Friday, 7 October 2016

Review: Petrol Bastard – 'We Need To Talk About Gavin'

'We Need To Talk About Gavin'

Petrol Bastard have become the Donald Trump of the industrial scene, in that it was just one big joke and they are still amazed that people are still clueless enough to follow! What started as one drunken conversation has moved onto festival appearances, a naughty list of albums & EPs and a swathe of offensive merchandise, and they are still perplexed that people keep throwing money at them. They have tried everything to put people off, but to no avail. The only thing they can do is ride the wave and wait for the projects inevitable engulfment.

Enter 'We Need To Talk About Gavin'. Two things struck me before listening to the record; One, Why is there a pineapple on the cover and two, Who the fuck is Gavin? Neither of these questions are answered throughout the fifteen track run-time, but we are treated to an album packed with satire, countless special guests and bass deep enough to drown an otter.

It starts with a cheesy intro. Instead of the duo going full force into the fold as has been with their other works it is instead laden with clips from their answering machine of people asking about the absent Gavin. It's a strange set up, but it does give an indication on how this record has moved on from the early days of mindless fuckery.

The follow up track 'Full English Buckfast' is a literal wake up call. A perfect blend of hardcore, electronica and gabba that's stretched out in front of you as the boys tell you of their hectic lifestyle. Although it's content is still similar to their previous work it is very clear they have bucked up their ideas for this record. 'My Favourite Blue Pants' is as disgusting as you'd expect. The tune itself is very catchy and features a great cameo from Kunt & the Gang. Although the chorus can be a bit jarring, the excessive fog horn use is pretty funny.

'You Sent Your Granddad On Robot Wars' is a great little tale, proving once again that PB are incredible storytellers. Using the theme of 'Self Preservation Society' for the chorus gives the tune a real British feel but it doesn't make the track stand out more than it should.

The next track 'Yorkshire Piss Bomb' is a strange change of pace for the most part. The vocals from Ctl, Alt, Del's Em Wagner makes it sound more like The Human League have been at the Babysham!
It builds up to a slice of chavvy bliss which will then get stuck in your head.

Then there's 'Six Cheeseburgers'. To put it simply, it's a doom march about fast food. Never before has there been a song documenting what it's like to work at McDonald's at 11pm on a Friday night when a car full of hyped up twats turn up on their way to the club... and I doubt there will be after this one.

By far one of the strongest tunes to the album is 'IDGAF What The Doctors say'. A cheery tune with a sunny disposition including vocals from Big Chief Humming Bobbar. Once again it's one of those really catchy tracks which if you weren't properly listening could be very easily put on the radio.
'Nobody Knows What Happened In Glasgow' is apparently based on a true story. Co conspirators Petrol Hoers and Autopsy Boys get involved on this one, by the end of the track the mist descends and you wonder if any of them are welcome back in Scotland, if so it'll be a miracle!

'Transit Van' is a welcome (?) return to the PB sound we all know and love (?) It's short, bitter, hard and will have you dancing so hard you'll hit your head on the ceiling.

Where 'Transit Van' was a dodgem ride of brutality, 'Its Not Drink Driving If You're In A Ford Capri' is more of a roller coaster ride. There's still a chance you're going to throw up, but it's far more enjoyable to listen to.

'Me & Anne Diamond' is a proper little acid trip of depravity and a stalker's pride. Surprisingly minimal and still just as quirky, Anne Diamond should feel privileged to have had this ditty written about her.  'How 2 Fite' is a cocky electro nugget that will get even the hardened Industrialist raving. If you enjoy the music of Combichrist & Faderhead but long for something better then this is the track for you.

Another one of those out of the blue mysteries is 'Fuck Off Pauline'. Who is this poor woman and what did she ever do to them? (They will never get their lasers back with that attitude). The breakdown half way through is pretty bad-ass though.

One of the weakest tracks is 'Frosty Jack's Robot Greggs Wankathon'. Although it is a stark reminder on what the band is mostly known to do, but it is repetitive, grating and doesn't really offer anything new to the record.

The real surprise is the final song. The instrumental outro 'Porno Paradiso' is nothing short of amazing! Reminiscent of those old 80's schlock horror movies this track would have fitted perfectly on the credits of any Troma film. The fact that PB member Ben Atomgrinder had a role in Kurt Dirt's low budget gore-fest 'Life Is Cheap' might have played some part in this track's creation. Never the less it is a very odd and refreshing way to end a record so diverse and different to it's predecessors.
It was clear right from the start that the album was a step up from the humble beginnings of 'Jihad Trombone'. Most bands who release a best of compilation come out with a weak follow up soon after, but in Petrol Bastard's case it is quite the opposite. They are still dirty, foul mouthed and borderline insane boys and with 'We Need To Talk About Gavin' there is more organised random chaos attached to it than any of their past work combined. Plus with the godfather of naughty nineties industrial Johnny Violent once again on the mastering desk it has not only become an instant masterpiece but also a part in the genre's history.

One thing I can say though is that they still know how to put on a party... Just don't let them anywhere near America!

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