Release Date: Apr 30, 2013
Record label: One Little Indian
Hailing from Exeter, The Computers burst onto the scene as a Black Flag influenced hardcore punk band, with vocalist Alex Kershaw screaming and shouting his way through early material; the debut album This Is The Computers was released in 2011 and was subsequently dubbed ‘punk ‘n roll’, with the kick ass underlying punk riffs being the basis of their output. Now, just two years on, the quintet make a substantial detour that will undoubtedly see them lose a number of early fans as they head towards a more mainstream, radio friendly sound. In addition to the new musical direction, the band are implementing additional incentives to buy their material which include limited edition coloured vinyl, personally signed albums and, most unusually of all, the ingenious Willy Wonka golden ticket approach where seven winners can claim a very special prize indeed – a live performance by the band in the winners’ very own homes.
In the middle of their full-length debut This Is the Computers, it seemed like the band realized just how difficult it is to break new ground with purely punk/hardcore sounds, and incorporated bits of rockabilly, pop, and soul into their music. They go even further in their stylistic experiments on Love Triangles Hate Squares and end up sounding more convincing and more entertaining than when they were aping their more obvious heroes more closely (they've named Sick of It All, Black Flag, and all the projects of John "Speedo" Reis -- who produced their debut -- as influences). This time, Alex Kershaw sings more than he screams, but more importantly, the band's writing is more developed, with many of these witty, catchy songs recalling Elvis Costello and the Hives.
When you think of computers, think not of today’s sleek, paper-thin social networking facilitators, with their HD screens and Beats audio; think more of the sort of boxy terminals with glowing green screens of text that used to illuminate the face of the young Elvis Costello, before he broke out with his Attractions. Like a rocket from the crypt, The Computers punch life into two tired genres - good ole’ fashioned rock ‘n’ roll, and good ole’ fashioned DC hardcore - by sticking the two in a rehearsal space in Exeter and making a right racket. Singer Al Kershaw has more than a bit of the lounge lizard-via-southern England croon of early Costello to his voice, tinged by the East Coast influence (which actually makes him sound more like Patrick Stump than anyone who was ever signed to SST), and it does have some strength to it - ‘C R U E L’ is the trope-heavy tale of a temptress sang with a convincing facsimile of a heartbroken Buddy Holly.