Album, Single and EP Reviews



  Asylum b/w Tie Me to the Mast by Punch and the Apostles

Asylum b/w Tie Me to the Mast cover art

Artist: Punch and the Apostles
Title: Asylum b/w Tie Me to the Mast
Catalogue Number: Lucky Number Nine Records
Review Format: 45
Release Year: 2008

This Bluesbunny was hopping up and down with anticipation when this single was dropped into the burrow. Lucky Number Nine Records seem to have a knack of finding talented bands lurking in the shadowy recesses of Glasgow's underworld and are exposing them to the light via their Seven Inch Club vinyl series. This particular one is a 45 rpm/33rpm split so already what's not to like.

Punch and the Apostles themselves pose a challenge to the reviewer - how much space should one devote to the comparisons or influences that leap out of the speakers and how to describe their rousing, shambolic, anarchic noise?  Deep breath and here goes…

A seven piece band with accordions and horns to the fore, they come across as a hybrid of a smacked up version of Dexy's Midnight Runners and some fearsome spivs playing bal-musette while gathered around the gates of hell in a noirish 50's Montmatre. And then some.

"Asylum" is a snappy tango with snarled vocals and a thumping backbeat with an arabesque sax solo. Peopled with a grimoire of bizarre characters, it sends shivers up the spine. And you can dance to it. "Tie Me To The Mast" is a lengthy romp commencing with some sombre jazz (reminiscent of Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra) before a Slavic tune stomps along with some sea shanty influences thrown in. If this sounds a bit of a mess, then, yes, it is. However, it is a glorious mess, guaranteed to have an audience fired up and rooting for more.
Review Date: May 22 2008