This is a contender for album of the year. Their first album had its moments but their second is filler-less brilliance. Side 1 is as good as it gets: ‘My Own Fantasy’ kicks things off in fine fashion, full on and flat out ’77-vintage punky-pop married to soulful organ tones, with a brilliant, short solo from Law; ‘Need You’ burns with super-soulful Jam-style mod-pop; 'High' is garage-punk with feeling, the emotion oozing out of Shogun’s vocals; ‘Another World’ is a fast take on the Buzzcocks, equal parts literate, emotive and super-catchy, while the vocals on ‘Wouldn’t You Know’ come straight from some Northern Soul mid-tempo smoocher.
Side 2 isn’t too shabby either: ‘Garbage’ is a punky, bass-driven monster with acid-flecked lyrics filled with realisation and revenge: “you’re as low as they come/ not punk, just scum”; ‘Love Her If I Tried’ is rhythmic soul-punk, mixing up the same sort of influences as the Reigning Sound (another great garage-soul outfit); ‘Carolina’ sounds like the Faces’ woozy, boozy take on rock and the short 'Little Star' and ‘Electric Shock’ end things with another blast of Buzzcockian pacey punk-pop.
Everything about them is stripped down to essentials: the band are identified by single names (Shogun, Law, Joe, Shortty), the album totals 29 minutes, and everything is simple and direct, with no grandstanding or excessive soloing. It has the true spirit of punk with a heart made of soul. Maybe not just a contender...