What, you may wonder, epitomises 21st century suburban London more than a six piece skiffle band?! Complete with washboards, double basses and even a squeezebox, The Severed Limb might not be the most contemporary act on the market these days but to be honest when the music they make sounds this brilliant who gives a toss. In fact there are a handful of conspiracy theorists sharing the belief that The Severed Limb are actually mankind's first successful attempt at time traveller, voyaging from some time around the late fifties (toilet stop at 1976) before making their arrival as a skiffle sextet in Brixton today. Or I may just have made that up. Either way their mouthful of a debut album Kill You and Bill You the Price of the Bullet is available now through Northamptonian DIY label Serious Types, and its retro appeal has got the fans foot-stomping and yee-hawing all over the country.
Fans that include musical knowhows from XFM, Amazing Radio and 6 Music alike - and quite rightfully too. The band's Price of the Bullet LP is a whole canvas full of vibrant excitement, a skifflic Pollock painted with blues-dipped twangs, accordion rhythms, swings, taps, blows, crashes, and an overall passion for the music they represent. Their lyrical content is equally as bizarre, featuring songs written about washing machines, train journeys and how people should react to an overcrowded dancefloor (which, at Severed Limb concerts, I should imagine is frequently the case)
However, contrary to what you might have expected, the record and indeed the band are far more than a Lonnie Donegan carbon copy. For starters, their name alone just oozes slashed drainpipe jeans and lightning green mohicans, whilst Shake It Senora and schmaltzy nod to their home city Bethnal Green Road both portray an exciting new Latino side to The Severed Limb. In terms of influences Mr Presley rears his head on more than one occasion: Beep Beep has a definite Jailhouse Rock-ish air about it, and the album's finale is a spine-tingling number by the name of Are You Loathsome Tonight? Most of all though, it's the sheer volume of energy - particularly to Smoker's Cough, Shake Up and Southend Express (described by frontman Rob as: "the YMCA of The Severed Limb") - that really pounds your body into twisting and prancing along regardless of how much of a nincompoop you look.
They call themselves The Severed Limb - and most bands would give their right arm to make an album as addictive as this.