Wilko Johnson’s Son Features In Restless Anti-Ignorant Post-Punk Outfit
Red nylons over their faces, full suits, this band play gigs looking like an organised crime mob out of Two Smoking Barrels, That’s Eight Rounds Rapid. This 4 strong outfit from Southend On Sea combine elements of post punk, indie and traditional rhythm and blues in their charged and idiosyncratic style. Eight Rounds Rapid’s post-punk pastiche reflects Kraftwork and Devo whilst they remain reminiscent in sound of the pub rock scene with dress sense just as sharp as their sense of humour. Just when you thought they couldn’t get any more rock n roll, you find out that Wilko Johnson raised their guitarist. Of course he’s good.
After slogging it out in the studio for five days, the band’s debut album Loss Leaders has just dropped and VLR spoke to Eight Rounds Rapid to get the low-down. The band had been writing material over the past two years and found themselves recording in No Recording Studios. “We recorded live over five days,” tells Simon Johnson, guitarist. “We could have definitely put out two more albums worth of material in the last couple of years but it’s all about the quality and not the width.” He added; “The band is very democratic, if any one dislikes anything we abandon and move on.”
Although the idea of post punk can spark a hint towards overproduced tracks frothed with drum machines and power pop synths, Eight Rounds Rapid couldn’t be further from the stereotype. “We try to make records that we can recreate live” said Simon, “multi layered Spector-esque is not our thing. We try to keep it honest.” On stage the band look relaxed and in sync with what they’re producing, Simon told VLR they hadn’t always liked the same music as each other. “We didn’t really have many mutual influences.” Explained Simon; “People we listen to that may have sub-consciously rubbed off are: John Lee hooker, MC5, the fall, Pixies, but we always said it was pointless playing with pastiche.”
As with many new groups worth their salt, Eight Rounds Rapid’s sound can be compared to bands who have gone before them but this element is integrated in with some pretty original notions. Simon told VLR; “there is a practical need to have a genre that loosely defines what you do, but we often wince when we are described as a punk band, RnB band or a mod band” he went on; “If you can’t add anything new to the form then sit in the audience.”
Well said. Over the summer Eight Rounds Rapid are hammering their way through more recording, gigs and festivals. Keep your eyes peeled for these crooks on the Rebellion festival line up next month.