The Reaktors

The Reaktors are making quite a buzz on the Southampton live music circuit and this 10 song collection showcases some of their best work (to date).

It opens with the vitriolic “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”, a song that dares to highlight the pointlessness of war. Brian (vox) delivers an angry vocal while the Clash influence is there for all to hear. The guitars are heavy as are the drums on this uncompromising opener. It sets the tone for the whole album. “Left On The Shelf” follows with an ode to the whole relationship/engagement/marriage/divorce merry-go-round and the “end of the night” ritual of most night owls! After all who wants to be “left on the shelf”! “Dole Queue” continues with the angry vocals exposing life on the dole. An account of a previous/current government maybe in their vision of life. “Loads of room for you, on the Dole Queue” really doesn’t pull any punches lyrically while the guitars are Pistols-esque on this track.

“Tories Out” has an interesting intro (almost Flamenco merging into Old Skool Punk territory)! The sentiment is there for all to hear-I just cant help but think this subject has been covered many times before. A live favourite (as witnessed by those who attended their recent support slot to the Angelic Upstarts). For this reviewer however it doesn’t break any new ground. “You Are My Enemy” is direct, blunt and harsh. The drums are powerful; as are the guitars, which compliment the singalong chorus. Once again (to this reviewer) it’s not “pulling up any trees” but a decent enough song. If anything at nearly 5 minutes it is overlong. “Rickie Lambert”, say no more! A tongue in cheek ode to Southampton and England striker Mr. Rickie Lambert no less!

The “who are ya’s” are delivered in a terrace-style chant, while the out of key vocals don’t detract from what is a humourous ditty that is probably well received in Southampton music venues. The Clash’s “English Civil War” gets a reworking mid-song but we’ll forgive them, (just)! “Taking Control” stays with the 70’s Punk and reminds this reviewer of Punk legends The Vibrators. Power chords and heavy drums are the order of the day and the simple lyrics are complimented by a nice little piano-led middle 8. “Love or Hate” is much the same while “Guilty Heart” opens with a Buzzcocks-esque guitar intro. It’s fast paced and immediate with an almost spoken word vocal. The drums are great even if the chiming guitars in the middle 8 seem a little lost. However, this is probably the standout song on here. “You Don’t Know What It’s Like” has a Mid 80’s Gothy guitar intro before those hard hitting drums kick in. The borrowing of a riff from “Babylon’s Burning” seems to fit nicely here also while the tortured vocals are repeated to the end.

This is a decent offering from The Reaktors but to really appreciate them a live show is a must. A little more polish would be an advantage on future releases but I wouldn’t want them to lose that rawness and anger that is such a staple of their music. Anyway, it’s a good introduction to this band and I wish them well.

The Reaktors

Line Up
Vox – Brian Rawlings
Guitar/Vox – Rowley
Guitar – Elanis Hooper
Bass/Vox – Dan Caws
Drums/Vox – Steve Hogg

When Johnny Comes Marching Home
Left On The Shelf
Dole Queue
Tories Out
You Are My Enemy
Rickie Lambert
Taking Control
Love Or Hate
Guilty Heart
You Don’t Know What It’s Like


Words By Ross A Ferrone.

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