When punk rock first hit the ears of the public back in the seventies it was the loud hailer for a lost generation, a way for people with little or no voice to have their say. The music establishment rubbished it and the suits in power hated it. Move on a few years and we find pictures of mohawked punks on post cards of London, a general acceptance and integration into mainsteam music and even a former prime minister who played guitar for the mercifully short lived Ugly Rumours.
On Trial UK are all about rekindling the spirit of those early years but in a way that meets today’s needs. For one thing they play a tight, bright and breezy kind of melodic rock that you only get from musicians that know what they’re doing. The production on ‘The Reward Network’ is equally crisp meaning that even with a certain level of necessary scuzziness it doesn’t sound like it was recorded in the drummer’s mum’s bathroom. What the band have done is sing about things that matter to people that society largely overlooks.
Free speech is at the heart of what On Trial UK do. They might like to come across as care free often drunk stage miscreants but behind the attitude they’re rekindling the very fire that last burned bright back in the seventies. They might not be the only band doing this but with ‘The Reward Network’ they’ve shown themselves to be one of the best. Brash, melodic and unashamedly honest this record encapsulates everything that is good about twenty first century punk rock.
Reviewed by Gary Trueman
Available from www.headcheckrecords.co.uk/shop