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HAND GRENADES - Demos To London 12"

Last Laugh

HAND GRENADES - Demos To London 12"

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Highly recommended. 

"The one-off 1979 single from the HAND GRENADES was self-released and packaged in a minimalist sleeve with no personnel credits or identifying information, which posed all sorts of questions as to who was behind the record and where exactly they had come from. Going strictly from audio cues, both sides of the 7” showcased a ramshackle post-punk sensibility in line with the DESPERATE BICYCLES, the HOMOSEXUALS, or SWELL MAPS (not to mention some nasal and vaguely British-accented vocals that sounded kind of like a bedroom-recorded Peter Perrett of the ONLY ONES), which lead many people to understandably reach the conclusion that the HAND GRENADES must have been a product of the same “it was easy, it was cheap, go and do it” school of late ‘70s UK DIY. In reality, they were actually from Long Island, and by the early ‘80s, they’d transformed into the new wave/power-pop group the SPONSORS, abandoning any hint of scratchy Messthetics aesthetics to write songs with skinny-tied titles like “In and Out of Love” and “Love I Can’t Wait”. Truth is stranger than fiction, but despite geography, the lone HAND GRENADES record has rightfully been regarded as a touchstone of UK-minded shambolic late ‘70s/early ‘80s art-punk and also one that unfortunately tends to fetch collector scum prices these days, so praise be onto Last Laugh Records, who just reissued the single as a 12” EP (Demos to London) with the addition of two previously unreleased tracks. “Demo to London” and “Coma Dos” from the original 7” tick off seemingly every box on the UK DIY checklist—charmingly fidelity-challenged, treble to the extreme, shaky single-note guitar, BUZZCOCKS hooks thrown slightly off-kilter, plenty of FALL-worthy repetition. On the unreleased side, the scrappy pop of “Cocoon” could almost pass for the TELEVISION PERSONALITIES stripped of their more psychedelically mod leanings, while “Murder” repeatedly cycles through the phrase “murder in the U.S.” over some wiry econo-punk to a biting and almost RONDOS/early EX-ish effect. Beyond mandatory!" - Erika Elizabeth ( 

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