CD Box Set – Big Gold Dreams – Review in Silent Radio

(c) Paula Farr / Silent Radio

Excerpt below…

How to fit five albums worth of music into one moderately sized review?  Not an easy task, as there’s one hundred and fifteen songs on this box set compilation, but it’s an aural feast for anyone with even the slightest interest in punk and indie! Although there’s been other compilations pulling together the origins of the Scottish punk, new wave, and indie scenes, none have seemingly done it as thoroughly as this one. Disc 1 has the punk and new wave era covered and there’s some real gems on here, like hugely melodic TV21 with ‘Playing With Fire’, and the Gary Numan-esque ‘Stay With Me Tonight’ by Alex Fergusson who went on to form 80s indie bands Alternative TV and Psychic TV to the weirdly eccentric ‘Robot Love’ by dark electro types The Valves.

Disc 2 has a few more recognisable names with Altered Images showing their darker and feisty side with ‘Dead Pop Stars’, plus there’s those now hailed as legends of the Scots post punk scene such as Josef K with their effervescent melodic guitar tune ‘Sorry For Laughing’. Restricted Codes’ tune ‘Love To Meet You’ shimmers with their sharp and frenetic post punk melodies, and Fire Engines’ ‘Big Gold Dream’ has post punk rhythms mingling with Hammond organs and guitar jangles, then there’s The Associates and Billy McKenzie, all showing why their status as the trailblazers of Scots indie – these are the crop of bands that went on to influence generations of musicians, from Primal Scream to Franz Ferdinand.

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