the past tense

The third of those fruits de mer end of season releases, which we hear from label sources, have arrived ahead of schedule from the pressing plants, no doubt trying to clear the decks for that Robbie Williams Christmas album, can’t wait (yawn). Not your bog standard covers EP, although you do get a coloured vinyl extended play, no, no, no as it seems the Past Tense were having such a ball in the studio, they amassed a further CD worth of nifty cover grooves which the label have collected together, slapped a bargain price stamp on and sent them out called them ‘time stands still’ and ‘across the pond ….. and back again’. Fourteen tracks within, reads like a Pebbles collection, hell’s teeth I’ll even admit to never hearing of at least 5 of its number. It’s a set that shows chiefly the versality of these dudes and the fact that they need to get into the studio more often, I mean stuff like the Glass Family’s ‘house of glass’ is such a dizzying kaleidoscopic authentic you’d swear it’s had fallen off some ‘back to grave’ compilation. That said, what makes this collection of faithful’s stand out, is that the Past Tense run through the gamut of styles, its something that easily brings to mind Naz Nomad and the Nightmares’ ‘give Daddy the knife Cindy’, a fact kicked home upon hearing their version of the Syn’s ‘grounded’ sounding here very Vanian-esque. it’s the running of differing styles that gives this set a tireless appeal, that cross wiring of freak pop (Crystal Chandeliers’ ‘Suicidal Flowers’), garage punk (The Moving Sidewalks’ ’99th floor’), flower power (the Wild Flowers’ ‘more than me’), mod beat (No Entry’s ‘behind the moon’) and pure psychedelia. Hell’s teeth, it’s a task and a half trying to pick a favourite, but forced to decide, SRC’s ‘black sheep’ takes some shifting in the affection stakes as does the Bossmen’s ‘brainwashed’ and the Move-esque flower pop of ‘magic in the air’ originally by the Attack.

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