Properly listening to “That Was Then, This Is Now” by Eastbourne’s own The James Cleaver Quintet is like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube while blindfolded on Thorpe Park’s Nemesis Inferno.

With a seemingly infinite amount of sounds coming at you all at once it’s easy to lose focus, but here you have a record by a band that once classified themselves as “circus punk”; don’t expect an easy ride, but do expect to enjoy it.

The JCQ haven’t been quiet lately; with press ranging from a mention in the sex section of an issue of Front Magazine to a 5K review in Kerrang Magazine and that now infamous Lucozade advert the band have been getting much needed attention, but has it all been deserved?

The answer is, depending on your point of view, a resounding yes. While it won’t win them any prizes from the X-Factor brigade “That Was Then, This Is Now” is a thunder-crash of a record from start to finish; opener “Golfing Pros, Bitches And Hoes” is a very unusual but quite astounding twist on the traditional love song and end track “Lower Than A Bastard” is a supercharged epic.

The album is littered with greatness; vocalist Jacky Udon’s from the pit melodies and glass shattering shouts are clearly just a scratch on the surface of his talents, drummer Porl Faud’s thrashing work makes the Gorilla in the old Cadbury advert look like a hippy at the end of a hunger strike, bassist J-Splaff gives every track a backline you can feel in your gut, and guitarist/songwriter Maud E Licious brings the whole brilliant mess together with riffs that make you want to throw down and soul-rendering screams. Brilliant.

Originally published here:


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