Mental Ward - 'Mental Ward' EP (Self Released) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Gaz E   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 03:40

mentalwardcoverCrackpot Corby punks Mental Ward, following support slots with the likes of U.K. Subs, The Meteors, Dirt Box Disco, and The Vibrators, prove that they're not all mouth and no (bondage) trousers by releasing a debut five-track EP that doesn't so much let their freak flag fly, but tears it into strips, ties it around their heads, and runs bollock naked down the high street.


With an image heavy on A Clockwork Orange iconography, Mental Ward stab at punk rock gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh...and they do it well, viddy well little brother.


Maniacal laughter ushers in EP opening track 'Psycho Baby', a throbbing burst of the theatrical, almost rockabilly in tone, a brooding calling card that is almost like the older, more sensible sibling of next track, 'Black Lycra'. The Dirt Box Disco influence smears itself all over this song, a mess of chugging guitar and "whoa-oh" backing vocals. It is ludicrous of lyric, houses a guitar solo that is almost a hook in itself, and is as infectious a tune as you could hope for on a recording committed to aural history by a bunch of mentalists.


'It Didn't Seem So Bad' follows, a soundclash of jungle drums and gang vocals that drops out into an unlikely skank come chorus time before unfurling into another rip-snorter of a track, the guitar solo another prime slice of punk 'n' roll axework.


With a title like 'Jager Madness' you get the feeling early doors that the following two hundred and one seconds are not going to contain the band's token power ballad. What follows is a frenetic, digestif-fuelled garage punkfest that is equal parts hilarious and fist-pumper: I'll bet that this song accompanies a most subtle point in the band's live set.


A perhaps surprisingly straightahead, yet suitably unhinged simply by its inclusion here, version of 'Sam Hall', the English folk song famously covered by Johnny Cash (amongst others), closes the EP, my final thoughts centered on just how well produced this recommended piece of noisework is.


Want the perfect soundtrack to a night out on the milk-plus? Then get sharpened up with a trip to the Mental Ward.....