’70s Lanarkshire punk survivors follow up their critically acclaimed album ‘Accelerator’ with a brutally focused 4 track EP.
The resurrection of original 1970s Airdrie punk band Reaction has exceeded any reasonable expectations.
Back in the day, the four-piece were too pissed and chaotic to get their act together to record even a single track, but with new boys Joe Whyte and Scot Van Den Akker joining on guitar and bass respectively, Reaction have re-emerged as a tight, disciplined outfit, without losing their teetering-on-the-brink-of-chaos edge.
Original singer Carson comes across somewhat like a Scottish Jello Biafra, a hyper-energetic prankster with a penchant for trouble, while fellow veteran John Bryson pushes the tempos with his piledriver drumming.
Whyte’s fiery and intelligent guitar-playing has an even sharper edge on this EP, with a Fender Jaguar being the guitarist’s latest weapon of choice.
Opening track ‘Out of My Head’ marries the terse economy of Wire to 70s aggro-punk, while Street Fight (Parts 1&2) achieves Minor Threat velocity, with singer Carson excelling on a punk anthem that could be his personal theme song.
Things get gloriously trippy on Crystallised, a dub remix of ‘Accelerator’ stand-out ‘Crystal Radio’ by label-mates Warped Plan. Reaction return to the high energy 70s punk/garage rock collision of ‘Accelerator’ on the final track, a cover of External Menace’s ‘Someday’ featuring feral slide guitar worthy of Ward Dotson on The Gun Club’s classic ‘Fire of Love’.
Produced by Johnny Smillie at La Chunky Studio, Glasgow and mastered by Walter Stewart at Tarbeach Records, NYC, ‘Old School Rules’ is a short, sharp blast of punk energy delivered with winning creativity- a fine appetiser ahead of Reaction’s new album.