Benny Hill of the UK garage rock scene.

Armitage Shanks "Smash the Cistern!" EP
God, how I love the Shanks, and it's great to see that the rumors of them throwing in the towel may be a bit premature with this new release. At least I hope so, because it appears they still have something left in the tank. "Deny Me" is a classic Shanks mid-tempo clanger, somewhat bitter as usual ('cause they always get the shit-end of the stick, you know), but not letting it get the best of them. They'll still rock it out no matter what you throw at 'em. Dick's vocals are strong on this one and there's some delicious and crisp twang present on the guitar. Shifting songwriting mode to takin'-the-piss-style, they break out "Buzzcocks Mug", a name-dropping pot-shot aimed at the 'cocks themselves, crass commercialism, memorabilia collectors and coattail riders (from what I'm guessing), the sort of nudge-nudge-wink-wink joke these limeys are so good at. It's kind of sung to the tune of "The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle" as well. "Me and Yer Granny on Bongos" starts of sounding like "Shirts Off" but turns out to actually be a hilarious bit of deadpan spoken word cheekiness. Funny in that pleasant (and a bit Python-y) English way. "Chav Scum" closes, sort of a dirty boogie with Shanks in total rock-mode, tossing off another inside/Brit-centric joke I don't really get but am totally happy to guffaw along with. A splendid platter from a band I always like to think of as the Benny Hill of the UK garage rock scene. Stick around boys, please. Nice full color cardstock sleeves.(RK)
(Cock Energy // PO Box 8793, Chico, CA 95927)

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