Review: Cyanide Pills

One of the support bands at last week’s show was Leeds’ Cyanide Pills.  They grabbed both my and Hud’s attention due to their retro-image and their catchy sound, and after a week of getting rid of my tinnitus, I’ve been giving their eponymous album on Damaged Goods Records a listen. 

This is a massive – value 19 track collection of songs by the band, kicking off with the uber-catchy ‘Conquer The World‘.  Now these guys wear their hearts firmly on their sleeves.  They describe themselves shamelessly in terms of their influences – and I quote:

Buzzcocks Ramones Sex Pistols X ray spex Clash Vapors Damned Radio Stars Dictators Johnny Thunders Nosebleeds Crime Adam and the Ants Dickies Briefs

These influences do a bit more than  show through in the songs! The Cyanide Pills’ approach to their sound seems a little bit like the way the Japanese manage to observe, assimilate, refine and eventually outdo any new technology that they discover.  These guys have clearly spent their [mis]-spent youth poring over every scratched 7″ copy of ‘Marquee Moon’ and ‘Promises’ that they could find down the local secondhand record shop – they have produced an album so full of riffs [Buzzcocks], ‘OoohOoohs’ [Ramones], and catchy hooks [Dickies] that it almost hurts!

Overall impressions have to be taken at face value when you are faced with something like this.  Whilst I cannot and would not claim to have been at the Pistols show at the Lesser Free Trade Hall, I did in the late 70s and early 80s acquire a stock of the singles that have clearly caused these songs to come into existence.  And because of that, I am now disturbed to find that I belong to the generation of boring, jaundiced old farts who mumble It weren’t like that in my day, lad!  when I hear music so self-consciously revivalist as this.  Whereas, of course, this music may have a completely different effect on a listener who is perhaps half my age and who didn’t go through the whole thing back in the day.  But let’s put all that aside for a moment.  How did this make me feel?

Well, it brings to mind Perfect Daze and their unselfconscious, bubblegum pop-punk.  It’s unashamedly good time music and does not demand to be thought about too deeply.  The tunes are good, the sound is authentic, and it bears more than one listen, which I admit I thought would be a problem when I first heard it.

Cyanide Pills have caught me out really, and the joke is clearly on me – as soon as they hit the stage at the Brudenell last week, the cartoon image – flourescent ties, wrap around shades, baseball boots, the ephemera of 77 punk as you might collectively term it, I was ready to judge them as a novelty, a modern day Toy Dolls or a Damned tribute band. But I have to admit that this is a good old kick up the ass for anybody who claims to be open minded but actually just likes over analysing such things.

Advertisements

Comment on this Article

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s