REVIEW - Desperate Measures - 'Rinsed' (Mini-Album - Easy Action Records)
Formed in 1981 in Christchurch, New Zealand, Desperate Measures recorded one now sought after EP ('1984'), a live album, played a Clash after show party and numerous gigs around the city, before disappearing in 1983 after singer Eugene Butcher's move to the UK. Now president of Big Cheese Publishing ('Big Cheese' magazine, 'Vive Le Rock', 'Louder Than War', 'Fistful Of Metal', 'Down For Life' magazines), Eugene has put together a new line-up of Desperate Measures which has been playing around the UK and have now also put together this six track mini-album 'Rinsed'. Featuring the talents of guitarist Gaff (Rich Ragany and The Digressions), Ricky McGuire on bass (UK Subs, The Men They Couldn't Hang) and drummer James Sherry (K-Line, Done Lying Down), 'Rinsed' is a fine mix of punk, hard-hitting rock 'n' roll and dark-edged rock that makes for a helluva enjoyable listen.
'Scars & Memories' opens the record with a chugging guitar riff and expands into a propulsive punky tune with a 'nagging earworm' of a chorus, a short, sharp, shock of a guitar solo and oodles of rock 'n' roll attitude. It's a great starting tune for the album and leads into 'The Rich-Tual' another track in a similar vein to 'Scars & Memories' which boasts an explosive chorus with Gaff's slash and burn guitars on fine form ably backed by the solid rhythmic foundation of McGuire and Sherry and Butcher's gnarly, questioning vocals riding over the top. A change of pace follows next with 'Flowers At Your Door', with its hints of The Doors and Echo And The Bunnymen and a measured, menacing air to the tune which comes replete with strings and a glorious crescendo at the end. It's a fabulous tune and shows off the band's versatility to a tee. 'Lost Angels', which comes in two versions - a live in the studio romp and the original 1988 demo version - is a fitting tribute to the late Chris Sheehan (who played with The Starlings, Babylon Zoo and Sisters Of Mercy) who co-wrote the tune with Butcher. It's another fantastic track with a brilliant sing-along chorus; the most commercial track on the album. The album is rounded off by a raucous run-through of ('Don't You Give Me) No Lip', the 1964 Dave Berry B-Side that you'll know from the cover version recorded by a certain band called the Sex Pistols.
'Rinsed' is a great mini-album with plenty of punky fire, edgy attitude and great playing and singing but also coming with a measured tone that I guess only comes with the experience that these guys have. Having been away for the best part of forty years, let's hope that Eugene carries on with Desperate Measures and can build on this fine release with more great punk 'n' roll tuneage. Buy with confidence!
'Rinsed' is released on the 3rd September 2021 on Easy Action Records and will be available on 10'' Vinyl, CD and as a download from the Desperate Measures bandcamp page - www.desperatemeasuresnz1.bandcamp.com. They play a 13 date UK tour supporting The Professionals from the 13th October to the 28th October 2021.