Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Post-punk - A Slight Return

Win were born out of the ashes of Scottish post-punk act The Fire Engines. Formed in Edinburgh in '80 The Fire Engines had a meteoric rise that saw them signed to Fast Product, release a couple of critically well received singles and one album and then, by the end of '81 they were done. Singer Davey Henderson and drummer Russell Burn re-emerged a couple of years later as Win. A much more commercial property than his old band, Win mixed edgy post-punk riffing with slick dance beats and a much bigger production budget. I blogged these guys a couple of years ago, and there is currently a great post about Davey and his music (Fire Engines, Win, Nectarine No.9) over at The Sound Of The Suburbs.

The band's second single You've Got The Power (Chocolate Thrills Mix) was a hit with me right away. As I said the first time around, "If I had ruled the world chart domination would have ensued, but of course it didn't." It has big booming beats, some seriously funky bass and guitar, Davey's distinct voice, and a hook that is hard to resist. Shoulda been a big hit, period.

For some reason it took four years for the band to get an album released. ...Uh! Tears Baby finally appeared in '87 to good reviews, but the band were never able to break out of Scotland. I enjoy the record's mix of rock and electronics, and there is a nice streak of experimentalism at work too. Un-American Broadcasting (their first single) is an attempt at slick funk, with Davey's breathy croon kind of reminding me of The The's Matt Johnson. I love the piano riff, and the weird clattery rattling percussion sounds too. I also like the break in the middle, all spacey treated keys and wacky speak and spell vocals. Not a brilliant album, but one that deserved more attention than it got.

Win's Wikipedia page.

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