The Red Cords – ‘Vile Guy’ – EP Review

The Red Cords Vile Guy Review

Vile Guy  Is Out Now On Vinyl And Digital Download.

The latest band to emerge from arguably Britain’s least likely punk scene in Falmouth, the Red Cords play taut, tuneful garage rock not wholly unlike that of label-mates and fellow Cornishmen the Black Tambourines. Vile Guy is their third EP and is comprised of six scrappy and undeniably catchy songs, only one of which lasts longer than three minutes.

Their modus operandi is probably best captured in opening track, ‘Smog’, a ninety second blast which captures the breathlessness of modern urban life in rushed vocals and clattering chords. You haven’t got to look terribly far for their influences, obvious touchstones being the Ramones, the melodic nous of the Buzzcocks, and early Wire. But there’s also a bit of the Violent Femmes’ in the twangy quality of the guitars, and the slightly nasal vocal delivery, particularly in ‘Scratch It Off’.

It’s pretty classic punk fare in terms of theme as well, as exhibited by the excellent ‘No Place’. Singer Charlie Murphy rails against feelings of alienation and isolation, and tells the Man to take a hike because “I’m not sure what I want, anyway”. It’s a feeling that people can relate to as much in 2015 as ever, and there’s plenty more boredom and disaffectation where that came from on ‘Toby Lerone’ and ‘Scratch It Off’.

The last two songs change the formula up a bit; ‘Workout 1’ is a krautrock styled instrumental, which fortunately only lasts for two minutes because if you tried to work out for very long at the speed the Red Cords play at, chances are there wouldn’t be a Workout 2. The closer and title track is longer at 3 minutes 30, and features a boozy, woozy middle section for chanting along to whilst sloshing your pint over the person next to you.

On the whole, this is a great base camp for the Red Cords, which shows off the quality of their playing and songwriting in a raw and uncompromising manner. I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing them live, but these songs would surely best be appreciated face to face (and extremely loud). In recorded form, they constitute a very solid EP, with loads of potential for growth, and I’m looking forward to hearing more. Who knows, maybe in a decade or so we’ll be talking about Falmouth as the birthplace of the great punk revival…

Buy the rekkid via Easy Action Records.

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