From the dusty crates #4: Regular Fries

The other day I mentioned a genre called 'The Scene with No Name', which a) did, in fact, have a name, and b) it was a fucking stupid name. Well, today to (almost) match the inanity of that title, let me tell you about Skunk Rock. The Lo-Fidelity Allstars were the biggest names within this scene, and that ought to tell you something about it. Other bands in the bracket included Campag Velocet (starring the world's most handsome man), and London heartthrobs The Regular Fries.

Now, usually when you hear about bands with journalists in them, you think "oh, this probably won't be good", and that's what I first thought about the Fries. They were an eight-piece who put out a couple of insane EPs that were simultaneously funky and confusing. Seeing them live was equally mesmeric - there were grooves and beats and also camouflage netting and birdcages. They had a single called 'King Kong' which might have been a love song. And then came the album 'Accept the Signal', which paired some pretty great songs - witness 'Dust It', below - with some truly horrific lyrics. "Deep sea diver, dear Lady Godiva, lend us a fiver... the girls" went 'The Girls'. It got mostly poor reviews, but catching them at festivals and around London was always fun. I remember one time they supported Asian Dub Foundation at the Astoria, and it was a severe mismatch between the bands, and I was one of the few who enjoyed both sets immensely.

And then... somehow their second album, 'War on Plastic Plants' was MORE mental. For one thing, there was a song called 'Africa Take Me Back, which was incongruous coming from the whitest, palest men you will ever look at. But there's a track featuring their spiritual forefather Kool Keith, a man so nuts, he makes the Fries look like Dr. Stephen Hawking or something. My buddy Sal once wrote of the band, "they're what you get if an Ikea Store crashes into Cape Canaveral with 8 joyous, energetically manic Bez type people including a legionnaire, thrown in? That covers it pretty well, I feel.

I don't know what happened to them, I can only assume they broke up and did some more drugs. Here's a couple o'tunes for you.

[download Regular Fries - Dust It]
[download Regular Fries - Supersonic Waves ft. Kool Keith]

2 comments:

Jim said...
on

Yay, good stuff. There was a third album before splitting. I have it, but can't for the life of me remember a single thing about it.
If anyone ever wants to mock me, they need only point out that I own not one but two Campag Velocet albums.

Viagra said...
on

I quite like this band. It has a nice ambient rock vibe to it.

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