Being in the privileged position of getting to hear dozens of new albums every week, it often does one good to – if you’ll forgive the corporate claptrap – step outside of your comfort zone and pay some attention to a band or style of music that may not always make it onto your iPod playlist. Being the ancient entity that I am, punk rock has always been about a certain time and place and the only bands I really grasped to my oversized man-bosoms were the Sex Pistols, Misfits and The Ramones; there were others I liked but those were the only ones I’d say were in my top bands of all time. As such, the whole alternative thing passed me by despite being the ripe age of 15 when Nirvana‘s “Nevermind” came out – I was having too much fun listening to Iron Maiden and Megadeth to give a hoot about the current trends.
So why the history lesson? Because Cumbrian trio Colt 45‘s debut full-length album “The Tide is Turning” arrived in my inbox and instead of giving it a listen and casting it to one side, I found myself playing it through at least three times in a row. Not that my tastes have changed and I now worship at the altar of Cobain but there is a confidence and energy to “The Tide is Turning” that was enough to make me want to hear it again… and again.
An 11-song blast of angst – and that’s genuine angst as opposed to the hipster version – “The Tide is Turning” best resembles the mid-’90s anthemic pop-punk of The Wildhearts before they started mucking about with those awful sound effects, and songs like ‘I Thought I Knew Best’ and ‘Salt Water’ could easily find their way onto national radio playlists if the right people are listening. The repetitiveness of their jangly chords and the emo-ish feel to a couple of tracks doesn’t do them any favours at all but as long as they can keep the energy with which they attack their songs and tweak the formula hear and there then Colt 45 will be a band worth keeping an eye on – they made me pay attention after all.