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The Professionals - 'SNAFU' Album Review


1. Easily Led

2. Gold And Truthful

3. Spike Me Baby

4. Punk Rock And A Hard Place

5. M'Ashes

6. Heartburn

7. Never Say Never

8. So No Go

9. The Elegant Art Of Falling Apart

10. Only Human

11. Consuminator

Legacy will only get you anywhere if you've got the goods to back up what you're doing. Members of the Sex Pistols have certainly used theirs to varying degrees. Lydon/Rotten used his to form PiL and run with it. However over the past few years he's changed. From advertising butter to being the talking head celebrity you roll out whenever you need a controversial quote, his legacy has started wearing thin. Let's not get into the discussion of the recent court case against his former bandmates over the use of the Sex Pistols music in a TV show based on Steve Jones' biography. After they split Jones and drummer Paul Cook formed The Professionals for a few years. In 2015 Cook reformed the band with Jones' blessing. Tom Spencer, from The Yo-Yos, The Loyalties as well as a stained glass artist, stepped into the frontman's shoes (or should that be brothel creepers?) with Toshi JC Ogawa (their former tech and bassist in Antiproduct and Hey! Hello!) stepping in for previous bass player Paul Meyers. The band have toured and recorded now for several years, including three EPs from last year, and have now released their new album. "SNAFU" (an acronym for situation normal all fucked up) is a slice of thick Punk Rock 'n' Roll. It's the sound of tight guitars playing even tighter riffs. Spencer's vocals sound warm and have a lived-in authenticity to them, they're not your clichéd run of mill Punk snarl. Cook and Toshi lock themselves together like they've played together for years. 'Easily Led' kicks the party off with a swinging rhythm that pogos along to the lines "with a gun to my head in so easily led" with 'Gold and Truthful' is a great follow up. 'Heartburn' makes you want to plug in a guest and chug along with the band. My highlight is 'The Elegant Art of Falling Apart' which struts along with a come-and-have-a-go attitude. There's plenty of great tracks which showcase the band. The only stumbling block for me is 'Spike Me Baby' which is a tongue in cheek tale of the drummer helping himself to his daughter's chemically enhanced chocolate. It's not a bad song but it suffers from what some people could see as an unfortunate choice of song title. The production feels nice and full without being overbearing (hats off as always to Dave Draper for his usual top production work) . Despite playing live as a three piece the album features extra guitars courtesy of Billy Duffy (The Cult), Phil Collen (Def Leppard), Jonny Weathers (who's worked with Cook in the past) and Neil Iverson (Stone Mountain Sinners/Ginger Wildheart and the Sinners) which help thicken the sound, giving it just the right amount of crunch. "SNAFU" is the sound of some friends getting together, playing some tunes and having some fun. They're not trying to reinvent the wheel or seeing themselves up to be anything they're not. In fact while Mr Lydon has been touring around recently to make sure a spotlight is pointed in his direction, his former bandmate steals some thunder by going out and getting on with the job of playing music. And that for me is just fine and dandy, especially when the tunes are this good.

Review - Scott Hamilton


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