Album, Single and EP Reviews



  Guitars4Hire by The Zips

Guitars4Hire cover art

Artist: The Zips
Title: Guitars4Hire
Catalogue Number: Tenement Toons
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2006

The Bluesbunny record collection is a thing of wonder. Since his earliest days, he has collected practically anything and everything that took his fancy no matter what musical genre it might have belonged too. This release from the reformed Glasgow punk band the Zips caused a mad scrabbling back through time to find a solitary single called "Radioactivity" by the self same band back in 1980.

The question, therefore, is whether this band has remained true to their punk roots after all these years. Well, they are older and wiser (and rather more polished in technical and musical terms) but the spirit remains strong. "30 Years of Punk Rock" is a simple chant of song but it makes a good point with "you had to be there when the music died". Too many punk bands reform today - well, as many of them as are still alive - reform for the chicken-in-the-basket, accountant-by-day, festival-goer-by-weekend crowd.  Lead singer John McNeill exorcises the ghost of Joe Strummer with "King Money" and with the pointed political commentary in "Govern Meant". It took us back to the days when people could still actually care about what was happening in the world. Jimbo MacKellar's surprisingly polished guitar work is used to great effect, particularly on "Morning Standard" and the closing track "Whodunnit". Best track to our ears was the edgy, frenetic "What's It to You?"

It is pleasing to find the rawness of punk still survives in the antiseptic 21st century. Bluesbunny ended up enjoying this considerably more than he had expected to. If you lived punk, like the Clash or just crave for some simple, lo-fi, loud music then this will do it for you. Available from their website.
Review Date: March 29 2008