'A' lay down some solid building blocks
Why ‘A’ had to wait until the release of ‘Starbucks’ to really make people sit up & take notice is beyond me. This, their debut LP from 1997, was a real breath of fresh air on its release. They manage to blend so many elements so well, from real out & out punk frenzy to gentle lilting summery ballads. ‘A’ put the fun back into rock, the album title alone always raises a smile & demonstrates that they’re not afraid to just do their own thing. Reminiscent of The Dickies circa ‘Dawn Of…’, this album is full of good time uplifting tunes that have enough balls behind them to satisfy punk & rock fans alike.
Opening track ‘Turn It Up’ is a muted acoustic affair that really just serves as a precursor to the mighty ‘Foghorn’ which is the outstanding track & what a track it is! It just flies out of the stereo like Concorde on speed – a killer tune with a great shout along chorus, it was just made for a mosh pit frenzy. ‘Cheeky Monkey’ follows & is another great track that sets the tone for much of what was to come in later years, “My name is Jason, I’ll rock your face in, ‘cause I’ve got relations in my band”! At times lyrically absurd it just seems to work, the tunes are so good that vocalist Jason could sing just about anything he liked & it wouldn’t detract from the quality of the songs. By contrast track 9 ‘Fistral’ is a slow, mellow song that really captures the feel of lazy summers gone by & it’s done so well that you just accept it without question.
One of the best debut offerings I’ve heard, I could wax lyrical about practically every track on this LP but why spoil the surprise?! If you like your music loud, fast, melodic & peppered with dynamics then you can’t go wrong with this. Just buy it!