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New Music: The Crunch “Down By The Border”

the crunch

It’s crunch time alright, but not as we know it. The Crunch combine recycled post-punk attitude with power pop and punchy riffs – making for a fresh sound. Better still, the Crunch bunch consist of members who are legends in their own right!

The outfit is the brainchild of singer Sulo Karlsson, charismatic frontman of Swedish blues/glam-rockers Diamond Dogs. Sharing some crunch time are Dave Tregunna (Sham 69 / Lords Of The New Church) on bass, Mick Geggus (Cockney Rejects) on lead and rhythm guitars, and Terry Chimes (The Clash) on drums and percussion.

Sounds ace? Sure is! Bet you Music-News readers want to know how this rock ‘n’ roll magic came together, right? Well then, let’s step back in time. Not quite back to the 70’s and 80’s (which obviously are the decades that Crunch music takes its inspiration from) but more like, last year. For that’s when Sulo (together with fellow collaborator Petter Karlsson) threw a book launch in Stockholm to publicise their joint effort ‘Keep Yourself Alive’, a fascinating anthology of interviews mainly with 70’s punk- and rock stars, and the stuff they’re up to nowadays. Musical entertainment during the launch party was provided by several of Sulo’s chums, and how did you guess we’re talking Tregunna, Geggus and Chimes? Long story short, the collective now known as The Crunch was born that fateful night in Sweden, to be nurtured and prepped by Sulo for future sessions. By January of this year, the fantastic four had reunited in London’s Berry Street Studios to start work on an album. Until its planned release this autumn, the boys decided to delight us with a double-A side single (available in 7” vinyl) and provide us a with taste of things to come. Yummy!

First track ‘Down By The Border’ is as catchy as hell, brimming with harmonious energy while maintaining edgy undertones. Terry Chimes’ drumming and Tregunna’s bass chords anchor the beat to perfection, while the latter even chucks in a guitar solo. Sulo’s gravely voice invites everyone to join in when he sings “It’s a wake up call for young and old, down by the border / Rusty irons turn into gold, down by the border / Let’s take you to the crunch…“
I love the double meaning of words here, and the playfulness with which the words are used… “Rusty irons turn into gold” could well be an ironic send-up and hint at how the band depicts itself – having fun along way. It’s an upbeat feel-good song, though some spiky elements protrude – naturally.

Second track ‘Gangster Radio’ takes a more left-field approach with its badass cool song smithery, and a pacier, punchier rhythm that’s laced with verbal vitriol. The additional humorous infusion doesn’t belie the fact that essentially, the song accuses the contemporary music industry of corporate corruption: “Never make it to the BBC / TV commercials doesn’t come for free / And I can’t afford the management / They keep sending back the songs I sent / Everybody is looking for the next big thing / Someone there will do just anything…”
This pretty much mirrors the opinion of singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, who once remarked that record companies no longer look for talent, but for a ‘look’ and a willingness to cooperate.
Beating corporate offenders at their own game by displaying proper punkitude (combined with a “f**k that s**t” stance), Sulo confidentially and passionately proclaims “I know where I’m going, where I’ve started from / I’m on the gangster radio, climbing up the charts / Reaching out for number one, singing from my heart!” Right on, keep on climbing!
It’s a poignant number bursting with old school DIY spirit, and exuding bite with every pulse beat – not least thanks to Mick Geggus’ snarly guitar riffs (I said snarly, not crunchy…). Stockholm based singer Idde Schultz adds a touch of femininity, and the backing vocals.


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This entry was posted on June 19, 2013 by in New Releases, POP, ROCK and tagged , .

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