Burnt Tapes – Never Better (Lockjaw)

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This London-based outfit is a new name to me, but when I saw that Lockjaw records were involved, it certainly made me sit up and pay some attention. I remember the label mainly from the days of releasing Tribute To Nothing records and throughout their existence they’ve always had a solid work ethic of working with other labels and promoting some excellent bands, so it’s great to see the label still on the go. The first words I read when reading up on these was “gruff-punk” which tends to mean a band falls into the Hot Water Music camp and whilst that’s not a bad starting point, Burnt Tapes are a lot less “gruff” than that, bringing to my ears a sweet mix of anything from Samiam to No Motiv, to Against Me! and plenty more, all whilst maintaining their own character.

Over the years the UK has released world class acts in this genre, ranging from household names such as Snuff and Leatherface, unsung heroes like Southport and Consumed through to cult acts like Blocko and Milloy, but loads of these bands have nowhere near got the attention they deserve, so hopefully Burnt Tapes will be able to make something of an impact as they definitely deserve it. I know I’ve reeled off a lot of bands names in this review but it’s more to set background and context as these guys really have their own solid sound. I’ve been listening to this album on and off for a few weeks now and it’s a high quality release well worth checking out. Tom Chapman

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