The Len Price 3

Nobody Knows

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Medway in South East England seems to breed garage bands the way picnics attract ants, but the Len Price 3 have always been a cut above their local competition, and their fourth studio effort, Nobody Knows, shows they're still one of the best bands on either side of the Atlantic in terms of keeping the raw sounds of the '60s alive and kicking. Many Medway bands follow the pattern of inarguable genius Billy Childish and strive to keep their attack as frantic and undisciplined as possible, and the Len Price 3 have the ability to hit hard and push the distortion into the red zone. But the LP3 are also fiendishly tight, and can cut quieter, pop-oriented tunes that still have a tough, intelligent core. Songs such as "Lonely" and "Medway Sun" suggest the Len Price 3 are one of the few bands that drew valuable influence from the Kinks' amphetamine overdrive period as well as their more pastoral later work, and bits like the brass coda on "Vultures" and the ringing guitars and sweet harmonies on "Couldn't Get Much Worse" show these guys aren't afraid of a touch of sophistication. Guitarist Glenn Page can bash and hold down the melodies with equal skill, Steven Huggins is an able and tuneful bassist, and drummer Neil Fromow drives this band like a Formula One racer. And between the tales of aging war heroes, mate-swapping swingers, party people losing control of their lives, and predatory women, this band has a knack for fusing fascinating and darkly witty lyrics to their high-intensity music. U.K. garage mavens will eat Nobody Knows up like eel pie, and folks who think they're above such things may discover the Len Price 3 have fashioned a smart and eclectic set of retro rock & roll worthy of their attention.

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