Original article here: http://www.americana-uk.com/cd-reviews/item/the-penny-black-remedy
THE PENNY BLACK REMEDY – “INHALE… EXHALE… OK, NOW YOU CAN PANIC!”
A boisterous riot of an album with some proper songs too
It’s not uncommon to listen to an album and think “not bad but I bet they sound so much better live” as it’s a difficult trick to get that live energy down in the studio. It’s one that London’s Penny Black Remedy has well and truly mastered though and what a sound it is too. You can hear ska, punk, surf guitar, Balkan trad, folk and yes, even some Americana, all chucked into a bowl and mixed together by a blender set to light speed. It bursts out of the speakers, dances on the sofa, pogos into the kitchen, drinks all your beer and then boogies round your living room while laughing maniacally.
Between the laughs, it songs a song or three, and that’s a problem of sorts, but a good one. Because while it’s almost impossible not to dance along with the music the songs demand listening to. Keith M Thomson’s darkly sardonic lyrics are perhaps best summed up by one of the song titles – “Putting The Mental Into Sentimentality”. Witty, entertaining and with no small amount of insight, they also boast sing along, well actually roar along, choruses and are really rather good indeed. Just like the album.