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THE CRAVATS – ‘Dustbin Of Sound’ Album Review

THE CRAVATS – Dustbin Of Sound

The CravatsThe co-founder and frontman of The Cravats, The Shend, describes ‘Dustbin of Sound’, their first new LP in 37 years – “As always, it’s unique.” The album contains 13 tracks with all of the weirdness that fans of the band have become accustomed too despite the fact that that it has been a lifetime since the last release!

From the opening saxophone notes to some atonal stuff the band build to an eclectic rhythm with the saxophone prominent before the vocals kick in. The verse sets up a power chord chorus with the spoken/sung words adding to the entertaining mix. There are obvious links to Beefheart and jazz structures as well as hints of The Cramps, Art Brut and The Birthday party. Track two is Batterhouse where the prison siren is interrupted by some noise and then a strong bass rhythm kicks in before the saxophone and vocals remind me of Tom Waits with the music true psychobilly in effect. On Motorcycle Man the chunky, punky guitars drive forward and the sax add to the mix to produce a truly wonderful rock and roller that had us jiving around the desk!

The Cravats are clever and they are bloody good fun with 100 Percent opening with a thundering bass soon joined by a stalking saxophone and strong beat building into a super song like a jazz punk James Bond movie theme tune. Blurred has a horror punk feel as the vocals are back a bit in the mix and its followed by Power Lines with bleeping and blinking sounds leading to a chunky guitar and pounding drumbeat bringing the B-52s to mind but with more edge and menace – one of my top tracks of the year!

Jingo Bells takes on the racists and their anti-immigrant bullshit and that bass just forces you to bounce around and that sets up Bury The Wild with its dance infused beats, tight instrument interaction and that bass voice part singing/part talking providing the narrative to take the track forward. The album is full of intrigue, humour, pace and power and these traits are fully displayed on Bigband where the chaos is barely controlled. Whooping Sirens slows it down a bit in a Paranoid Visions type of sound full of atonal guitars and an ominous atmosphere.

On Hang Them The Cravats go full on Beefheart as the song tumbles along almost falling over with the penultimate track Big Red Car taking on a nursery rhyme feel with discordant backing. The album ends with All U Bish Dumpers and the solo sax intro meets some punky chords and then builds into a head-banging riff with some downright strange lyrics! The Cravats have managed to pull off the impossible and sound like a brand new band at the top of their creativity 37 years after they astounded Crass fans with their eclectic sound.

Check out Dustbin Of Sound by The Cravats here: www.overgroundrecords.co.uk