Batteries The Finishing Line on LP
Steven Clark (aka Sci-Fi Steven from disco/punk legends Bis) returns with his one-man-band project Batteries what seems like seconds after last year's self-titled snappy new-wave debut. The debut's dystopian potential future themes remain, but this time both the musical and lyrical safety nets have been removed. With the "Devo plays Queens Of The Stone Age or vice versa" mantra still a loose guide, The Finishing Line opens with the vague reassurance of lost punk 45 "The Fall-In-Love Club" before the safety is removed for the unhinged journey ahead. Remnants of Bill Nelson's Red Noise, Cardiacs and early Blur b-sides abound in "Mutual Enemies" and "Hidden Tracks" while there's edgy American metallic synth punk in "Pigs," "Pankhurst" and "Children Be Normal" which recalls Jesus Lizard and Brainiac. It's a restless itchy record, fleeting pop melodies are crushed by industrial strength guitars, but one that is a cohesive reward and illustrates Steven's unique musical vision.