Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Primary Colours

Eddy Current Suppression Ring reckon this album sounds more 1982-ish than their previous ‘76-ish debut. Unfortunately, this discerning listener can’t for the life of him tell the difference.

What these ears can tell you, though, is that Primary Colours is a damn fine record. True to ECSR’s DIY punk ethos, it was tracked over three days and mixed in a bedroom some months later. And while Primary Colours is sonically a step forward for the boys, it’s still an extremely low-fi effort. Never really raising its head above a simple guitar line, bass, drums and Brendan’s distinctive vocal style, this is pure punk rock.

There’s the usual Eddy Current sounds of Memory Lane and Sunday’s Coming, both of which stylistically could fit on their previous release – but there’s some diversity here too. Wrapped Up is a wonderfully structured piece of indie-garage, reminiscent of a young Ratcat (anyone remember them?), while We’ll be Turned On sees the lads get a bit cheeky with some naughty little lyrics and a totally cheesy (in a good way) synth.

It’s here that Primary Colours sees the band progressing most. While their self-titled debut was foot-to-the-floor from go to woe, this record shows some maturity. Cleary Eddy Current have learned when to pull things back, and in doing so have managed to create some truly gorgeous garage-punk numbers.

As if Wrapped Up and We’ll be Turned On weren’t proof enough, there’s the almost delicate intro of Colour Television and the bass-driven I Admit My Faults, both of which show touches of tasteful restraint. All that said, it’s hard not to love Eddy Current when they’re at their most raucous. Which Way to Go, probably the album highlight, kicks along with all the grubbiness and attitude any band could possibly muster. Brendan’s also at his best here, talking more than singing, about his indecision and lack of direction. Sounding as bratty as ever, he drops golden phrases like, “I looked up north and I looked down south. And I looked to the east and the west was the best. And I still don’t know which way to go.”

When spat with the passion and venom Brendan congers, it’s impossible not to be caught up in Eddy Current Suppression Ring’s sincerity and sheer energy. It’s a sincerity the band seem to maintain in everything they do, and thankfully Primary Colours is no exception.