Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Superb, long-missing postpunk work of genius
aliled | Shawnee, Kansas United States | 10/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Years back, Rev-Ola reissued most of the original Fire Engines stuff on a CD called "Fond," but that's been long-out-of-print and wasn't nearly as beautifully packaged as this CD. The Fire Engines played dissonant funky postpunk, something like an out-of-control Josef K, with hints of influences such as James Brown and Captain Beefheart, and an undiluted taste of what would come in the next quarter of a decade - from the Jesus & Mary Chain to Franz Ferdinand. That said, the Fire Engines certainly had much more verve and originality than Franz Ferdinand and any of the 21st century "post-punk influenced" bands do, and for that matter they could be both more abrasive ("Meat Whiplash") and more tuneful ("Candyskin") than the Jesus & Mary Chain - so it's fair to say they're better than anything that come along in a similar style afterwards!
Last year, a collection of demos and live tracks was issued by Domino as "Codex Teenager Premonition." It's fab stuff, but you're better served starting with this Acute release first, as it compiles their better-sounding, studio-recorded material.
Some discographical notes: The aforementioned "Fond" release featured three tracks not on this release. They are:
1) a Peel session version of "Discord," which is on the Domino release, so no big loss.
2) an edited version of the band's last original single, "Big Gold Dream." BUT, the version here is the same recording, just extended by 1:10 - and this extended version is superior, so this is good news.
3) a Peel session cover of Heaven 17's "We Don't Need This Fascist Groove Thang," which I liked, so it's sad to see it missing.
So in essence, you're only shorted one song, which was something of a gag anyway. On the other hand, this CD features superior running order and it certainly *feels* more like what the band's releases originally did, if that makes any sense!
Fire Engine singer Davy Henderson went on to make many fine records with Win and Nectarine No 9, as well as several bands who either released nothing or just a 45 or two. The Fire Engines have reunited in recent years to much acclaim. Kudos to Acute Records for scoring the rights to this too-long unavailable collection of work."