The Dripping Lips

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Produced by the late Jimmy Miller, the Dripping Lips features former Damned lead guitarist Brian James fronting a similar four-piece unit with many of the same musical ideas and approaches still in place. Although there's nothing on here as rude as Damned classics like "Neat Neat Neat" or "Stab Your Back," James' guitar still wounds and kills in the right spots and the overall approach is anything but commercial and refined. Things become a little less frenzied on the acoustic "Such a Lot of Stars," the boogie "You Treat Me Too Kind" and the drifting and bluesier "Push Push" with its Iggy-like vocal approach by lead singer Robbie Kelman. In all fairness, the rhythm section of Nico Mansy on bass and Paul Zahl are certainly more musical than the thrashings of Captain Sensible and Rat Scabies. But in the main, it's loud and snotty British pub-style rock with a decided punk edge to it on songs (like "Powerful," "When the Dreams Say No," "I Can't Reach Ya," "Damn You," and "Hell Girl") whose titles almost tell you what the songs are going to sound like even before the CD player cues them up in place. Similar in feel to Johnny Thunders' chaotic studio sides on Too Much Junkie Business, Jimmy Miller's production on seven of the 12 tracks here never seems to get in the way of the music's sheer abrasiveness, which is entirely the point. Although no recording dates are given, this record sounds as if it could have been cut in 1979; it could have been listed as such on the sleeve and no one would be the wiser.

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