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Minute men deliver sawn-off summation of R&R history
Eric Egan, 02 Jun 2011
34.2 mins. 12 tracks. The Minutes don’t hang about. They can’t afford to. Debut album Marcata is an urgent manifesto – a cacophonous, confident and crushing slab of attitude and authenticity, steeped in the anarchic history of rock ‘n’ roll. It’s Johnny Cash giving the finger, Sid Vicious bleeding destroy, Chuck Berry snarling, ‘Don’t fuck with me’.
Desert rock, gospel, grunge, punk and blues are stuck into a blender and made their own. The production is raw and raucous, perfectly capturing the sonic swagger of a live act furiously blasting out seductive groove and riff spit, as if their lives depended on it.
But there is much shade and nuance amidst the thumping rhythm and sonic drill. The tribal intro to ‘Black and Blue (A Letter)’ is counterpointed by an ominously lurking guitar riff before opening up into a slow thrusting throb that lurches from anger to twisted pain.
Discordant piano emerges unexpectedly from the shadows of ‘Fleetwood’ like a flick knife-wielding greaser threatening the song’s exuberance. ‘Heartbreaker’ is a hatful of holler that should be retitled ‘Neckbreaker’. The twists and turns of ‘Guilt Quilt’ could serve as the soundtrack to a garage band painting by Grant Wood. Its contorted rockabilly stylings are an ambiguous mixture of thrashing reverence and ambiguity. Their version of the old blues standard ‘I.M.T.O.D’ is souped up and bashed out as a punk parson, high on the fire and brimstone of Old Testament sermonising. It stands on a par with Zep’s rendition. In fact this entire album is that good. Don’t waste time. Get it – this minute!