Three years in the making and a new vocalist and band member – these are heady days for an already well-established Bournemouth Punk band. How to follow the brilliant debut album was always going to be a tough ask? But with help from the previous singer and main man Si (Foulkes) they have just about done it. Riot Songs is ten cuts that don’t stray too far from the Street Punk genre while adding some Celtic/Punk influences for progression. After two good listens I start to get it…

Title track “Riot Song” lights the touch paper and away we go. Following on seamlessly from “All Guts…” the power continues. New vox/guitarist Ben (Varley) bellows a gravelly, throaty delivery that leans heavily on “Animal” (ANL) for influence. Steve’s (drums) heavy snare throughout and the angry yet anthemic delivery echo the sentiment of the title. The noodly bridge is something of a departure from the obvious power, but this confident opener ends sharply with menace and fire – a great start. “What Goes Around” has a slight 2-Tone edge that echoes Madness in the intro – more throaty vocals and a simple chorus. Bass-heavy (Seb) throughout while melding the Punk/Ska sound with relative ease. The bridge is an elaborate piano/keys accompaniment before that vocal menace takes it to its conclusion.

the Crash Landings

“We Stand As One” dare I say it opens with some 70’s inspired guitars and power drumming. The winding chords wrap themselves around a vocal that echoes early “Cock Sparrer” – it’s Oi and anthemic at its heart, yet remains multi-genre. Latterly Ben’s vocals take on a Lemmy feel; but are shouted down by the uplifting chorus, all terrace chanting style (not forgetting another noodly bridge)! “The Duke of New York” is that wonderful rarity, a mid-set live breather song. Bass-heavy, fast and ferocious hitting – if anything it’s crying out for longevity and an accompanying vocal, maybe a project for album number three?

Following seamlessly is “Halloween” which doff’s its cap heavily to the Dropkicks. It has that wonderful Celtic/Punk feel that makes grown men want to jump up and dance furiously after consuming a wee dram or five. The vocals are clear and audible and it’s a love song of sorts. The slow/fast formula matches the dual vocalising and there’s even the obligatory noodlefest in the bridge which is frenetic and furious. “Always Remember” explodes into life from the outset with another in-yer-face vocal onslaught, that reminds me of the previous vocalist. That classic old skool “Gutter Punk” vocal is as charged as it is direct, which masks the noodling somewhat as the furious guitars throughout wind and weave their way around the lyrics.

the Crash Landings

“Gold” adopts a different vocal slant, yet the musicianship is somewhat New Wave – until those familiar woah’s kick in and take it up a level. It’s like a Clash/Dropkicks mash-up, and it really works! “Come On” has that whole “loser” attitude within the vocal, it’s unapologetic but inspirational. The bass sits quietly in the background as the winding guitar chords fight for attention above the big-hitting.

“Colour Of The Collar” is a standout track that harks back to “Prozac Empire” in sound and lyrical content. A shouty ode to the thorny issue (I’m guessing) of society suppression. Ok, so it’s a subject matter well documented by many a band; but that sentiment never wavers. On closer “Sister” I’m briefly reminded of “Wild Flower-era” Cult, but the similarities end there. A clicky drumbeat compliments the twisting chords while the bass throbs in the background. Thankfully it dispenses with the noodling and remains in the ballpark sound of The Crash Landings of old. Ben gives it his best ‘Cockney Geezer’ vocal slant as it meanders to its conclusion.

And there we have it, the difficult 2nd album – complete with the new vocalist! The Crash Landings were never gonna crash and burn(sic) once Si opted for the bright lights of the Arch Rivals. Instead they re-focused; took their time appointing a new singer and worked at their craft. Ben has brought one or two influences to the table that weren’t there before, while keeping to the whole Oi/Street punk ethos of the band from its outset. With Covid suppression bands like TCL can now get out there and gig, and remind us what we’ve missed. I wish them well with this release, and look forward to album number three.

Track listing
Riot Song
What Goes Round
We Stand as One
The Duke of New York
Always Remember
Come On!
Colour of The Collar


Buy the album for just £5 here.


Review by Ross A. Ferrone.