Qualified for nothin'!

Blasting out of Newport are the fantastic Street Punks Strawberry Blondes. The band erupted on to the music scene back in 2007 with their rebel-rousing debut Rise Up, which drew comparisons to Rancid, The Briggs and The Clash with the Punk/Ska fusion and socially aware lyrics. Then in 2009 we had the second album, Fight Back which cemented the band as a true working-man's band, living and breathing the struggles of everyday life.

Here in the four-track EP, Nothin' Left To Lose, the band have come back with four solid tracks that are perhaps a little more like their debut album than the follow up. First track, Dazed And Bruised starts with chugging guitars before Mickie Stabbs' familiar vocals kick in. There is the great formula of Street Punk which is the 'gang-style' sing-a-long vocals by the rest of the band (Stew Page and Luke Birch). Production wise this is spot on with the slight rough-around-the-edges feel that really adds to the band. The great thing with this EP is that when Dazed And Bruised has finished you are just about to reach over to play it again before the great adrenaline shot of No Direction jolts you into a frenzy. With a slightly higher tempo and lyrics that speak the feelings of many of Britain's working class it's easy to grasp hold of this as your very own anthem.

Nothin' Left To Lose starts off with a similar beginning to the great Backyard Babies tune, Heaven 2.9 before slipping back into a more accessible Punk rock track. "Qualified for nothin'!" Mickie shouts at one point, and this line is also chanted later on as if part of picket line demonstration. Then we have the last song, Under Suspicion which is very similar to the sound of American Punk band The Briggs, and a fine way to finish.

Strawberry Blondes are the best Punk band in Britain and although slightly obvious to say, it's a shame that there are only four tracks here, as ten or twelve of these bad boys would have certainly been more of a pleasure to listen to. Now normally with EP's you get the title track, which is great, then maybe another good track before a few fillers, however this is certainly not the case here, and I would have a job to decide my favourite from the four as it constantly changes with each listen. This EP is freakin' great! I seriously doubt that I will hear better Punk songs this year, and considering Rancid are due to drop their new album then that is indeed a bold statement.