When three stalwarts of the local Dorset music scene join forces for a new project there is always a good deal of interest to see what the musicians can come up with. Supergroups though, are not always what they are cracked up to be. The three, with their combined extensive CV’s say they have developed a feeling for composition and arrangement through decades of live and studio work with a huge variety of acts including Pudenski Bros, The Seventynine, Spooks, Pelvis, Powder Monkey, The Decatonics, Bloom, Moonbeams, Aspects of 7, Syghtseers, Bewley Brothers, Rathbones, Surfin’ Dave and the Absent Legends, Jimmy Hillbillies, Gershon and the Now Sound.

Songwriter Martin Marv Rice says “us as a trio tackle our material not as jaded old hacks, but with the excitement and enthusiasm reminiscent of a first original venture. These are early but exciting days for the band, and armed with over two albums worth of original material we are looking forward to bringing the live set and further recordings to a wider audience in the coming months”.

The EP which is cynically called “Greatest Hits – Volume 1”; you get the feeling that it’s three old friends playing in a room together, ripping off the shackles of modern technology using just the three rudiments of music. You can hear each player clearly without any modern effects of distortions. Kicking off with “Control Your Face” after a short burst of laughter; this catchy tune rears its head with some lyrical social commentary put to melodic guitar and toe-tapping, creative rhythms with a radio friendly chorus.

“Eccentric Avenue” sounds a bit like an imaginary soap opera full of weird and wonderful characters… the sad suburban weirdos and the loneliest of heroes. The lyrics describe the characters with various interesting traits, and it’s all set in the Harrow postcode of Ha2. My favourite must be “Kev and Heather” who live for their car park fun, I cannot believe why the lyric “Taking Out their dentures, hoping for adventures” has never been thought of before.

There are plenty of other cleverly constructed lyrics in there too. Marv’s vocals are wonderfully clear and have a real depth to them with the trio showing a real chemistry with plenty of nice instrumentation to enjoy.

“Let’s All Go to Space” steals its rolling guitar riff from The Pixies track “Where Is My Mind”, I sure Frank Black won’t mind as it fits in quite well with this composition. Once again, the trio take us on a journey through another impressive arrangement with the lyrics open to various interpretations. The Radiohead-style guitar burst towards the end shows the band’s influences on this, which is a celebration of some of the wonderful alternative guitar music from the 1990’s.

The Ken

The final track “I’m You” starts off with yet more infectious jangly guitar and simplistic but effective rhythms, it reminds me a bit of Del Amitri without the Scottish accent. It sounds like quite a happy “should I stay or should I go/break-up or not song”. The lyrics show someone weighing up the pros and cons of a difficult relationship. Once again there are bursts of melodic guitar towards the end, with a song that leaves you wondering……..

The front cover of this EP features the late great comedy actor Leonard Rossiter on an exercise bike in just his vest and pants. I’m not sure if that is a good move to help the band shift copies, however once you get past this there are four great listenable songs that display the talents of these three notable musicians.

Track Listing
Control Your Face
Eccentric Avenue
Let’s All Go to Space
I’m You

Martin Marv Rice (Guitar/Vocals)
Paul Rouillier (Bass)
Jason Elms (Drums)


Article by Dave Chinery (Chinners).

The Ken