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Sunday, 13 July 2014

ROSCOE VACANT - Article/Review/Interview, and MPFree Download!

Since I last wrote about Roscoe Vacant he has released a new album and a tape. For the album No Attack No Decay Roscoe has returned to his roots as a solo preformer. In 2008 he released the Escape From Doom Valley (Live EP) and a year later Nothings Gonna Change, but in 2010 he was backed by the Gantin' Screichs for the brilliant spikey and post-punk sounding Reckurdt. No Attack No Decay features several tracks from this, which stand naked and stripped to the bone. This is 'Acoustic Punk and Angry Pop!' full of passion and vitriol. Nine songs where the words mean something, these are songs about the small and big political picture; From domestic dysfunction to global drama; As Baghdad burns plates are smashed in the kitchen of a broken home where culture is delivered in shortbread tins to sanitised young lovers who bought it all from the liars and thieves who will not lead us anywhere because nothing is gonna change, not unless you make it! These are songs of love, pain and betrayal on several levels. If misery loves company then it needs Roscoe Vacant for a companion, because these are also songs of hope that are more real than likes of Frank Turner and Jake Bugg.

The tape finds Roscoe backed by Lo-Fi legends The No-Men, covering three songs by the arch avant garde glam/punkster that is Steve Treatment, who also contributes some of his own musings on the flipside of this brightly coloured yellow cassette. In a world of mass production and instant downloads It's good to see the ethics of DIY culture is alive and well, thanks to the good people at Topplers Records. It is also good to see that there are still artists out there pining their hearts on their sleeve and playing it for real. The album and tape are both available here, the limited number of lovingly hand crafted physical copies have all sold out, but they are sill available as downloads.

For a bit of background to No Attack No Decay, the demise of the Gantin' Screichs and how he found himself working with Steve Treatment, I emailed Roscoe, and this is what he had to say.

“Roscoe Vacant & the Gantin' Screichs started in 2010 and we released the album "Reckurdt" in 2011. Our lead guitarist Ross Gilchrist left in 2011 for personal reasons, but he and I are still really good friends. From then on we went in a different direction, moving away from grunge into more country punk type stuff. We got a fiddle player and a new guitarist in 2012 and put out a video for our first recording with that band in January 2013 "Conrad Brooks" (on Youtube just now). The band continued for a few months but it kind of petered out - again mostly personal and interpersonal reasons. I'm still really good friends with everyone in the band but none of us really want to do it again. Releasing the EP "No Attack/No Decay" in 2013 was an attempt to go back to basics and why people enjoyed my stuff in the first place - solo acoustic punk rock. It was also a means by which I could get the song that inspired the title out - "Exit Strategy". I split up with my fiancee of 9 years in Feb 2013, so that had a baring on the band too. Being able to get back on the horse and make some music was liberating."

“I've been a fan of Steve's for about 5 years. I knew Allan from the NoMen because we have mutual friends but also because he was in the legendary Scottish folk punk band Nyah Fearties from the late 1980s early 1990s. The Steve collaboration just came out of that. I wanted to cover some of his less well-known songs and songs he'd only really demoed or played with his band The Ticket Inspectors in the late 1980s, so I recorded the 3 songs on the cassette. It was very spontaneous.” 

For more info on Roscoe Vacant take a trip to his Facebook page and you can visit Topplers Records here. 

One last thing.... I thought I'd save the best till last....Here is an exclusive unreleased 4 Track collection of Roscoe's work selected by himself for your ears only! Enjoy!

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