(4 / 5)
The Lotts are young. Loud. Raw. Don’t care if you love ‘em or hate ‘em.
Having a ball and blending retro punk and New York CBGB’s vibes with good old fashioned rock and roll.
They are not the next big thing. They will not be on X Factor anytime soon or the soundtrack to a flash car advert!
But they sound effing awesome – and we bloody love ‘em!
They are: Henry Bucanan on lead vocals and guitar, Adam Bridge on guitar, Joel Norton on drums and bassist Jamie Evans from Warrington, a stone’s throw from Manchester.
Just dropped their belting debut EP, “We Are The Lotts”, on Liverpool-based label Whispering Pines.
Produced and mixed by Thighpaulsandra at Monmouth’s famed Rockfield Studios, the five tracks encapsulate everything the band stands for: “Do it fast and do it loud!”
It was this mindset they first took to Rockfield in 2018 to record tracks as a toe in the water. They ended up cutting 16 tracks in three days – live and straight to tape.
This began their relationship with Thighpaulsandra (aka Tim Lewis), most notable for his production work with Julian Cope, Cocteau Twins, Coil and Tim Burgess.
Working in this way was a welcome change for Lewis and was reminiscent of bands he’d engineered in his early career, at studios including Loco and Coach House Studios in Bristol, where he worked alongside artists including Portishead and Massive Attack.
They returned to the welsh studio in September last year (2019), and tracked five songs each day across three days. Lewis then mixed the tracks at Aerial studios, Brechfa – through the same mixing desk that had been used to Record Portishead’s “Dummy”.
“We Are The Lotts” bangs us into submission and makes sure we pay attention from the off, with the title track opener.
17 seconds of a drum being given percussive maintenance, sounding like a demented soundcheck drummer on speed, before thrashy guitar cuts through like a bitch. The singer then opens a can of whoop ass on the attitude-drenched punky vocal.
Takes me back to circa 1978, when I was staring out as a music photographer and journalist covering all sorts, but got sent to many punk gigs until I refused to go to any more!
I was being slowly deafened. The H&S police would shut those gigs down if those same noise levels were happening today.
I also got fed up with being spat on, and often threatened with violence at almost every punk gig, just because I was a press guy with a camera. Not my idea of a safe and acceptable working environment. But I did my share of those gigs and those bands back in the day.
That said, I have always loved the power, attitude and energy and of those original punk bands. Even the ones who couldn’t write decent songs, play their instruments properly or sing for toffee. Their enthusiasm and obvious sheer joy of what they did was infectious.
One gig I do remember well was being on an AAA tour laminate with stage access, to shoot pix of a three-strong line-up: The Damned, The Deadboys and The Dickies. Great gig.
I loved shooting photographs of Watty Buchan and the Exploited back then too. Scottish punks who are still going. Came across a bunch of my shots of Watty (and his striking red Mohican hair style), The Damned, Siouxsie and The Banshees and others of that era recently. Images which I thought had been mislaid years ago.
I digress….. Back to this fine debut EP….The opener only takes up two minutes and 20 seconds of your time, so on to track two: “I Don’t”. Again, short and sweet. In and out in one minute and 47 seconds.
They sustain the tempo and the energy, with a rhythm and riff that sounds a lot like Wilko Johnson and Dr Feelgood. That menacing, strutting vibe…The Ramones and MC5 territory too….
Raw as hell and a really cool sound. No production faffing about here. Stripped down and “as live” as you can get. The first two tracks alone make me want to get to see these chaps live. (And get the camera gear out too).
Third cut in, “Dumb” and there’s a definite nod to The Undertones with this one. That’s no bad thing. Less thrash and more of a jingly jangly indie vibe, but still with attitude and energy. All over at 120 seconds, when they sling in some guitar feedback for good measure.
Longest track yet at two minutes and 40 seconds, “Preacher Man”. Fuzzed up guitars, and a more refined sound than the loud and bombastic stuff of tracks one and two.
It gets a bit psychedelic at one point. I know they like their raw, under-produced sound, but this one felt a bit more like a work in progress to me. Still good though.
Final offering “Mouth” spoils us at four minutes and 47 seconds. A more controlled, less frantic approach. A tad Lou Reed and Iggy-ish maybe. Even Nico vibes….Bauhaus spring to mind too.
This one’s far less punky – more 1960s and LSD than 1970s, safety pins and spiky hair.
It gets a bit too much Hawkind for my liking, with the OTT spaceship noises. Like a chap from the sound effects department on Dr Who whose liquid lunch went on a bit too long, and his return to the office, overdid the bonkers sounds.
The noise and no music takes up half the song, from circa 2.44 to 4.47 and gets quite irritating. But…..if you want to get your own back on any annoying neighbours, this is the track to do it with….
Overall a most decent debut from The Lotts, which deffo whets my appetite for what’s to come….
By Simon Redley
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’