[sic] Magazine

Extradition Order – Since the Bomb Dropped

London-based four-piece Extradition Order play with the kind of passion that feels like they’re on the verge of madness. Post-punk guitars clang and strafe, cheap keyboard sounds splash colour and humour across the mix, the rhythm section stomps and crashes, sometimes struggling to keep up with the galloping momentum, and vocalist Alastair Harper croons and yelps over the top. Essentially, these Northern fellas manage to synthesize the lascivious melodrama of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, the literate sneer of Elvis Costello, and the dank British indie-rock that I grew up with in the early ’90s (Marion, Molly Half Head – remember them?). It stinks of frustrated masculinity, laughably romantic gestures and righteous anger. I would have killed to see them live when I was 16.

Since the Bomb Dropped comes rattling out of the gates with the chunky bass, wafty keyboard line and call-and-response vocals of ‘Atticus’. Harper immediately grabs you by the throat with his impassioned vocal style. ‘Petrol Meets Matches’ follows, a tight dance-punk stomper akin to The Rapture minus the cloying production sheen. A punchy opening salvo. Then, ‘The Wheel’ takes the pace down a notch for a rich, brooding number with hilariously deep backing vocals that sound like drunk monks. It still builds to near-hysteria, but at least they start off on an even keel.

‘Precious Home’ is the first miss-step, a wonky acoustic song that’s basically the punchline “It’s easy to be a crack addict on a state pension” tacked onto a story of urban strife. ‘Peterloo’ gets the album back on track with its filthy bassline and eerie keys, Harper’s voice cracking in the chorus. This leads into the superb middle trio of songs, ‘Laura In The Water’, ‘The Bullet, The Knife and The Ice’, and ‘Candide’. ‘Candide’ is especially good, with Harper even getting away with speaking the bulk of the lyrics without sounding like a dick. Quite a feat. The final stretch of songs is decent enough, peaking with the glorious organ and fuzz-bass riff of the ‘Islington Creeper’, but with nothing to quite match this excellent 15 minutes.

With 14 songs stretching over 50 minutes, Since the Bomb Dropped would have welcomed some quality control to lose the weaker songs and keep the set tight and propulsive. As it is, this is still a thoroughly enjoyable debut, and no doubt a harbinger of great things to come.

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