EP Review: Desperate Measures – Rinsed

The Breakdown

Older, wiser, but still angry and disenchanted, Desperate Measures still have the power to make a proper punk record.
Easy Action 7.9

Desperate Measures formed in Christchurch, New Zealand, way back in 1981, a bundle of angry, aggressive polemic, pissed off with politicians, fake news, and the unfairness of fucked-up society. Not much has changed, then, in the forty years since – apart from geography, the internet, and the odd line-up change along the way.

Photo: Tina Korhonen

With original frontman Eugene Butcher now ably supported by former Done Lying Down drummer James Sherry, The Men They Couldn’t Hang and UK Subs bassist Ricky McGuire, and Rich Ragany and the Digressions guitarist Gaff, Desperate Measures return with new six-track mini-album ‘Rinsed’. Available on digital media, CD, and super-cool 10″ vinyl (and isn’t there just something ‘right’ about ten-inch vinyl pressings?), they may be older but they’re no less pissed-off and pointed. ‘Rinsed’ is six tracks of that same hard-hitting post-punk influenced by The Stooges, The Clash, Killing Joke and, yeah, UK Subs.

First Single ‘Flowers At Your Door’ is a little darker, a more brooding take on Lords Of The New Church, ‘Love’-era Cult, and the Mission along with the more obvious ‘punk’ references, Gaff’s chimey, echoey guitar leading a mix of The Doors and Iggy Pop vocals, a twisted little love story with a killer chorus-hook. Opener ‘Scars & Memories’ is trashier, high-octane punk/rock with a touch of ‘Blood, Fire, and Love’-era Almighty to it. ‘The Rich-Tual’ is a damning little indictment on a certain section of society with a chugging, descending verse riff before the chorus kicks in, all crashing powerchords and searing guitar lines.

‘Lost Angels’ is more ‘classic’ punk, all UK Subs and Pistols, whilst track 5, ‘No Lip’ is a riotous, bass-heavy straight-ahead punk snorter recorded live in the studio. Ending the EP is a demo version of ‘Lost Angels’ dating from 1988, much gentler and more reflective than the new version, showing that even in their softer, more contemplative mood Desperate Measures are no less pissed-off.

Desperate Measures are on the road later this year in support of the Paul Cook-led The Professionals. On the basis of this, those shows should be an absolute riot.



Track Listing:

  1. Scars & Memories
  2. The Rich-Tual
  3. Flowers At Your Door
  4. Lost Angels
  5. No Lip (Live in the Studio)
  6. Lost Angels (Demo)

Previous Track: Bass artist Alex Thesleff releases the pulsating techno of ‘Timeflow’
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