Ask anybody who’s even vaguely interested in alternative music about The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster (EMBD) and their response will almost certainly be, “Oh them, I liked them, what happened to them?” The answer is a long and torturous one featuring line-up changes, a new record label, substantial amount of drugs and a spell in more conventional employment. Fortunately though, it ends with “They’ve got a new album out!”. ‘Blood And Fire’, is officially their third album, and is a return to the sound of the band’s early, pre-mock goth career in that it brings back the frenetic energy and furious pace of that era. Guy McKnight’s distinctive bluesy vocals are again sounding like demented war cries over a barrage of cheese wire guitars and the influences remain as strong and diverse as ever – The Misfits, The Cramps, Nirvana, all are heard in snatches. It’s brilliantly inventive and heralds a terrific return from a great band.

By Tom Goodwyn

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