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REACTION – ‘Keep It Weird Keep It Wired’ Review

REACTION – Keep It Weird Keep It Wired

ReactionThe second album from Reaction was released late last year on Tarbeach Records of New York and is the follow up to 2016’s Accelerator which was the band’s first record, thirty-eight years after originally splitting up. Reaction were born out of the original punk tsunami but Keep It Weird Keep It Wired  leans into post-punk pioneers such as Sonic Youth and Wire.

The front sleeve was conceived by Turner Prize-nominated artist Jim Lambie who has also designed sleeves for Primal Scream and others. It features red on silver foil (in a limited edition).

The album opens with a super melodic and energetic Welcome To Rust Town (Featuring Monica Queen) that has elements of Chumbawamba (trumpet) and a rawness competing with the polish that just works perfectly – great track and a great opener! Stars So Far has a pulsating approach with up-front vocals supported by a strong beat and neat guitar work whereas Valerie Solanas And Me is faster, powerful and energetic with a Buzzcocks feel. Kill Time has a dirtier, bluesy feel with some great axe-work and Been There, Done That builds on this with a harmonica solo introduction and a rawer overall sound.

Gravity continues to pound out the melody, slowing down the pace, layering the vocals and pounding out the riffs and features a melodic guitar solo.

On Saints of Tamla Hill the guitars are grungier (think Sonic Youth) and the arrangement more insistent and jerkier with a soaring chorus that will get you moving and singing along as the bluesy riff burrows its way into your very soul! The excellent mid-paced singalong You Love The High Life has hooks and melodies oozing out of the speakers.

The stuttering start/stop introduction sets up the rollicking Dumb, Dumb, Dumb and I am fully transported into the excitement of 1978 punk rock with a raw edge and energy to burn and Dreams Are Free continues the momentum albeit with a Johnny Thunders vibe!

The penultimate song Won’t Go Back To Jail has some elements of The Ramones and the first wave of punk rock out of the US and the album closes with Days of El Dorado where a melodic piano helps to introduce a hooky Mekons like poppy/punky track with a punk rock attitude meeting an Americana delivery – it’s fun, catchy and a fitting end to a great album.

 

You can get your copy of Keep It Weird Keep It Wired by Reaction here: http://www.tarbeachmusic.com/

 

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