boss disques: ripcord "live at parkhof alkmaar holland 18/09/1988" (boss tuneage): heresy "20 reasons to end it all" (boss tuneage)
and so the boss tuneage retro series continues to make old hands like us grin self-indulgently with two more happy blasts from times distant past.
hailing from weston-super-mare, famed more for its pier amusements and, latterly, infamous resident perjurer lord archer, ripcord were always one of the more eloquent exponents of uk hardcore, and their "poetic justice" album is one of the greatest records released during that peel-led post-post-punk renaissance of the late 80s and very early 90s.
happily, this live set from 1988 concentrated largely on blooding the songs that were soon to make up the bulk of the musically stubborn, lyrically erudite "poetic justice" - scene-aware and campaigning tunes like "aim to please", "no effort no thought" and "barriers", as well as the odd former favourite (ss decontrol's "boiling point", and even a version of siege's "walls", to which n.d's lee dorrian, no less, contributes backing screams).
that said, and while we would happily have journeyed to holland ourselves if that's what it took to see ripcord, the 17 ferocious tracks - in 19 minutes - that constitute "live at parkhof" are prob still more for the r/c completists (we are guessing you may not all be one of these) rather than the right jump-off for a novice's way in to this great band.
the only sensible introduction to them is the "poetic justice" lp itself, with its surprisingly pastoral photo sleeve, but it's out of print, we haven't seen it for less than £25 recently, and you're not having our copy. (there was allegedly a ripcord cd reissue set from the states a year or two ago too, but we never managed to pin it down). alternatively, you could try to get the early demos lp "in search of a future", issued more recently for the first time by short fuse records - which has the rawness of the live set without all this recording's necessarily rougher edges. anyway, bonne chance.
we have no reservations at all about "20 reasons", however, this the third in the latest series of heresy reissues which began with da blinding "1985-87" and stuttered only mildly with "face up to it" redux.
by now (1988), their mates ripcord (q.v.) had introduced heresy to martin nichols' "white house" studio in weston super - we'd like to think it was ripcord who introduced a number of sarah bands to the same studio, but accept this may be unlikely, unless we missed all those sarah / earache double headers at the eec punk rock mountain.
anyway, heresy knew the game was up for them by now but all this meant is that this final tranche of recordings, made mostly even after their farewell gig, are particularly carefree (a bit like the wake in their more mischievous sarah days), and with an intensity that "face up to it" never quite achieved - heresy obviously found nichols easier to work with than secret shine did! - although the main slug of the tunes here are from their final peel sessions, complete with shout outs to fellow east midlands greats brian clough and, er, franz carr: by now, the maida vale engineers had, maybe against their natural instincts, become pretty familiar with the mechanics of recording ace britcore stylings.
so buttons to rockworld tv or kerrang - go get this, and join us in glorying once more in the tumbling, crashing riffage of "everyday madness everyday".
oh, and the reissues continue to be lovingly choreographed, too: the clear ripcord disc, flecked in red, blue and yellow is an aesthetic delight, with the heresy cd containing all the usual detailed sleevenotes, lyrics, pics etc...