Thursday, September 21, 2006

Understand, This Is A Dream

Regular Fries - Africa Take Me Back
Regular Fries - Cyanide

I recently had a sort out of my old cassette tapes, a much-loved format here at TWNR. Amongst a load of copyright infringed copies of Britpop albums and free tapes that were once sellotaped to the front of the NME, I found a hand-written C90 with the words “Fries Live” on it. I popped it in the twin deck and heard the excited tones of Mary Anne Hobbs blast back out at me -

"Tonight we have live, the hottest unsigned act in the UK. The new art terrorists. The cryptic. The apocalyptic. THE REGULAR FRIES."

This tape was in the cassette deck of my first ever car for about a month solid, after I first recorded it off the radio. It helped that the b-side is the Lo-Fidelity Allstars, live at the same gig. However, listening now it’s the Regular Fries that have made me sit up and take notice as I’d completely forgotten how brilliant they could be.

The Fries sound is a swirling funk cocktail of trippy baggy beats and slow guitar hooks, with brainwashing lyrics, which once again seduces me into believing that this space-rock/dance hybrid will take over the world. It’s then I remind myself that this was recorded in April 1998 (OK, I had to check!). The band exude an air of laidback cool to the point of being almost horizontal, yet the live set is also a relentless 25 minute workout, featuring a continuous cacophony of horns and vocal messages of space invasions and higher plains. Whatever they were smoking it was working.

"Am I a figment of your imagination? Or am I, one of yours?"

The live recording inspired me to dig out the Regular Fries albums and EPs I own, and they still sound great on record. Personal favourites as well as those posted, include ‘Dust It’ and ‘King Kong’. These tracks are available on the compilation, ‘Phone in Sick’ released after their split in 2004, and it’s well worth checking out. ‘Coke N Smoke’ - the hook-up with Kool Keith, which I resisted posting here - is probably worth the cover price alone.

The official Regular Fries website
Fries at My Space
Regular Fries vinyl to buy at Norman Records
Purchase 'Phone In Sick', the Regular Fries 'Best of..' comp from Amazon