Les Cox (Sportifs) don’t sound like they just released an album last week. They sound like they could have been born in the late 70’s post punk scene. Their dissident noise accented by choppy rhythms, minimal crunchy guitar and Christopher Rollen’s heavy accent makes me believe that they are the rightful heirs to the stolen chalice of arty lo-fi art school pop that Yummy Fur snagged from the Fall, Fire Engines and the first Modern Lovers record.
Scheiß Mit Reis is the first full length album from the Newcastle, UK band. It follows an eight song ep that came out two years ago on Stop Looking and a 7″ single last year on Clunk Click. Each release has seen the band progress. Last year’s Total Straightness single was ace, especially the A-side The Hand and the Heep and Scheiß Mit Reis sees the band continuing with a full head of steam. The Cox (can I say that?) can get downright silly with songs like God Vor Domma and the title track. The former sees them employ Adam Sandler accents to somewhat amusing effect while the latter ends with the punch line: But I don’t like rice!. Then there is the song C.O.A.S.T.A.L.M.O.T.H.E.R.F.U.C.K.E.R which in some alternate reality is the hit of the summer with kids blasting it out of their parent’s minivans as they wait for the red light to change as Les Cox spell it out.
It isn’t all shits and giggles with these smarmy art school boys. John E Millais is a story song about the English painter reminiscent of Johnny Horton and Dead Beat Formula deconstructs, dismantles, and kills rock n’ roll and then realizes that all that isn’t quite necessary as Bo Diddley shows them the light. Mixing Up the Cordite is an anti-war and anti-establisment song commenting on the current and past geopolitical ignorance of the masses that enable governments to wage wars in far off places to general apathy with lines like Well I hear there’s a war on in a country I don’t know, and Well, I couldn’t care less who wins the war. The songs are played in a rudimentary minimalistic way and if you don’t pay close attention you could easily assume that it’s one goofy art school joke after the next, but scratch the surface and it becomes much more. It’s only the middle of the year, but I can safely say Scheiß Mit Reis will be in my year end top ten.
mp3: Johnny Horton – Jim Bridger (from Greatest Hits)
mp3: The Fall – Rollin’ Dany (from This Nation’s Saving Grace)
mp3: Minutemen – The Big Stick (from 3-way Tie for Last)
mp3: Fire Engines – Meat Whiplash (from Hungry Beat)
mp3: Modern Lovers – Government Center (from The Modern Lovers)
mp3: Yummy Fur – 801 (from Sexy World)