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What was it about Scottish bands in the 80's? Being Scottish and living with this music at the time, there was something angular, off-centre and unique about what the Cocteau Twins, Win, Josef K, Simple Minds and The Associates were doing. Even now albums such as "The Affectionate Punch", "Fourth Drawer Down" and "Sulk" sound so alien to what pop music should sound like. That's what keeps it sounding fresh and invigorating. For the duo of Mackenzie and Rankine, there were no limits, no barriers, no conforming to standard precepts of how pop music should sound.
This is a great package. The remastered sound is excellent, clear and crisp. The booklet has full credits, lyrics, a good essay and some nice archival photographs. The extra tracks are worth a listen too.
This is such a welcome release indeed. A superb debut album and a prime example from a time when pop music was quirky, bold, original and to be honest interesting!
The album has dated well, and though neither as electronic-experimental as 'Fourth Drawer Down' or as opaque-otherworldly as 'Sulk', it completes the recordings of Mackenzie/Rankine-Associates & contextualises what came after. The band later dismissed it as a demo & wrote it off as dark - but I think it's fine and certainly holds its own against such peers albums as 'Empires & Dance', 'Gentlemen Take Polaroids','Technodelic', 'Seventeen Seconds', 'Computerworld', 'The Only Fun in Town' & 'The Correct Use of Soap.' It's quite Bowie - though balances his influence with Mackenzie & Rankine's own original outlook - I'd say it was the album Bowie-fans would wish he'd made after "Heroes."
'The Affectionate Punch' was their sole-release on Fiction, home to The Cure for many years - further connections with that band are clear here when the producers includ Fiction-head/ex-Cure-manager Chris Parry & Mike Hedges - who would produce 'Seventeen Seconds', 'Faith' & 'Sulk' (amongst others). Mackenzie & Rankine also produce- the former sings, while the latter plays all the instruments bar the drums (played by Nigel Glocker).Read more ›
'The Affectionate Punch' would later be dismissed by the band, who went onto the more experimental singles collected on 'Fourth Drawer Down' & the masterpiece-longplayer 'Sulk', before the band split and Mackenzie carried on alone. 'The Affectionate Punch' is one of those albums which very much continues the avenues explored on Bowie's late 1970s classics 'Station to Station', 'Low' & "Heroes" - obviously influenced by the thin white one, as well as Mackenzie's favourites Siouxsie & the Banshees.Read more ›
Billy Macenzie's vocals are almost operatic. Read more