The Barracudas - Inside Mind/Hour Of Degradation

The Barracudas
Inside Mind/Hour Of Degradation

Released 1982 on Flicknife
Reviewed by Dave Furgess, 16/10/2006ce

I first heard the Barracudas in the summer of 1981 thanks to the fine folks at the late Capitol Record Shop in Hartford, Connecticut. The staff there played the group's debut album "Drop Out With The Barracudas" constantly during that celebrated summer. I grabbed the album right away and I have been a fan ever since.

The Barracudas had a fluke UK hit in 1980 with their Beach Boys styled "Summer Fun" 45. The group's earliest sides had a distinct Beach Boys/Jan & Dean flavor, so it wasn't long before they were dismissed as one hit 60's revivalists. The band made no apologies about their love of American 60's music (especially the mid 60's west coast variety such as The Byrds, Beach Boys, Love, Standells etc.) At the time I thought it was pretty unique that a British group were influenced by something other than Roxy Music, David Bowie or T Rex. Certainly it made me love them all the more.

"Drop Out With The Barracudas" was actually more of a complilation than a straight album release. One side favored their early surf influenced tracks, while the other side found the band in a more serious acid/folk vein. It was the group's more garage based songs that would shape their future sound. It was certainly clear that the songwriting team of Robin Wills and Jeremey Gluck had immense promise. The album contained several classics including the would be anthem "Violent Times", "This Ain't My Time" & "Somewhere Outside." Hearing those songs kept me sane in a sea of UK trash such as Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran and ABC and others too horrible to remember.

During 1981 England went through one of their flavor of the month musical fads called "New Psychedelia" (which lasted about as long as the memorable "positive punk" movement.) The groups included The Marble Staircase, LeMat, Miles Over Matter, Mood 6 and others. For a short time The Barracudas were roped in with that bunch due to their inclusion on the WEA "cash in" sampler "A Splash Of Colour." But in truth the 'cudas had very little to do with those groups and were clearly outsiders (they were actually quite big in France and Spain.)

1982 found the group released from their EMI contract and label-less. Luckily UK indie label Flicknife picked them up. This 45 was issued in early 1982. Gone also was the group's bassist and drummer. New recruits Jim Dickson and Graeme Potter filling their slots.

"Inside Mind" is a drop dead classic all the way. It features a hypnotic guitar riff from Wills and an incredible vocal from lead singer Jeremey Gluck. Everthing about the record is special from the slashing guitar solo in the mid-section to the Byrds-like backing vocals to the wonderful spoken word, disoriented fade out vocal by Gluck.

The flip "Hour Of Degradation" is also fantastic. This one is more of reflective folk-punk ballad that reminds me of The Standells "Poor Shell Of A Man" and some of the early sides by Love and The Leaves. Yet even though both songs have strong 60's ties the music is timeless and sounds as good today as it did in 1982. I kind of think of this record as the "Shake Some Action" of the 80's. Not only is this 45 one of the great 45's of the 1980's, I'll take it a step further and say it's one of the best 2 siders ever!!!!

The good news is The Barracudas are back in action and they are still just as great. God Bless Them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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