â€˜Letâ€™s have none of that bollocks about great songwriters and their craftâ€™, declared singer Nick Sanderson. â€˜Letâ€™s have a truckerâ€™s beat and some big, bold sounds.â€™ Sanderson, former drummer with World Of Twist, was describing as well as anyone can the sound of British cabaret situationists Earl Brutus. In 1996, the band, also including Jamie Fry (vocals, brother of ABCâ€™s Martin Fry), Rob Marche (guitar) and fellow World Of Twist refugee Gordon King (keyboards/drum machine), financed their first single, the Gary Glitter -tinged â€˜Lifeâ€™s Too Longâ€™, with donations to a sperm bank, and further band exploits seemed to pander to the UK music pressâ€™ hunger for sordid stories of debauchery and drunkenness. However, the sound on the bandâ€™s debut album was worth the hype. The rhythms and gruff vocals were offset by crunching glam rock guitars and bizarre synth doodles reminiscent of early 80s synth eccentrics such as the Passage and Landscape. Their live shows went beyond mere gigs, encompassing a Crimplene-clad dancer, neon light shows, radio samples, cheese-throwing and a revolving garage-forecourt sign reading â€˜PISSâ€™ on one side and â€˜OFFâ€™ on the other. Their closest neighbour in terms of attitude is probably the Creation, in that they combine primeval riffs with a sense of visual theatre, but Earl Brutus have an extra 30 years of pop tradition on which to draw. â€˜Greatâ€™ songwriters may have looked on aghast, but any band with the iconoclastic chutzpah to announce â€˜Iâ€™m like James Brown/I like boysâ€™ must have something very special. Sadly, despite the release of another excellent album (1998â€™s Tonight, You Are The Special One) the band has largely fallen back into cult status, although they remain a highly entertaining live act.Portions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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