With our recent forays into post-rock, electro-dub and afro-punk, perhaps it’s time to get back to some reggaematic versions made by good old fashioned punk-punks, and who better to kick things off than Surrey’s The Members, best known for exemplifying the sound of the suburbs with their titular hit single with a passing gesture to the mod end of post-punk..
Sound Of The Suburbs peaked just shy of the UK top ten in 1979 long after most first-wave punks turned in their bondage gear but The Members formed in ’76 and their love of reggae had been bubbling away on b-sides since their 1st Stiff release in ’78, thanks in part to JC Carrol joining singer Nicky Tesco as co-lead Member.
Today though we’re skipping straight to ’82 with a seemingly incongruous mix, if the marriage of rock and reggae wasn’t incongruous enough for you already (i’m guessing it isn’t if you’re a regular reader). Their cover of Kraftwerk’s upright electro-march Das Model takes on a further postmodern slant with more than a nod to Max Romeo’s roots anthem One Step Forward, rendering this multifaceted version a slick yet spiky skanker.
It may come as a surprise, or perhaps none at all, that the accompanying LP Uprhythm, Downbeat stemmed from recording sessions with the guys behind The League Unlimited Orchestra. However, whilst Martin Rushent handled production duties on half the album, today’s remodeling comes care of Rushent’s right hand man Dave Allen.
For those who don’t quite catch the Max Romeo link…
And, well, just because, I’ll leave you with Sound Of The Suburbs…