INTRAVEIN “SPEED OF THE CITY / SICK” 7″ (U.K.- BUM, 1978)
Well, I am sad to say (and I know those of you with short attention spans will also shed a tear) that this will be a shorter posting since I do not know much of anything about Intravein (who does?!) other than the fact that they were from the U.K. and that most copies of this 7″ came in just a rubber-stamped plain white outer sleeve. And, according to the great Punk 77 site, supposedly some copies came in a black PVC sleeve which would be kind of funky looking if it really exists.
“Speed of The City” made it onto my Top 250 song list and is one of my favorite thug punk ditties. It’s a pretty tense affair, with a nice slow buildup in the first minute with just the drum pounding and spooky whispering. Around the :50 mark, that chunky bass line kicks in and does not let up until the end of this classic 4 minute (!) ditty (far longer than one man’s 2:36 rule!). To top it all off, at the halfway point this cool guitar solo barges in- very nice! And then more nice guitar noise towards the end. Pretty tough sounding stuff. A lot of good thug punk came outta the U.K., although other countries had some good stuff in a thug punk-ish vein- one example that quickly jumps to mind is Sweden’s Slobobans Undergang and their classic “Maktgalen”. Or the tough-guy classic “Mercenary” from Brooklyn, NY’s Ducky Boys.
Well, the B-side “Sick” is also 4 minutes but is a clunker and just drags on and on for me. And has too much of a pub rock-vibe going on, which is a genre I have NEVER gotten into. I included it simply for the purposes of completion. Oh well, at least Intravein got it right for one memorable song.
Intravein morphed into just “The Veins” by 1979 and that band released one 7″ called- yikes– “Lose Control To Rock n’ Roll” on Redball Records. Um, I have never heard it but I don’t know if I ever really want to because two major red flags jump out at me. Red flag #1– that song title is just completely corny sounding and makes me suspicious that it’ll just sound like shite. I get some sort of Spinal Tap-ish image in my head of the band all bug-eyed throwing up the horns and saying, “I just love control to rock n’ roll, baby! Woooo!”. The sleeve which I have seen brings to light red flag #2– the band has SEVEN frickin’ members. Yes, 7. Most memorable punk bands were either trios or had 4 members, 5 would be pushing it at times. No classic bands had 6 or 7 members… expect maybe for Da Slyme but that’s a whole different story. Also on the sleeve several– not just one- of the Veins members have moustaches. And- here is the coup de grace– the band members include one “keyboards and synth” player. Not just the general “keyboards” credit but keyboards AND synth. Given that, I say case closed on this one. If you can prove me wrong and can speak of the greatness of the Veins 7″ please let me know, or provide audio examples.