Sunday, 24 March 2019

The Dead 60s - Time To Take Sides (2007)


Released August 2007

This was the second and last album from Merseyside-based retrospective Clash/Specials/early Joe Jackson influenced band. Where the first album was very definitely influenced by that late seventies white reggae/punk style, this one owes more to new wave and even nineties Britpop. There is a melodiousness to it as opposed to a gritty, urban dubby attack. The group are clearly trying not to simply produce more of the same. They diversify a bit, but it is still a retrospective offering.


1. Bolt Of Steel
2. Beat Generation
3. Stand Up
4. Start A War
5. Dull Towns
6. Last Train Home
7. All Over By Midnight
8. Liar
9. Don't Walk Away
10. Desert Sun
11. Seven Empty Days                          

"Bolt Of Steel" is a new-wave inspired number that reminds me of the material Bruce Foxton does these days. It features some jangly guitars and a "la-la-la" Jam-esque vocal bit at the end. "Beat Generation" is a lively and catchy song with a solid bass line and another new wave feel about it. Actually, rather than look back to the late seventies in its feel, it has those afore-mentioned distinct Britpop echoes about it. It also takes a riff from Elton John's "Passengers" at one point. "Stand Up" is a chunky, riffy but melodic and anthemic track that manages to merge both Clash and Jam sounds with even a Housemartins-style chorus.

"Start A War" again has both seventies and nineties vibes. In 1980 this would have been a great single and would now be on everyone's new wave playlist. As it is, it will remain largely overlooked, which is a bit of a shame, as it is a great song. "Dull Towns" has a post punk/early U2 drum and guitar backing. Again, it would have sounded great at the time, but in 2007, it was probably just too out of time. "Last Train Home" is a slow, sombre plodder with a bit of atmosphere to it and a change of pace.

"All Over By Midnight" is a Ruts-inspired punky romp, full of throbbing bass lines and spiky guitars, together with an abrasive vocal. The "Eton Rifles" bit at the end is a bit obvious, though. "Liar" could be straight off the first Clash album. Nice deep bass on this one too. Despite it clear revivalist sound, I can't help but like it. "Don't Walk Away" is another Bruce Foxton-inspired track, for me, anyway. "Desert Sun" has vague hints of The Police in it. "Seven Empty Days" again harks back to 1979-82. It sounds like Madness.

So, that was The Dead 60s. They gave us two enjoyable, refreshing albums but they were ultimately just too backward-looking to prosper any further. That doesn't mean these weren't two good albums, though.


No comments:

Post a Comment