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Welcome to the official Distractions website. We will be aiming to record the history of one of the greatest, but least heralded, of all Manchester beat groups.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Distinctively Distractions

This review of Nobody's Perfect from the December 1980 issue of Trouser Press references, amongst others, Love, fellow Mancunians The Hollies, and the usual Undertones:


Nobody’s Perfect

Island ILPS 9604

“Recycling vinyl dross” or “tomorrow’s sounds from yesterday?”  Bands which mine ‘60s pop and rock for inspiration are particularly vulnerable to being gobbled up by just such tedious debates.  But if, instead of slavish and inferior rehashes, a band is capable of infusing new life into the genre, why carp?  Here’s a pair that can.

[The Lambrettas]

The Distractions’ basis in ‘60s pop-rock is broader than the Lambrettas’. Whether they’re tearing their hair out on “Waiting for Lorraine” (“…to go drop dead!”) or chasing after “Valerie”, the Distractions recall the melodic spirit of Invasion-era groups like the Searchers and Hollies, as well as American bands like Love (circa Forever Changes) and even the better bubblegum records.  The “modern” tempos and lyrical twists, though, as distinctively Distractions.

Phil Chapman and Jon Astley’s production is full of smart touches, except when they’re too heavy on sweetening.  Mike Finney’s vocals, a huge plus, are as wonderful in their own way as Undertone Fergal Sharkey’s.

How many Searchers or Tommy James & the Shondells albums could you listen to all the way through?  With the Lambrettas and the Distractions, the only time ya gotta lift the needle is to turn over the record.

- Johnny DesEsseintes


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