Frankly, I find it astonishing that i'm the first person to review this EP. Carter were a bright shining light in the dodgy late 80's early 90's music scene and loved by more than a few. Guess not many of them stayed the distance :o(
Sure by the time of 'A World Without Dave' Carter were well passed their TOTP sell by date, no longer a duo, struggling for finances and somewhat of an anachronism in the dawning Britpop scene. Who wanted a couple of punk revolutionaries in a world of champagne, Bliar and Cool Britannia?
And the prevailing sense of this EP is of a world passing them by. There is melancholy and pathos where once there was punk spirit and innuendo. The puns have been thinned out, replaced by a realism and to a certain extent, an ennui of a band lost without a cause.
Look at those titles. 'Broken Down In Broken Town', 'A World Without Dave', 'Nowhere fast' This might, you would think, make for a come down album. The last exhilation of a corpse, not a blaze of glory. But things never worked like that in the Carter universe.
'A World Without Dave' is very, very close to being Carter's best work. No longer burdened by the 'Sherriff Fatman' era, they let themselves go. With no expectations, horizon's broaden. This is a band playing for themselves, doing exactly what they want.
The writing is superlative, the music is no longer of the 2-dimensional "Carter-by-numbers" sort that burdened previous albums. And in final track 'And God Created Brixton' they finally lay to rest the ghost of 'Sherriff Fatman'.
This final track is a sterling love song, an ode to Brixton that works in much the same way Martin Millar's novels 'Lux The Poet' and 'Milk, Sulphate And Alby Starvation' to find the life and beauty in an apparently hopeless situation.
"I know a love song isn't suitable or right,
but you look beautiful, beautiful tonight...
And if you feel the same way as i feel, tonight,
Then everything will be alright...
Tonight, Big Brother's watching you,
And i am watching too,
I will watch over you."
It truly stir's the blood and makes the hairs stand up.
Carter show a maturity throughout this EP that keeps me coming back to it in a way i don't with some of their other releases. Many of those are linked too strongly with the era that spawned them and have dated but 'A World Without Dave' is timeless in it's appeal.
I thoroughly recommend this to anyone remotely interested in Carter USM and anyone casually surfing that wants a new anthem to scare passers-by with, buy it for 'And God Created Brixton' It's a song that should be heard.
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Released quite a while after last carter lp Worry Bomb, ..Dave is a funny record .. a six track mini-album, it shows a quieter side to the band, and best displays their capability to write good old fashioned songs. No shouting, no slogans, and very little in the way of politics too... it's quite a sad, personal record, in contrast to their earlier records. It may lack the feiry punk attitude & intense blasts of guitar and sampled noises that made them popular to start with, but they aint youngsters no more .. and they're not going to pretend they are. as always, carter do what the hell they like, and as always they sound great. If you only like their more upbeat stuff, then maybe you shouldnt bother with this record, but if you really like carter, then get this! It also holds a lovely little secret.. last track And God Created Brixton is quite possibly the best Carter usm song ever.
This EP is one of those purchases I made years ago and nearly wore it out listening to it so much. I have recently found it again (I think it was about 5-years since my last listen) and all the words just came back to me as if I'd listened to it last week.
It was a shame that this was the penultimate release, however it is better than the last full album, I Blame the Government.
A quality CD and one I'd recommend anyone to have in their collection.
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