First impressions are important. My first impression of Angry Itch was of them wandering into a venue to sound check in the aftermath of a pub scuffle that had left take-away curry all over the walls, a fracas that was still in the latter stages of shouting and posturing. Sadly this was also their first impression of the venue I was booking for. Still, they are punks right? I bet they have seen worse, hell, I bet they have been involved in worse.
Second impressions are important. My second impression of the band was of them opening up a punk bill with some incendiary punk-grunge hybrids, energetic, entertaining tunes delivered fast and tight and laced with the same level of wit and streetwise wisdom that pepper Eastfield albums. Maybe there is something in the water in both bands West Midlands stamping grounds.
Third impressions are important, that being the record emanating from my stereo and it is safe to say that everything about the live show translates nicely to the recorded format. Well, as much as it ever can. You will have to imagine the pogoing and the tearing about on stage, the laughs and the wry smiles, the crowd, the beer and in my case the aforementioned reek of King Prawn Vindaloo and the crunch of poppadum’s underfoot.
If The Bristow Disco is pure comedic punk they also offer more of a grunge vibe with songs such as Years Ago, Heroes of Hate delivers a Stooges garage rock salvo and Rise Again takes us down a more commercial pop-punk route. Even if you are not normally given to such loud and shouty irreverence, there is something so utterly accessible about the songs, possibly charming …in a way, even at their most reactionary, that you can easily see them crossing into more commercial territory without having to compromise what they already do.