Southend outfit Eight Rounds Rapid release their spiky debut album LossLeader through Cadiz Music. Rooted in the famous Canvey Island R n B tradition, the band channel the fervour of Dr Feelgood, Wire, Gang of Four and Public Image Limited with their gritty tales of the Essex underworld. The band gained a national audience last year when they supported Wilko Johnson on his UK Farewell Tour, winning over BBC DJs, Artrocker magazine and a clutch of bloggers with their polarising performances at Camden s Koko theatre. Their songs have been spun on air by Mark Radcliffe, Gary Crowley, Gideon Coe and Steve Lamacq. The band s songs are rooted in traditional blues, but guitar from Simon Johnson (Wilko s son) and singer David Alexander s acerbic delivery make the act sound like Captain Beefheart, John Cooper Clarke and Mark E Smith jamming in a Southend bus depot. This uncompromising style, subversive like a Charles Bukowski novel, never fails to divide audiences and win the band devoted fans.
It's been a while since Southend produced a new name to add to a musical legacy including Procol Harum, Eddie And The Hot Rods And Dr Feelgood (from neighbouring Canvey Island), but Eight Rounds Rapid have already taken firm strides towards the town's hall of fame with a sound that concurrently manages to be distinctive, tradition-homaging and spot on for 2014. They boost the package by wearing suits, coming loaded with attitude and touting a strong debut album... a welcome blast of no-frills, bulls**t-free excitement that can only be deadly live - 7/10 --Kris Needs, Classic Rock, June 2014