This is a return to the record store racks (those that are left) for Mick Medew and one that's well overdue. His regular band The Rumours are still a going concern and this was conceived as a solo side project, but grew into a full-blown, plugged-in album with a new band. "The Mesmerisers" is a superbly rounded record.
Not the original EP but a collection comprising it, the bits-and-pieces LP "Hot For Your Love Baby", early singles and live and rare cuts, this is the first of a series of re-issues putting the first 10 years of the Hard-Ons' recordings in one place. We're talking a feast here with this 1984-87 package containing 61 songs and spanning 150 minutes.
Fessin' up first: I didn't much like "Dickcheese" when it originally came out in 1988. You didn't need liner notes to hear the overt heavy metal influences. The album swung from catchy punk-pop with buried melodies to bottom-heavy stoner riffing. There was no lack of energy but the mix sounded muddy and bore little resemblance to the sound of the Hard-Ons live. Many years down the track and all that stylistic bouncing around makes much more sense.
Here's where the affair ended, for a time - I never got into the sound of "Love Is a Battlefield…" There were some great songs (or singles) here, for sure ("Missing Me, Missing You", "Don't Wanna See You Cry", "Just Being With You") that were among the band's best, but there was something about the shiny, semi-polished metallic sheen (coming after the confusing "Dickcheese") that pushed this album to the back of the collection.
The "art" of review writing (if there is one) is partly about saying something in the first few lines ("the lead") that makes you, the reader, take notice. So let's say The Movements from Sweden are the greatest exponents of psychedelic rock in the world today. Taking notice yet? It's just one person's opinion - but it's true. Read on to find out why.
Wonderful. I love pop, especially smart, intelligent, literate pop. In one sense this LP is kinda like discovering one of those '60s gems at the back of your older brother's collection and realising ... this is just fucking perfect. In timeless pop style, I cannot pick my favourite song. And I keep playing the thing. Over and over.