Chips & Gravy – Urbane Discrepancy (Dirty Hooch Recordings)

October 20, 2011

Whatever happened to the likely lads? Whatever happened to Tony Blair? Whatever happened to prog-pub? Whatever happened to Tiny Blair and his Chips & Gravy cohorts? Chips & Gravy were part of a microscopically small satanic offshoot of the provincial pub-rock scene. Bands that set off into outer space from their broken down bases of industrialised Essex dives.  Chips & Gravy were the generals of this intransigent anti-scene.

Tiny Blair took the rhythm and blues combo Estuary Croutons and transformed them with his malevolent guitar wizardry. Bad wizards with hats adorned with sugary all sorts, dripping in tangy honey. Urbane Discrepancy is the band’s phantasmagorically fizzling third album. It takes the primitive pound of pub grind and transcends the limits of profundity. Whereas before a pot-pourri of influences were sprinkled about hesitantly this time round the band pick up the sweet smelling bowl and smash it over the landlord’s bulbous head. Hairy Snuff Wreck diligently lays out a plan for action combining neo-pagan Gaelic imagery and a primal Move-like dash through the dark alleyways if Jack The Ripper’s brittle soul. Buttery Eggs Amok is Yes and battery farmed West African
funk rummaging through Wilko Johnson’s rag bag of greatest riffs. And The Soul Goes On turns everything down a notch. It’s a sturdy moody blues ode to the serendipity of nature. The tempestuous Hot Rods guitars return on the bespectacled-Michael Caine and moustachioed-Stanley Baker toe tapping Zulu beatdown, Don’t Freak Out Mama, I Ain’t Gonna Cry No More.
Chips & Gravy entered the stratosphere never to return. They were last seen blasting the Optotron galaxy into tiny pieces with beer bottles, cricket bats and sweaty determination. No peas, no bread, just chips and gravy.

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