Thursday 15 December 2011

Precious Jules - Precious Jules

Album review by KevW

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In a career spanning well over 30 years, Kim Salmon can lay claim to forming one of Australia's first punk bands, The Cheap Nasties (later The Manikins) in 1976, and playing a part in laying down the foundations for grunge (a term first coined by Salmon himself) with The Scientists. Reaching middle-age hasn't dampened his enthusiasm for serrated riffs, swampy bass and snarling vocals, and on new project Precious Jules (which also features fellow Aussi and Morning After Girls' drummer Michael Stranges) he sticks to what he knows best.

The ragged 'Precious Jules Theme' has a sharp, Lydon-esque bark that pierces through the muddy quagmire of rumbling bass and drums before giving way to the machine-gun intro that kicks off 'A Necessary Evil', a track that leaves you hoping lyrics like "Let's not waste any time, let's just get wasted!" are spat out knowingly, with tongue firmly lodged in cheek; it's not the only point that suggests that this album is to be treated more as a fun listen than as any kind of battle cry. The snappy 'Seein' Spots' is wonderful minimalist garage-punk and its crisp-yet-fuzzy guitar is a real highlight, as is 'You're A Backlash' which is part Cramps, part Pixies and serves as a warning to today's five-minute-wonder scenester bands -"You're a backlash waiting to happen, you've been lapping up everybody's good will".

The overriding impression you get from 'Precious Jules' is that it was an incredibly enjoyable record to make. Is it as enjoyable to listen to? Well, almost. It brings nothing new to the table and 'Cheap 'N' Nasty' revisits the dubious punk spin-off genre 'Oi!', but in general the good outweighs the bad and some of the vigour and energy of Salmon's early recordings is captured here, also with his experience comes a certain mischievous quality. This is the work of a man well within his comfort zone, but if anyone's entitled to retread this ground then surely it's a man who helped invent and define it, and to have stuck to your guns for this long is definitely worth a doff of the proverbial cap.

Precious Jules by battle

Precious Jules' website

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