Norman Silver and the Gold - War Memoirs (4 stars)

Norman Silver and the Gold - War Memoirs

A suitably retro combination of white American traditional music and rough and ready British punk

According to the band, their debut album started out as a gang of old punks having a go at playing what was once memorably described as 'both kinds of music: country and western'. Assembled from members of Edinburgh punk outfits Oi Polloi, Newtown Grunts, Badgewearer, Archbishop Kebab and Eastern Block, the five-piece branded themselves with a fittingly C&W-styled name and further developed their side project, adding other musical influences and writing their own material. Three years later, Norman Silver and the Gold have put out their long time-coming long-player and the results might fairly be described as country punk, or maybe punk and western. Whatever you call it, though, these old punks have made a good fist of infusing white American traditional music with a rough and ready British punk sound. In fact, given the affinity Scots have for both country and punk music, it's not surprising the band's fusion of two musical genres comes off very well.

Opening track 'The Gathering Storm' sets out their stall very clearly with its driving percussion, twangy guitar riffs and hell-raising vocals. Elsewhere, the band's dark lyrical bent is well-served on the slow-burner 'Joe Coffey', while the singalong/drinkalong 'Gotta Lotta Loss' showcases the band's good time side and stand-out track 'The Falling Dream' starts out like a spaghetti western sounds before morphing into the kind of ferocious rant Nick Cave would be proud of. Norman Silver and the Gold have also gone the extra mile with their first LP by releasing War Memoirs (also the first release on the Gallivant label) on vinyl – white vinyl at that – complete with nicely retro cover art and design and inner sleeve song lyrics. Anyone purchasing one of the 350 copies of this limited first pressing also receives a free digital download of the album. But really, this lot is most appropriately served by analogue sound.

War Memoirs is released via Gallivant on Tue 3 Jun. Norman Silver and the Gold play the Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, Fri 23 May.

Norman Silver and the Gold ((early line up footage) - Gathering storm

Norman Silver & The Gold

'Morose' country and western punks.

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