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THE SQUARE PEG
This is a classic guitar laden CD with all the riffs and melodies that one could expect from a band with a conglomeration of well
seasoned members. The opening 'Who Are You' sets a high agenda and gets the whole set moving with a nice supply of
subliminal angst. 'Lunatics', 'The Chosen' and 'Into Retreat' maintain the high performance ratio with the chant
'n' rant 'F.F.F'
being a simplistic fuckin' classic. 'City of Shit' is a speedfreaks haven with its 100mph lyrical output as is the Damned's
'Stab Your Back' which is done excellent justice and in my opinion far outdoes the original. The rest of the album is of the
same high standard with 'Mohawk Brave' being a personal fave 'Out of Bounds' a good mellow touch.
I've not seen this lot on the gigging circuit and will certainly try to check them out A.S.A.P. Definitely one to try!
How do you like your punk? Fried or boiled, well done, rare, scrambled, raw, poached, well I have good news for you because this
album by the Square Peg caters for all tastes and it’s a bloody good combination of punk across the board.
The opening song Who Are You is a even pace song which gets the foot tapping straight away, it’s your classic you think
you know better than me song, “but we know different don’t we boys” and you can hear all the instruments which I personally like,
is your typical Blair/Bush anti songs, (and rightly so) set at a slightly faster pace which gets you the listener
ready to put your beer down and get your arse on the floor.
The Chosen “Some call me the Reaper some call me god”, life or death it don’t matter as there is no getting away from
the fact that punk songs like this one will follow you wherever you are.
Into Retreat almost 2 minutes short, this number takes you back to when those who had control of your upbringing felt
they let you down, some did no doubt, but another, get on the floor we want some more.
FFF Fuck Franz Ferdinand I really would, it’s one of those songs that causes you more grief than you would imagine, it’s a
clever number which embeds itself into your mind the more you listen to it and when you are in the presence of the most unexpected
people you start singing “Fuck Franz Ferdinand I wish you would” Complimentary vocals from Karolina.
City Of Shit Classic punk rock song and my album fav, nice pacy number that will be on the tip of your tongue for sure.
The message here is where I come from it’s a shit hole life is shit and that’s that, listen to it and enjoy.
Footstep On My Grave remember when everyone around you would tell you that they knew best? This song takes you
there and makes you realise that thank god you didn’t listen to those opinions, very good usage of the brass here too.
Hiroshima lest we forget the awful consequences of what happened on that fateful day in Hiroshima. This song gives us a
short story into what happened on that god forsaken day, just wish the idiots who run countries would see that light.
Great number, thought provoking and punk.
Stab Your Back the only cover on the album and a very good one too, I’m sure the Damned will be delighted,
tough if they ain’t
Till The End a good paced loyalty number again with the message, “If your gonna stand then stand together,”
it’s that simple, driving guitar and drum sound, ah yes.
Out Of Bounds Billy Bragg comes to mind (that’s a compliment) in this being politically corrected punk number and I would
of called it Bullshit Blues but it’s not my song. Use of the old classical guitar works very well too.
Pay The Price those of you who think punk is all about belting every song in your set out ought to listen to this number as
it’s a solid rhythmic tune without loosing that punk attitude sound, once again if you listen to it enough it will grab your taste.
Mowhawk Brave great title for a song and the lyrics are spot on, especially when you look at life through a clouded glass
then listen to this number, all is not lost and it has that never say die spirit within.
Mental Persuasion What a way to end an album with Needles of the Swellbellys giving it bollocks on the backing vox,
pacy and punk as it comes number, you won’t need any persuasion to get your hands on this cd it’s that good.
As I said at the beginning, there’s something for everyone on this album so don’t just take my word, go out and buy the fucker.
Oh! Leave it running to the end for a surprise
Nihilism on the prowl
At long last we get a decent album from Stranded Records and ‘Regeneration’ in case you didn’t know features label boss
Lawrence leading his long running outfit the Square Peg into the fray once more. They’ve been around since the early 80’s with
regular shape shifting line-ups leaving only Larry on lead vocals as the constant Square Peg. He’s been joined on this album by
Needles of Swellbelly's fame on guitar who can really rip out some decent guitar riffs when required, which are way better on the
ear than his day job growling. Plus we get an ex-Threat on drums and a King Prawn on bass providing the slick backbeat.
You may not see these doing regular tours of the globe, but you’d be a fool to discount this debut album as a one off coz it’s the
best thing that’s came out under the Square Peg banner since their conception. Crunchy guitar riffs roam your speakers alongside
Larry’s more melodic tones, which makes for a neat alliance in this age of "yeearrghhhh, aaarrrgghhhh" ear damage.
They’ve got the tunes and they’ve got their own sound which is addictive midpaced pounding punk rock. ‘The Chosen’ is
Larry’s ode to the death, which seems to be a popular topic on this album.
The track ‘F.F.F.’ which don’t stand for ‘Fuck Fascist Fiends’ in
case you were wondering but for rather more sublime ‘Fuck Franz Ferdinand’. And is probably the most impressive track of the
14 on show. Its relentless snotty chanting attack on Scotland’s latest pop exports has to be applauded. The chorus is given an
added impetus with a female vocal that really creates a sinister overtone. It’s good to see punk bands taking the piss outta the
commercial sector once more, coz we don’t spend half as much time as we should ripping the piss out this plastic field..
They also have the anti war theme going on throughout this album to tie in with Hiroshima’s 60th anniversary. And this other
prominent topic gets well documented during songs like the pounding ‘City Of Shit‘ or the rumbling, slugging monster of
‘Hiroshima‘. A song which sees Larry’s vocals taking on a more impressive vibe to convey to the songs doomed sentiments.
However It’s totally turned upside down with the inclusion of an impressive cover of the Damned’s ‘Stab Your Back’
which is one of the best Damned covers I heard in many a year, capturing the original energy and snot of the track.
The other highlight was the impressive ‘Footstep On My Grave’ that used some clever horn sequences sparingly enough to
suck in anti brass fiends like meself but exploited the rhythm just enough to seal it stamp on your eardrums.
Wasn’t quite head-over-heels with the acoustic tambourine lament of ‘Out Of Bounds’, but it works and shows Mr Nicol and
Needs Help collaborating very well together. Some chunky power chords work wonders on ‘Mohawk Brave’ giving it a slight
Johnny Thunders edge. And to finish off this 14 track album some of the Swellbelly’s mind-set creeps into the delivery during
the all attack of ‘Mental Persuasion‘ as it rams the final track into the wall of Chamber studios.
Good to see Edinburgh punk back on the map in an exceedingly healthy form. All we need now is a Sad Society album on Stranded
and we’ve got the set!
pete dont care
Out of every sound conjured up here, the one that screams loudest, is the sound of realisation that after so many years and
personnel changes, The Square Peg just may have hit a home run! Without a doubt many talented, and legendary musicians
have stood where founder member Larry Nicol's recruits stand now. But did THEY ever make it seem so effortless to play
excellent punk rock? There is a whole re-birth programme taking place here from The Square Peg. Consummated by understanding.
Nourished by experience. Delivered healthily, and without complication, by a shared determination to create their own legacy.
They are proud creators.And us? We get to take it home and enjoy its best moments.
The excellent “Who Are You” is an inspired choice for opening track. Followed by the brash guitars and distorted vocals on
“Lunatics”, this album has already got you hooked! “The Chosen” and “ Into Retreat” open things up
perfectly. Proving, only 4 tracks in, just how good this line-up of The Square Peg are.
FFF is track 5 and we see a slight sparkle in the eye. Never comedy value, but a tongue in cheek rant that will earn this
song the honour of becoming the ragged anthem of drunk punks everywhere at pub closing time! Hundreds, I guarantee,
will sing it in cities and towns. It’s genius!! Next up “City of Shit” is a raucous nod to the way we all feel sometimes,
regardless where we live.
Musically tight and composed it makes no mistake about what it wants to say. “Footstep on my Grave” keeps the momentum
and leads into the brilliant and very poignant “Hiroshima”. Guitar and drum gathers as Larry pierces the moments with lyrical
observation. The song ends, almost like a final breath.
A cover of “Stab Your Back” (The Damned) is then followed by “Till the End” and a bizarre “Out of Bounds”
which sounds like an acid fried Woody Guthrie number. The album screams its way to a close with “Pay the Price”
then “Mohawk Brave” and reluctantly ending on “Mental Persuasion”
This is the first album proper from a band that has been around, in one shape or another, since 1984. Lets hope they don’t make
us wait that long for another
RUNNIN' FEART ZINE
Often you sit down to listen to a new cd you’ve been really looking forward to and think fuck that was shite.
Sometimes you hear a band you’ve never heard before and think that was okay. The new Square Peg cd arrives at my house
and I wasn’t expecting much cos I’d never heard them before. This is the bollox…. honestly!! Opening track ‘Who are you’
is a track to grace the opening of any classic punk album with a riff to kill for. There’s loads of great stuff on here…
too much to mention.In general the album switches from Exploited sound, to Jam sound to Turbonegro sound on one track and much,
much more besides. There’s the odd duff track via my ears but those are few and far between.
That description probably does the album an injustice BUT there really is something there for everyone.
This album is taking over my cd player it’s that good!!
This is no low quality punk cd. Great production, great musicianship and Larry showing off a voice that can cover all manner
of singing styles.
In the last 12 months there have been 2 great punk albums released and this is one of them.
Buy it… because you’re missing a trick if you don’t.
PUNK 4 LIFE.
This is the first thing i've heard by The Square Peg and this 14 track CD 'Regeneration' is a very good
effort. Needs on guitar brings that Swellbellys feel to some of their songs but the vocals are very
different from his with Swellbellys. I have always liked Swellbellys aggressive vocals and even though
the vocals on this CD aren't aggressive Larry does a good job.
The CD is mostly played at a breakfast pace but there are some slower songs. I Thought 'Lunatics',
'The Chosen', 'City Of Shit' and 'Mental Persuasion' the faster tracks were superb but even these were
bettered by 'Footstep On My Grave which is a bit slower and has trumpet in the choruses.
This really is a great CD and yet again Scotland brings us more quality music.
Hopefully Needs can divide his time between both bands.
PUNK & OI IN THE UK.
Bit of an odd one this, not what the band sound like or what they play but the band itself. After a bit
of digging around on the internet, I found that The Square Pegs' last release had a totally different
line up apart from the singer and this offering has Needles from the Swellbellys on guitar.
A collective band? I have no idea, but what I do know is this has one of the best guitar sounds I've heard
in years. I have no idea how this was recorded but I reckon the band should give tips on their
production techniques to at least 70% of the bands who make do with a guitar that sounds like a wasp
rattling around a baked bean tin. The songs vary between straight forward no nonsense punk rock to
sort of rock n roll punk ala New Bomb Turks, with the songs themselves being about subjects as varied
as the place where the band live ,,'City of Shit' to very over rated bands,'F.F.F.' I'm not gonna tell you
what 'F.F.F.' stands for but a clue would be to think about a fellow Scottish band with crap disco style
indie songs who have bad haircuts. As my introduction to the band (if they are a band, someone let me
know please!!) this is exellent stuff and I can't wait to hear more from them.
5 out of 5
Review by Paul
Suspect Device (Zine)
I love the raw sound of this CD - well lets face it with
Needs from the Swellbellys on guitar it's gonna be raw
and hard hitting! Fourteen tracks that are in your face all
the time with the track 'Lunatics' beiing my fave! Lyrically
there is some political protesting punk but it's a real mixed
bag on that score and i really like the use of the trumpet on
'Footstep on my Grave'. I raise my glass to Lawrence at
Stranded Records for this one especially for the Damned
classic 'Stab Your Back'.You wont hear that done better
anywhere else! All lyrics supplied.
POSITIVE CREED Issue 9
Rock solid, competent punk with swagger. As John Goodman said in The Big Lebowski,
'the beauty of this is in its simplicity'. 'Who Are You' is an impressive opener and it is full
throttle from there on. A big wall of guitar and a relentless backing, this is punk rock in the
traditional fashion. Riffy in The Exploited style, with a little pinch of Oi for good measure -
Everything holds together well. Larry's vocal is great, like Steve Diggle at his best.
The goods are delivered on tracks like 'The Chosen' and 'Hiroshima'. 'Footstep On M y Grave'
and 'Till The End' have both got big hooks, but there is other stuff to be had.
The Square Peg are good at mixing things up a bit with songs like 'F.F.F.' and 'Out Of Bounds'.
Pretty damn good on the whole.
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