|One Minute Silence – Available in All Colours (Art courtesy of Alterportal)|
REMAIN CALM A few days ago, I bought a signed copy of Available in All Colours, the first album by One Minute Silence in a charity shop. Initially, I hesitated because I am not into rap-rock, but I did like their second LP, Buy Now… Saved Later from 2000, which was more of a rock album. This one tends more towards rap and Rage against the Machine, than the heavy rock of Workhorse Movement.
Opening track, New Dogs New Tricks, has a simple riff that any of the rap rock bands could have played, with rap vocals. The swearing is irritating. There are good percussive lines though. More frantic drumming is heard on South Central, a fast track which breaks for the unaccompanied vocal refrain of, ‘I don’t want to die, never want to die’. It also includes a strange line in, ‘It’s a long, long way to Tipperary – South Central.’ But, this is an Irish band. South Central could have been catchy, but the swearing comes across as, ‘I’m hard me, I swear a lot.’
Stuck Between a Rock snd a White Face begins with distorted bass, a bit like Faith No More. But, unlike FNM, it is a messy track with different rap sections and a ‘sung’ chorus, ‘Stay down, get back.’ There is a guitar solo and some repeated whining guitar, which is annoying. On A More Violent Approach we have the whole gamut of simple repeated riff, distorted guitar lines, fast rap phrases, nihilistic lyrics, swearing and frantic drumming. There is the much repeated line of, ‘Where there’s life there’s dope,’ which sounds like a bluesy sample, but may just be the band.
By Norfuckinmality I feel I have heard the entire One Minute Silence canon. It begins with the words ‘Good Christian’, which are followed by, ‘Don’t You Just Love it,’ in an Irish accent. Then we get shouts of what barely constitute a lyric, mixed with a heavy rhythm section. For Want of a Better World is more of the same, with some interesting instrumental passages wasted. It is only halfway through the album, but track 7, I Think Therefore I’m Damned, should be the last. It is quite heavy, but goes nowhere.
There are more shades of FNM’s Billy Gould-style bass on Remain Calm and the title track. The latter also including a role call of the characters listed on the (quite effective) album cover in test tubes(1), but the lyrics make no sense. Brainspiller seems to be an Americanised tale of a serial killer captured on national TV. A Waste of Things to Come and And Some Ya Lose are monotonous, while album closer Pig Until Proven Cop has at least the funny pig noises to rescue it from the same fate – it becomes very intense towards the end.
Overall, Available in All Colours is disappointing and lacks the concise hard rock approach of the following album. Guitarist Chris Ignatiou shares Tom Morello‘s annoyingly pointless habit of trying to make his guitar sound like a turntable. Vocalist Brian ‘Yap’ Barry, subjects us to too much rap and the lyrics are over-simplistic and contradictory. Gibraltarian Glen Diani on bass guitar and Englishman Eddie Stratton on drums, make a good fist of their parts, but they are wasted. Available in All Colours may suit Rage Against the Machine fans, but is not for me. It will probably find itself back on the charity shop shelf.
(1) The album cover is by English fantasy artist Anne Stokes, whose work is often quite beautiful: http://www.annestokes.com/the-artist/