo’ Blaney’s love letter to Eric Pickles did make the final cut. It’s brash, basic and he takes no prisoners ripping into the bloated scumbag.

There’s a scathing, no-holds-barred assault on Brigitte Bardot’s pitiful moral compass. Jem spits out venomous attacks on a woman who may care for animals but hates foreigners, women’s equality rights and gay people. The album closes with a surprisingly tender acapella song of heartbreak and melancholy delivered in a poignant, pleading cracked voice.

To celebrate this landmark achievement, the band have a launch gig at The Prince Albert which will include a unique collaboration between label owner and music icon Vic Godard and ex-Chefs/Helen & The Horns leader Helen McCookerybook.

The Prince Albert, Saturday 22nd July 2017
Tickets may still be available from Resident Records or check the Asbo Derek Facebook page for returns.
You can order the album here or instore at Resident.

Reviews 2 months old

Steve Clements

Steve has been a SOURCE contributor since Summer 2010 and also writes for Latest 7 magazine. He moved to Brighton in 2006 after working in London at the Royal Albert Hall, Our Price Music and Teletext. Favourite quote - "There's no such thing as a sold out gig".

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