Lost Cherrees

Free to Speak, But Not to Question

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Re-forming in 2003 around founding member Steve Battershill, "classic period" drummer Nuts and guitarist Andy Rolfe, and vocalist Beverly Cook Abbott, Lost Cherees' first album in 22 years is one of those so-rare examples of a band picking up precisely where they left off, and then astonishing every ear by proving that they lost absolutely nothing during their absence.

The same fractured pop choruses and rhythms, the same eye for melodic punk shot through with discordant riffs, the same taste for unexpected reggae-tinged interludes -- and that's just the opening "Wake Up Call." Sixteen songs include an amazing return to the first EP's "Living in a Coffin," but that's the only time the band look back. The spectral soundscape of "Dear George," the vicious denouement of "Dear Tony" ("let's see that smile when you're on trial for your war crimes"), the wry mockery of "Who's Punk Rock," the despair of "Apathy in the UK," and the terrifying truth of the album's very title, all add up to the same savage portrait of modern life as ever Crass, the Sex Pistols or Jefferson Airplane created at their peaks, a social commentary that everybody needs to hear, but too few other bands seem brave enough to voice. Welcome back, Cherrees. We've missed you.

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