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IR (originally called International Rescue) were initially formed in 1980 out of the ashes of the Bridlington Punk Rock scene. They somehow managed to secure a deal with Polydor Records but that fell apart after a couple of single releases. IR also got plenty of airplay on John Peel’s radio shows and appeared on Channel 4’s ‘The Tube’. Fate (or perhaps it was common sense) was not on their side and they gradually drifted apart. Fast forward to 2011 when three of the original four members decided to reform and play some gigs. They have now released the ‘No Country For Old Men’ album and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a clunker of epic proportions.

Now, I have to be honest and say that 80’s inspired indie pop of this nature never caught my attention. There are several reviews already online, all of which are very positive and mention many influences, most of which are unknown to me, but I have to go on my own musical experiences of the last 35 years and, to me, this sounds like Morrissey jamming with Elvis Costello and covering Beautiful South songs; in other words, awful! Vocalist/guitarist Stephen Skinner has one of the most boring voices I’ve ever had the misfortune to listen to this side of The Smiths. That would be bad enough but the female backing vocals of Laura & Maisie (who appear on every song) are even worse. I was immediately bombarded with terrifying visions of the two coma inducing females that used to sing in The Human League when listening to them, at which point I rang my local hospital to book a bed because, by the time I’ve finished writing this, I think I might be in a coma as well.

All eleven songs on ‘No Country For Old Men’ sound almost identical with only the tempo occasionally changing; then it just feels like you’ve put an old vinyl on 45rpm when it should be 33 1/3rpm! Musically, everything is depressing and lyrically banal. Just check out the chorus to ‘It’s All Tongue In Cheek’, which is anything but and sounds more like the sort of thing a year six student would come up with. There are a couple of brief moments where some relief occurs, ‘He’s The Man’ tries, but fails on every level attempting to be The Proclaimers and ‘Cowboy City’ isn’t too bad, until the female ‘singing’ kicks in, otherwise I really cannot recommend anything here. Avoid!!
Cowboy City Records
Review by Rick Tilley
17th June 2013
1) If I'm Going Down
2) Don't Ever Change
3) I Don't Know What It Is But I Like It a Lot
4) He's the Man
5) It's My Parade
6) It's All Tongue In Cheek
7) Let's Rip It Up
8) The Beast of Love
9) Love Train
10) Cowboy City
11) The Old River Bed
"...a clunker of epic proportions."