Who would have believed it! Not only does the crafty Burns' boy
shy away from the obvious temptation to surface with a Stiff Little
Fingers mark two, but he has the audacity to come up with something
totally out of the blue. Something startlingly different to the
cul-de-sac tunnel vision of SLF.
Say hello to the new Squeeze! With his Big Wheel Jake Burns
waves an abrupt goodbye to the laboured gravity - the slogans, the
clenched fists and the ultimate Pessimism that SLF came to epitomise.
And in its place he canvasses vigorously with a marvelously polarised
doctrine- an uncomplicated, easy-going, no-hassles pop manifesto!
Big Wheel turned me upside down with their surprisingly sharp
focus brand of pure pop, fine harmonies and abundant commerciality.
They're the closest we'll ever get to seeing the eternally wonderful
Squeeze in action again; and they're as far from SLF as you could
Thankfully Jake Burns has exorcised that phantom once and for
all. Ditching the futile aggression and empty rhetoric, he has found
a new, simpler side to his music. But let's not play down the
absolute courage of his move. It would have been the easiest thing in
the world to get back on that stage with a surrogate SLF and thrash
out the old standards. Instead, Burns' has purged himself of that
period to the point of extremity. The only perfunctory nod to SLF's
barbed wire obsessions comes when the DJ plays "Alternative Ulster",
before the Big Wheel starts rolling.
The new material soon proves remarkably worthwhile. Big Wheel
operate from a solid rock base - Lightning drums, booming bass,
cheeky guitar and Steve Nieve style keyboards - and concentrate
extensively upon filtering clear, polished vocals in between the
Songs like the witty "Life in the Capital" and the juicy "In
The Company of Strangers" have the stamp of a finely crafted pop
sensibility. All the while Burns' and his cohorts are cramming the
stage with outrageous dances and irrepressible smiles - like the
rascals of Rockpile once did - and encouraging everyone to have a
good time. Indeed, the only let down was when Burns' went slightly
over the top in his efforts to please, and it all began to sound
Still, Big Wheel haven't got the world on their shoulders like
SLF - indeed during "Shake It Off" Burns' declares "This is a song
about drinking too much" Now can you imagine SLF concerning
themselves with something like that?
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Punk & Ska
Really you should be listening to them
whilst reading this work of art - go here for some great
Book for bedtime Sir? Try this lot out -
they're really very good.