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Fried Brains

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Album Review

Their tongues may or may not be firmly in cheek, but the opening crash of Fried Brains, the first new Lurkers studio album in way too long, sums up the way a lot of people feel. "All new music is a bore, just need what I've heard before...same old songs from the early days will keep me happy to my grave." All set to the same wave of crashing guitar and percussion that made the band what it was in the first place, "Come and Reminisce" is the kind of statement of intent that lets you know exactly what you're going to get from Fried Brains, and the band does not disappoint. This is the album the Lurkers could and should have made the first time around, and maybe they did. Certainly there's no musical indications that 30 years divide Fried Brains from Fulham Fallout, beyond the occasional lyrical nod to the passing of time, while the subject matter includes an ode to a clapped-out tour bus ("Sick Transit") and a sorrowful lament for a teenaged love affair ("Punk Rock Brought Us Together [But Country Tore Us Apart]"), alongside more serious stabs at animal cruelty (the chilling "Revenge of the Dogs") and social disorder ("Time to Wake Up"). See, even the songs could have come out of a timewarp, and that's exactly how it ought to be. Too many reunited bands set out to rewire their pasts, without even thinking about why people might care that they re-formed in the first place. That's why, again in the words of "Come and Reminisce," "I won't even buy new stuff by the bands I used to love." Fried Brains might be the exception that proves the rule.


Formed: 1976

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Formed in London in 1977, the first-generation punk outfit the Lurkers originally comprised vocalist Howard Wall, guitarist Pete Stride, bassist Arturo Bassick (born Arthur Billingsley) and drummer Manic Esso (a.k.a. Pete Haynes). Trumpteted as Britain's answer to the Ramones, the group debuted with the single "Shadow," released on the fledgling Beggars Banquet label; Bassick soon exited, and with ex-Saints bassist Kim Bradshaw, the Lurkers reached the U.K. Top Ten with the follow-ups "Ain't Got...
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