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EP Review: Loaded 44 – Line Him Up
Line Him Up - Self Released
Loaded 44 are a band in a constant state of flux, they retained the core members of Dave Robinson and Beki Straughan alongside a constantly revolving backline that may well include members of the UK Subs, First Wave and Hi-Fi Spitfires depending on the touring commitments of their members. Despite the changes Loaded 44 have retained all of their trademark anthemic punk rock racket, and it’s no coincidence that this is the name of Beki’s clothing company. The “Line Him Up” EP follows in the wake of their two full length releases “Wasted On You” and “Come On” and the critically acclaimed “Get Ready” EP that was released back in 2016.
Kicking off with the opening track “Love To Hate” it’s clear that this is classic Loaded 44, punk rock power chords just hook you in and are delivered with a very slight poppy sensibility, top this off with Beki Straughan‘s unmistakable vocals, that are reminiscent of a sassier Debbie Harry, and you have a perfect three minute punk hit. After the familiarity of the opening track you get the harder hitting “Shut Up” and the EP’s title track, two songs that put the rock firmly into punk rock, this sets the scene perfectly for the EP’s finalè “Five Aces” that possesses a chorus that you can’t help but fall in love with. Everything you loved about Loaded 44‘s previous releases are present on their latest release, but they sound as if they’re somehow more focused and energised than ever.
There is a vibrant and inclusive DIY punk scene in the North East of the UK and Loaded 44 are the jewel in that scene’s crown, energetic straight up punk rock that draws deeply from the scene’s roots, but rather than sounding like a throwback they drag those influences by the scruff of the neck into the modern age. It’s testament to the band’s chemistry and longevity that after numerous line up changes and over two decades together they are still evolving, even more impressively they have produced what is arguably their finest release to date.
The “Line Him Up” EP can be streamed via all major digital service providers including Spotify and Amazon, physical copies are available directly from the band and at live shows. Loaded 44‘s website is here, their Facebook page is here and the Racket Clothing website can be found here