Friday, September 07, 2007

FDF Volume 1: Issue 67: Neds Atomic Dustbin - Are you Normal?

Album - Are you Normal?
Artist - Neds Atomic Dustbin
Key Players - Matt Cheslin - bass, Jonn Penney - lead vocals, Rat - guitar, Alex Griffin - bass, Dan Warton (aka Dan Dan the fast drumming man) - Drums
Produced By - Andy Wallace

Release Date - November 3, 1992

What caused me to blow off the dust?
- It was just time, oh and what the heck did I wait for?

Overview - Neds Atomic Dustbin (who got their name from a 1960's BBC radio show) formed in 1987 in England. The band, with a silly name, and two bass players in the band gained a quality reputation as a live act that continued to spill over for years to come. This album, Are you Normal?, was the bands second major label release. Success would elude the band in America and after a third album was released the label lost interest in the band they were dropped.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) -
"Suave And Suffocated" opens up the album with some machine gun drums, crunchy guitar, swoop in bass line w/the dual layers. The two bass guitars are honestly a real treat to the ears. Alex plays the bass parts "higher up" and used a Capo on his Rickenbacker
bass. OH, the chime he got out of that thing! Matt plays the bass more as the rhythm, holding down the bottom. The track fades with a spoken word sample by Dennis Hopper from Apocalypse Now. Crunchy guitar, chiming bass and tambourine open "Walking Through Syrup". At the 2 minute mark is the best moment..the single guitar crunches then the bass chugs over the top, that one portion was "skipped back to" numerous times. (see down load). With ride cymbals fading up "Legoland" kicks off. The bass, per then norm, is up high in the mix and really is easy to focus on. Its a sound that few have experienced, or experimented with. It works. The song as a whole is average. Some bizarre underwater bubbly sound opens "Swallowing Air" that is met with the single bass work of Alex. Dan clicks down on the drums and the band locks into a pretty standard "rock" track. It has a rat-a-tat drum break down at the chorus. A solo guitar opens "Who Goes First?". Neds doesn't really have any "slow" songs and this is about as close as it gets to one. It has a cool break down towards the middle/end and Rat does some cool stuff on the guitar. With some studio wizardry and some delay and phase "Tantrum" has a guitar part that swirls over your head. Released as a radio single in the US "Not Sleeping Around" opens with a delayed, looping guitar that hits down with the drums and the dual bass. A good taste of the band for American radio. "You Don't Want To Do That" has a monster bass riff open things up. The first verse is pretty rushed but by the time the chorus rolls around it evens off a lot better. The verses are sung at a pretty good clip but the melody holds this song together. "Leg End In His Own Boots" is another "slower" track from the band. The band feels a little out of their element on this track for some reason. It holds up okay, and even with some great riffs it just doesn't feel very Neds like. A track like "Two And Two Made Five" bring the listener back in to the mold of what the Neddies do. A perfect example of the feel, look and sound of the band here. "Fracture" is an instrumental "bass" track. Its fun to listen to, but is somewhat of a throw away track. Opening with the line "Could your mind be as hollow as my 5 o'clock shadow" the track "Spring" launches. Per the norm the bass lines are pushed up in the mix. Rat extends layered wah wah riffs as the band approaches the chorus. Closing out the record was one of the bands UK singles "Intact". The high and lows of the bass pulls the track along and the track has a very light and bouncy feel. If one listens to this track on headphones the track towards the ends swirls from speaker to speaker in a phase,delay kind of mesh. Check that one out down below in the down load section

Where are they now?
- This version of the band broke up in 1995. After the band dissolved Jonn and Rat formed a band called Groundswell which basically "came and went". Rat was rumored to have drug problems and bowed out of the final US Tour with Neds. Rat has not performed with Neds since 2000. In 2000 the band started doing "one off" Christmas shows Matt also has not performed with the band in any of the reunion gigs and now works for the civil service. Alex completed a degree and works with computers and lectures on occasion. He has been active with the band for the reunions. Dan also has been active with the reunions, but following the original demise he went on to play in a few other bands. Neds have released their first single in 11 years in June of 2006. You can check it out here. As of this writing the band is working on new material

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience)
- Oh dear lord. The Dead had deadheads..I was a Nedhead..its that simple. Seven times in 4 years is not too bad. The earliest time was in the summer of 1991. They were one of the support bands on the Lollypops and Booze tour that I mention in the Velvet Crush Forgotten Disc Friday entry. That fall, October 10, 1991 the band was back at the Orpheum opening for Jesus Jones. January 9, 1992 the band played their most exciting show I think I ever saw at the Paradise. October 30 the same year they were back at Axis. It was an early show (gotta make room for the 10pm disco crowd) what stands out that night is we went for pizza after the show, then walked to the now closed "Rat" and caught The Mighty Lemon Drops. (ahh to be young). The final date was May 2, 1995 at Lupos in Providence. That night I was introduced to Orange 9MM and the band was "moderate" you could tell the clock was ticking. There was one other time and the date I can't confirm but my buddies and I saw the band play the prestigious all female college Wellesley College. We had heard about the gig and went to the campus finally finding out where the gig was. The front of the auditorium was "roped off " for students and during the opening band some women were seen working on homework. The auditorium was not very big at all, and once the Neds came on we ran down front (the seats never filled). It was a blast, we hung on to the stage and the band just rocked. One of the funniest moments was a buddy of mine, sweaty and hot from the "pit" took off his shirt and was then scolded by a co-ed. She started yelling at him to put his shirt back on, as it was a "women's college". Awesome. Freaking A I miss this band in a live setting.

FDF Overall Take - The bands sound can be heard these days on a smattering of bands. Formed, and touring the world as teenagers has to be hard and the band burnt out, but not before leaving a few really great and fun records. You can probably find one, or all the Neds cds in cutout bins so skip the Starbucks for a day and get your rock on. I know its easy for "critics" to poke fun, but F-off, Neds is and was great.


Official page - here
Myspace page here
Two good fan sites: here and here
Some pictures from the 2004 tour are here

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

***mp3's have been removed Oct 26, 2007 3:28pm ET***
Walking Through Syrup
Not Sleeping Around

All these tracks were taken from "Are you Normal?" which you can buy
here for as little as 89 cents??!

This weeks BONUS download
Neds Atomic Dustbin
Radio 1 "Sound City 1993" (Sheffield)
From the liberated bootleg "Radio-Active"

* the cd reads 1992..anyone confirm exactly?*

Sauve and Suffocated
Not Sleeping Around
Until you find Out
Kill Your Television

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


At 7:26 PM, Anonymous bragginbilly said...

Brilliant! And wow mega bonus points for working in Mighty Lemon Drops. I still pull out this one and Godfodder on a regular basis.

Too cool and thanks for the live tracks.

At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Mr Jakey said...





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