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the official distractions website

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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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Jewel in the Old British Crown

The positive reviews keep on coming from all over the globe.  This one is a faithful translation of Max Sannella's 5-star piece at the Italian music webzine, Rockambula.

The Distractions – The End Of The Pier

This is a fine record which might even have been posthumous; it comes to terms with the past and makes it unflinchingly through the first round without ever trying too hard.  The Distractions, an English group led by Mike Finney, are back after a thirty-year break from a career during which everything that could go wrong did go wrong, arguments and misunderstandings, with The End Of The Pier, a jewel in the Old British crown.  The formula sees a few changes to their original sound, which always had a hint of melancholy about it and plenty of ballads and what we have here is that long-lost punk spirit delivered calmly and honestly by a band who’ve nothing left to lose and seem happy simply to have made it this far.

Even so, The Distractions are still a class act with a lively, melodic sound.  Although they may have “a few miles on the clock” the rejuvenation is dramatic, full of positive nostalgia though with none of the whining you might expect and striking a balance between a kind of reserved British romanticism and a sweet verve which slides down the throat and into the ears like an elixir, and one you can’t help enjoying.  The ten tracks work together to produce a consistent whole; it’s not too demanding, with smooth, non-aggressive rock and big ballads best enjoyed alone at nightfall, so that the listener feels included in the warmth of the memories.

There’s a huge range of emotions in timeless ballads such as “Wise”, “When It Was Mine” and “Man Of The Moment”, which are almost poetic and full of tender confidence, in “100 Times” or in the melodic echo of a faraway guitar underpinning a tale of unrequited love in “Too Late To Change”.  Admittedly the primitive punk rumble has gone but, in spite of their advancing years, the group still manage to pull something out of the hat of the past and they’re still pounding the pavement, looking not to trouble the charts but merely to make us realise that old lions should be cherished for their wisdom, not put out to grass.

- Genre:  Ancient Rock
- Label:  Occultation Recordings 2012
- Rating:  5/5
- Review publication date:  7th December 2012

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