The Sly Persuaders, are a charming Garage Rock/Surf Punk combo, making waves on the D.I.Y. live scene. They were kind enough to make an exclusive playlist in time for Valentines for us (it’s not really romantic but that makes it more Valentines for us).
Here’s what the boys had to say on why they choose the tracks:
Garnet Mimms – As Long As I Have You
I listen to quite a lot of soul, but particularly over the last year I’ve been on a bit of a soul trip. I first came across this track as a teenager and always loved it, and last year got it on a Stateside compilation on vinyl. Which made me very happy indeed.
The The – Heartland
It’s sad that this song, released in 1986, still feels relevant and current 30 odd years later. A brilliant and oft overlooked album, Infected manages the feat of dealing with politics head-on without being naive or reductive.
Rowland S. Howard – Pop Crimes
From The Birthday Party to his final solo album before his death in 2009 (of which this cut is the title track), Rowland S Howard’s music has been a huge inspiration to the Slys. This tune features a classic groovy bassline, Rowland’s trademark broken-glass guitar, and his cutting, acerbic vocals.
Adam & The Ants – Kings of the Wild Frontier
I’ve loved this album for years and it still sounds fresh to me today. Marco Pirroni’s guitar work and the dual-drummer sound had a huge effect on me. I was lucky enough to know Tom Edwards, Adam Ant’s guitarist and musical director, who sadly died on tour on 25th January this year aged only 41. This pick is for Tom.
Swervedriver – Duel
Bit of a wild card, as they’re a band that I’ve not really listened to much but keep meaning to get round to. I first heard this song on the PC version of the videogame Road Rash when I was a kid. It was one of the handful of songs that had the music video on there. I remember liking the singer’s Fender Jazzmaster and thinking it was a cool tune. I still do.
Ennio Morricone – The Ecstasy of Gold (From ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly’)
On my way home from work this week I passed one of those sellers of dodgy laminated posters. It was good to see Bowie up there with the usual dead stars like Kurt Cobain, Marilyn Monroe, and Bob Marley. However amongst the UFO and weed leaf staples of this trade was the film poster for classic western The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. It immediately brought to mind the excellent Ennio Morricone soundtrack which I have been using as the soundscape to my journeys for the rest of this week.
Erasure – Chains of Love
I thought I’d pick a song to represent the band’s love for pure pop classics. Many a rehearsal set-up and pack down is done to this type of synth based work. A favourite of mine is anything associated with the genius that is Vince Clarke. This probably isn’t the best Erasure tune, but it is the one that came to mind first (due to its clever use by video game not-journalist and personality Jim Sterling).
St Vincent – Cruel
I’m a real sucker for a good riff and this tune from St Vincent hooked me immediately. She (Annie Clark) has appeared on my social media feed a few times recently for her collaboration with Musicman in creating a guitar with room for ‘a breast or two’. Not a problem any of my female guitar play friends have brought up before, but an interesting concept nonetheless.
The XX – On Hold
Definitely feeling the new The XX album. It took a couple listens, but has been one I keep coming back to. To me it has an added playfulness that the last couple of albums lacked. The Hall and Oates sample used in the track is a good example of this.
Mick Harvey & Xanthe Waites – Puppet Of Wax, Puppet Of Song
The 4th of Mick Harvey’s Gainsbourg cover/translation albums seemed to appear out of nowhere this year. Intoxicated Women concentrates on the duets and this tune with Xanthe Waites really stood out for me. I would suggest going through all four of these albums in order if you haven’t checked them out yet.
The Chills – Pink Frost
This track has been on my favourites list for the last 15 years, ever since a friend introduced it to me. I still don’t know a great deal about The Chills, but I love the way this song is almost upbeat whilst at the same time evoking a sense of melancholy. It deals with the possible death of a girl at the hands of the singer and his regret over it.
John Maus – Keep Pushing On
John Maus is probably best known as the keyboard player in Animal Collective, but the solo album this track is lifted from – We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves – is pure synthpop gold. The album was “recommended” to me by Spotify a couple of years ago and it’s been on heavy rotation in my household ever since. Sublime.
Serge Gainsborough & Brigette Bardot – Bonnie & Clyde
I love French singers and I’m always searching for the next unheard (by me, at least) gem to play to death. When I discovered this I was taken aback at just how amazing it is, and it was on a constant loop for months after first hearing it. I have little to no idea what is being sung, but that all adds to the enjoyment of it. For me the vocals become another instrument to enjoy along with the music.
Lush – For Love
Hands down my favourite song of all time! It’s the track that introduced me to Indie music back in the 90s and sparked a love affair with the genre that’s lasted ever since. Lush are one of those bands that I can listen to ad nauseum (and have) and never tire of. They reformed in 2016 after breaking up in 1996 following the suicide of their drummer Chris Acland. They released a new track, toured, and then split up again, but not before I got the chance to see them play The Roundhouse. It was worth the 20 year wait!
The Fall – Wings
It would be remiss of me not to include The Fall, as they’re quite possibly the best band England has ever produced. As John Peel once said they’re “always different… always the same.” Repetition gets a bad rap, so I admire a band never afraid to flog a good riff to death. This song in particular is a favourite of mine as much for the insane story contained in the lyrics, as for the tune that holds the whole thing together.
Can – I’m so Green
Been listening to a lot of Can recently. They are a very weird and incredible band. What I love the most about them is the groove and organic sound. Sadly their drummer Jaki Liebezeit passed away recently. His style is a big influence on some of my playing, particularly on “Gun to the Head”. I was thinking “Mother Sky” off “Soundtracks” on that one. “I’m so Green” has this wonky groove to it and is just loose and tight at the same time. I love it.
Aretha Franklin – Rocksteady
For me, Aretha is pure soul. Pure magic. She is probably my favourite singer of all time. When she sings I get goosebumps. Her voice is so huge and rich. The band are just kicking on this classic. The legendary shuffle master Bernard Purdie is on the drums. Such a fantastic groove on this. There’s a reason why it’s been sampled on several hip hop records. It’s got a funky beat and I can bug out to it.
Eric B and Rakim – Lyrics of Fury
Hip hop piqued my interest for funky beats in the first place way back when I was 12 years old. I want to talk more about Rakim than the production on this record which is of course outstanding. Rakim is often lauded as one of the finest rappers of all time. This track is an example of why. His rhymes flow so laid back but direct over the fierce backdrop of Eric B’s hard-as-hell beats (courtesy of James Brown’s funky drummer Clyde Stubblefield and Funkadelic). I saw a documentary about the origins of hip hop. Rakim was asked if he was influenced by old school MCs, the likes of Melle Mel or Grandmaster Caz – the best of that time. He said his main influence was John Coltrane. Rakim’s rhymes flow like Coltrane played the sax and the man totally got it! Among other great contemporaries at the time such as Chuck D, KRS One, and Big Daddy Kane, Rakim at the height of his powers was the king and his style since had influenced other greats such as Biggie, Nas, and GZA from Wu Tang Clan among others.
The Misfits – Hybrid Moments
Lee and I are in a Misfits tribute band called the Spinal Remains with Simon Drowner from Desperate Journalist and Jake Griffiths (who is my favourite drummer around) and is one half of Shart Attack that do the art for Roadkill. He did our Wild for the Night single with Dedwardians. The Misfits were a horror punk band from the late 70s, early 80s. This is my favourite Misfits song. I love Glen Danzig’s soaring vocal on this. From what I can gather it’s about being ripped to pieces by hybrids – cross-bred monsters (!) – but it sounds like it could be a love song! (If you’re gonna scream, scream with me. Moments like this never last). It can be anything you like!
“Oh Oh I Love Her So” – The Ramones
Talking of punk rock love songs, this is the most beautiful song ever! I don’t even need to explain just listen! The most romantic opening lyrics to any song. “I met her at the Burger King, fell in love by the soda machine” makes me feel all fuzzy and glad.
Check it out and stream it for free below:
Their debut album ‘The Sly Persuaders’is out 24th Feb 2017 on vinyl and download here on Roadkill Records: