Ever wondered what would happen when you mixed ’77 bred punk rock with garage rock? UK rockers The Mobbs obviously did and with additional doses of sixties beat and R&B have crafted a sound which insatiably infests body and soul. In the mischievous shape of their third album Garage Punk For Boys, this adventure it is fair to say also provides one of the releases of the year. The accompanying promo sheet for the album suggests that “The Mobbs play a Wilko Johnson infused Billy Childish explosion”, an accurately pungent description of their sound but to that we would add the unreserved devilry of Radio Stars, the raw charm of Television Personalities, and the bracing fever of Thee Exciters in its armoury. The concoction is a riveting and exhilarating stomp with a hunger as shown by Garage Punk For Boys, which infects the listener from head to toe.
Formed in 2008, the trio from Northampton has persistently lit up stages, earning a rich reputation for energy strewn live performances, a stirring presence backed up and spread further by their greedily received full-length It’s… The Mobbs of 2011 and its acclaimed successor Stiff Upper Lip & Trousers To Match last year. With a couple of singles equally stirring the passions, the band has been a live spark in the European garage rock scene, though it is easy to expect Garage Punk For Boys being the trigger to a far more ferocious spotlight upon the inimitable uniqueness of The Mobbs.
The trio of vocalist/guitarist Joe B. Humbled, drummer Cheadle, and bassist The Bishop, who is making his recording debut with the band on the album, unleash an instantly grabbing eighteen second punk brawl through Gpfb to set things off, following it with the magnetic grooving of Get Your Hair Cut. Bass and guitar cast the first spicy lure on the second track, before snipping scissors unlock a feisty stomp littered with a wholly seductive bassline and similarly alluring hooks. Matching the devilment of the sounds, Humbled incites ears and imagination with his raw and unfussy delivery, a boisterous and infectious enticing to misbehave or conform depending how you want to take the exceptional track.
Its bewitching bounce is followed by the tangy presence of I Am the Anticlimax, clanging riffs an easy enslavement from the first breath. With The Bishop adding another delicious velvety tempting on the bass within the crisp rhythms of Cheadle, the track entwines beat and vintage punk rock, kind of like The Rockin’ Vickers meets Leyton Buzzards. Striding with attitude and sonic enterprise, the song is an instant anthem, as so much of the album, an almost concussive and certainly inescapable treat whipped up by scything guitar and punchy rhythmic enterprise, everything lorded over by the compelling tones of Humbled.
Do the Bishop! comes next and is just the wickedest instrumental baiting possible. The skills of The Bishop seduce and rumble throughout whilst Humbled’s guitar launches its own virulent seducing as Cheadle smashes anything in arms-length resourcefully. With a tang of blues sweetness to its epidemic waltz, the song sets up further hunger in the appetite for the album before making way for the melodic causticity and intriguing narrative of Demobbed. The track is primarily garage rock but at times you can almost swear there is an element of The Undertones in its slim but impossibly potent sonic endeavour.
The hungrily vivacious ride of the album is taken to another level with We Don’t Need a God, a brilliant furnace of searing grooves and greedy hooks ridden by the punk honesty of the vocals. It is pure addictiveness, every twist and tenacious slither of bait soaked in infectiousness and anthemic irreverence, leaving feet, body, and soul blissfully exhausted and thoughts rebellious. Imagine The Masonics flirting voraciously with The Adicts and you get not only the heart of the song but arguably of the whole release.
The title track is next, romping with ears and nostalgia through jabbing beats and jangly hooks, its title summing up song, sound, and the whole garage premise which fuelled punk and garage rock at their outsets. It also has thrilling melodic warmth to its gentle uprising, everything aligning for an irresistible rousing of pleasure, taken on again by the blink and you miss shortness of second instrumental Chicken Run. Its enticing strut is swiftly pushed aside by the exceptional sonic commentary of Where’s the Punk Rock!?, angst and fury as much a part of its gripping clang and garage punk fever as creative relish.
It is not exaggerating to say that every song on Garage Punk for Boys is devious rascality, all instinctively and simultaneously appealing to the styles it weaves its propositions from, One Erotic Thought another fine example with its sixties spawned beat infused garage rock tromp. As here, they all keep feet and limbs as busy as ears and imagination, and whilst thoughts may not be erotic as the song reveals of itself, they are nevertheless keen to indulge in knavish practices after each encounter.
Put It in Your Pipe clunks and swings in next, riffs bulky lures courted by compelling bass craft and vocal devilment, everything framed by precise and eagerly wicked beats. Stepping out with a punk seeded swagger, the track also wears the mischief breeding charm and adventure of King Salami and the Cumberland 3 and the aforementioned Billy Childish, drawing out more lust for the album from the passions.
The final stretch sees the blues rock induced R&B stamp of Just as Bad as You light up air and ears first before the exotic swing of Mk II immerses senses and imagination in a sultry dance of the seven salacious temptresses, well in my dreams anyway. Both songs leave appetite as greedy as ever whilst closing riot of Mad! is an aggressively spirited and ferociously contagious garage punk assault, and oh so scintillating.
It is impossible not to drool from start to finish over Garage Punk for Boys, a release which if anything from punk to garage rock, beat to flirty rock ‘n’ roll gets the juices flowing, is a must. The thing with The Mobbs is they not only create sensational stomps but do it with a presence and flavour like no other, this simply makes them one of the UKs seriously exciting and innovative bands.
Garage Punk for Boys is available digitally and on CD now via Cravat Records @ http://themobbsuk.bandcamp.com/album/garage-punk-for-boys
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