December 2017


The Cravats
Dustbin of Sound
Review By: Louise Swift

The Cravats are a punk rock band founded in 1977 in Redditch, England by Robin Dallaway and The Shend the day after they had been to see The Stranglers in Birmingham. A loan from The Shend’s Mum led to them releasing their first single ‘Gordon’ in 1978. Their debut album The Cravats in Toytown was released in 1980 and rereleased in 2015. Various line-up changes and rumours of a split haven’t deterred The Shend, forty years since inception the current line-up of The Shend (vocals), Svor Naan (sax), Viscount Biscuits (guitar), Joe 91 (bass) and Rampton Garstang (drums) released Dustbin of Sound their first new album in over thirty-five years in September 2017 via Overground Records.

The Cravats are certainly different, with their wacky lyrics and more experimental approach they’re not like your average Punk band. I picked up some weird and wonderful similarities, not necessarily in the whole song maybe just in an intro, a beat, a chord, a chorus or a riff. Opening track King of Walking Away begins with what sounded like my junior school orchestra tuning up before merging into some weird and wonderful song reminiscent of Psycho Killer by Talking Heads. From the King of Walking Away we move to the ‘King of The Swingers’ with Batterhouse, which starts with a siren, followed by a bit of saxophone and then contains a beat similar to I Wanna Be Like You by Robert and Richard Sherman, popularised in Walt Disney’s 1967 film The Jungle Book. Motorcyle Man starts with some interference then has a chugging beat, think something along the lines of the Dr Who theme tune meets Push The Button by Born To Destruct with added Saxophone. Parts of 100 Percent would have made a great theme tune for an 80s British TV series I’m thinking Tales of the Unexpected. Blurred has a flavour of Magazine’s Shot By Both Sides in places. Power Lines a morse code start.

Jingo Bells has a vibe of Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver by Primus and would make a great theme tune for a suspense thriller. Their new single Bury The Wild has a strong bass line and chugging beat. Bigband a fast one with the saxophone sounding almost siren like and some battling riffage. Whooping Sirens a slower one to start, interspersed with faster bursts along the way. Hang Them with the chorus ‘Hang them, shoot them, electrocute them’ would be a great song to march to with its left, right, left, right, beat. Big Red Car a driving song, of course. Then we finish with All U Bish Dumpers with an essence of The Senton Bombs’ Tornado and I have no idea what a Bish Dumper is. The definition of bish is a mistake. There are several definitions of dumper; in English a person who dumps something, or a truck with a body that tilts or opens at the back for unloading (dumper truck); in North America it’s a large metal container for rubbish; in the urban dictionary it’s a girls ass that you’d like to tap! (Does that refer to a dance?) With the chorus ‘All u bish dumpers will be rose cut (or is it gut?)’ and the lyrics including the line ‘Hedgehog man later aborted when he was the first sandwich killed in Waitrose’ I’m still trying to fathom the meaning of the song. Is there a deep meaning behind any of their lyrics? Your guess is as good as mine!

Dustbin of Sound by The Cravats is likely to appeal to fans of experimental bands like Sheep on Drugs, The Claypool Lennon Delirium and Primus. That dead sandwich may well leave The Cravats one sandwich short of a picnic. Mad as a box of frogs. However, the world would be a very boring place if bands weren’t prepared to experiment a bit and try something innovative and different. Does Dustbin of Sound need to be dumped into the great metal container for rubbish in the sky? Move out of your comfort zone and listen to something a bit eccentric. It’s a bit mad, a bit different but the fun is in trying to work out what it all means, if anything.

Track List:

  1. King of Walking Away
  2. Batterhouse
  3. Motorcycle Man
  4. 100 Percent
  5. Blurred
  6. Power Lines
  7. Jingo Bells
  8. Bury The Wild
  9. Bigband
  10. Whooping Sirens
  11. Hang Them
  12. Big Red Car
  13. All U Bish Dumpers

Upcoming gigs:

Friday 1st December
Wharf Chambers
Ground Floor, 23-25 Wharf Street, Leeds
With Support: Flies On You and TBC

Saturday 2nd December
Westgarth Social Club
99 Southfield Road, Middlesborough
With support: Turning Black Like Lizards and Pellethead


Website: http://www.thecravats.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thecravats
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheCravats/

The Cravats - Jingo Bells

The Cravats – Bury The Wild