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Review: 'Razorcuts'

-  Label: 'Optic Nerve Recordings'
-  Genre: 'Eighties' -  Release Date: '20.6.20.'-  Catalogue No: 'OPT 4.026'

Our Rating:
This is the first of two double vinyl re-issues for Razorcuts two Creation albums from the late 80's that Optic Nerve Recordings are putting out. For anyone who don't remember Razorcuts they were one of the leading lights of the C86 crop of bands, one of the members was going out with one of Talulah Gosh, they were certainly an integral part of that scene. I just wish I could remember who I saw them support back then, it's certainly cool to finally hear the albums this band, who were originally from Luton and then ended up based in Oxford, released. When this album came out originally it was the best-selling album Creation had put out before Primal Scream took off that is.

From the opening title track Storyteller, Razorcuts sound like a good jangle pop, powerpop style indie band this is catchy and the organ drives things on nicely.

Try is one of the few songs to be talking about vapor trails in the 1980's before they became an eco- concern, but they use them as a way of declaring your love over wonderful chiming jangly guitars very similar to Close Lobsters or early Soup Dragons.

A Contract With God is reasonably mellow tale of a friend who says he has that contract as the keyboards really make the song work in a similar way to some of The Vaselines songs.

Sky High is the first song on this album that sounds like Dave Kusworth having something of his yearning in the vocals, this is gentle like your getting Sky High in a very laid-back way.

Everyday Eyes is a gloriously doleful shoegaze love song to that girl with a very sixties psych pop influence too it. Jade is a nicely acid drenched love song about what they talked to Jade about that sounds like the sort of tune I'd hear blaring out in Ugly Child Records on Hoe St Walthamstow back in the late 80's.

Silhouette is gently jangly and another glorious evocation to love and the everyday worries of catching the train home again.

Brighter Now is a string laden song as if they are trying to go full on Scott Walker as they try to find a way out of being depressed and claim every day is Brighter Now.

I'll Still Be There really has them sounding a lot like Orange Juice and similar Postcard acts. The album closes with The Last Picture Show a cool jangly tribute to the film that sounds real cool and has a wonderful organ solo a great closing song.

The album of bonus material opens with Music From The Big Pink that sounds far more psychedelic than The Band usually did but it glories in that late 60's sound in the way that loads of mid 80's bands did a really cool instrumental.

I'll Still be there is the version that originally came out as a 7" single and is a sweet slice of chiming indie pop. Sorry To Embarrass You sounds like The Rag Dolls to me a very cool little tune.

Mary Day has a similar yearning feel to The Jasmine Minks and again it makes me think of Dave Kusworth but that might just be that they were influenced by the same 60's records.

I wonder if the version of Sad Kaleidoscope that opens the second side of the bonus disc is the one that originally featured on Trout Fishing In Leytonstone 3, a rather legendary fanzine with free flexi-disc, and of course a hobby a couple of my school friends had, who would go all night fishing at the Eagle Pond in Leytonstone trying to avoid the folks dogging there, this would be the perfect jangle to take your minds off the rum goings on.

The Horror Of Party Beach is the only song hear to sound influenced by The Jesus & Mary Chains Upside Down single but with lighter vocals this is an odd song that sort of works in the horror it encapsulates for many of us of being at a beach party when that isn’t our scene at all.

Sometimes I Worry About You is back to the 60's jangle pop template and this is just a nice typical shoe gazing love song that cares for someone going through a hard time.

Big Pink Cake makes the claim that they have made the cake for the whole human race as they were really that ambitious as they kept telling us to run around like they were watching that old kids game show.

I must also give thanks to my late friend Anthony Strutt for his informative interview with Gregory Webster for Penny Black Music that helped me with some background info on Razorcuts.

Find out more at https://opticnerverecordings.com/products/razorcuts-the-storyteller-2lp?_pos=1&_sid=eae8fc4b4&_ss=r&variant=31320666079343
  author: simonovitch

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