Percy: Monorail

Percy are excellent. They’re billed as post-punk, but they’re merely old school punks, in the sense that they don’t really care about conventions and have a good sense of melody.

Don’t expected Damned-style sonic assaults (which were, speak it softly, always a bit rubbish) or more modern punk with punch-in-the-face snare and kickdrum; the band we think they most resemble in sound – and it’s not a solid like-for-like – is Heroes / Black And White era Stranglers, though there’s some Devo in there too, as well as about 124 DIY bands you never heard of (and some you might, Adverts, Penetration etc). For modern listeners, the band cite Idles and Fontaines DC (not much really, spirit aside) and the PR mentions Gang of Four (not as danceable or spiky). They can clearly all play well, unlike many of the early punks, and it’s possible the album nods to their favourite punk bands.

The band have wisely made Chunks the first track, as it’s the most brutal song, singer Colin Howard (also guitar) doing that Hugh Cornwell thing of being slightly out of tune and having his vocal follow the tune. ICU opens with a doomy riff – anyone remember Neutron Bomb from The Controllers? – except in this case the death appears to be at the hands of a call centre, “profit margin blah blah blah / your calls extremely important to me / in a queue for hours and hours”). Midnight on Broadway is really like No More Heroes era Stranglers, complete with Dave Greenfield (RIP) style synths. A fine, fine tune.

Dry Your Tears is bluesy, less Stranglers and more Idles, though with Greenfield-style keys and the vocals a bit Howard Devoto sing-songy. Disinfect Me is more rough-arse DIY than anything, with some nice Stranglers bass, while I Want is a consumer-age take on a Buzzcocks sound, plus synths; it also sounds like early Japan, before they went zen. With Rock-A-Hula you get a slice of the rockabilly sound that was popular back in the punk days, from the Cramps to the B52s. An enjoyable, meaty album.

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