Carter, The Unstoppable Sex Machine
~reviewed by Mick Mercer
Weirdly, as Jim Bob's sleeve notes testify, thy hardly did any sessions, during nearly a decade and having gathered the three that exist on this CD, Jim Bob can't even remember much in the way of anecdotes to make his sleeve notes ring with vigour and wit. The music does that for him.
'Sheriff Fatman' finds Jim Bob in poorish voice but the guitar is raw and with the taped backing going mental it's one of their most rousing classics turned positively rowdy, very simply and directly produced; virtually aimed at the listener, complete with gross guitar ending. 'A Prince In A Pauper's Grave' maintains a curious delicacy despite its dour city content, and 'Sealed With A Glasgow Kiss' is something of a vicious sprawl, as maybe it should be, with 'A Sheltered Life' being furiously brilliant, one of the best songs, where the stylish lyrics are spat out over a nitro trampoline of rhythm
On the second session, the chanting and swampy riffing of 'Alternative Alf Garnett' makes you realise rebellion through the jaded eyes of a couch potato and social ills can be temporarily banished by a mean riff. 'Commercial Flippin' Suicide' could be a trifle and one-trick joke, but comes in a darker vein as the irony and sarcasm wrestle, and angry vocals leer.
Flying in the face of the moronic editors, 'Granny Farming In The UK' is nicely funereal and shows, oddly, how they so often heightened social horror so picturesquely, and this is genuinely harrowing.
By the time you get to the big line-up, captured on the final session, you can enjoy the lightly resigned' Johnny Cash' ("I thought I was bullet-proof, but a bullet proved I was wrong") but the comparatively optimistic 'Nowhere Fast' and 'Girls' are really rather dull compared to what went before. The musical power has gone, and I don't think they made the wrong decision to drop it all when they did.
Except...look at UK Indie today, and what a bore it is, with supposedly Punk takes on the Sixties, and very little attitude which interests. They make today's hopefuls look like very sick and idle infants indeed. 'Sessions' could well introduce you to their earlier albums which are bound to thrill.
Trust me. I'm an imbecile, yes, but never wrong.
http://www.carterusm.co.uk/ - great resource, and a pointer to Jim Bob and Fruitbat's new bands.