CH3 (CHANNEL THREE) – THE BELLWETHER EP (HOSTAGE)

Intended by the band and label as a throwback to their 1981 debut self-titled 12″ for Posh Boy Records, complete with faux Posh Boy logo, Channel Three offer up five songs for Record Store Day 2019 on this new 12″ and CD.

Straight out the gate with ‘What You Need’ and they’re off and running like nothing’s changed in 38 years and it sounds just like a lost song from the Posh Boy era recordings. Following this, the title track seems to jump straight to the ‘After the Lights Go Out’ era for inspiration and their more melodic anthemic approach.

Third song ‘Mendiolas 1983’, a reference to the infamous ballroom in Huntington Park in Southern California, the scene of many a violent punk gigs and police riots in the early Eighties. The song however is a pacey Western cow punk movie theme in the vein of Los Angeles roots rock revival bands of the year in question.

Next up with ‘Blackballed’, already in their live set and with amusing video already doing the rounds, they again jump back to their tried and tested CH3 sound that spans the forty year plus friendship of Mike Magrann and Kimm Gardener, a bulletproof song writing collaboration if there ever was one.

To close the EP they look back to L.A. power pop of 1980 with a faithful rendition of Peter Case’s post-Nerves band The Plimsouls’ ‘How Long Will It Take?’, that while sounding uncannily like the original, also manages to sound completely like a Channel Three song.

Seeing that I’ve never missed a CH3 release to date, you’re probably never going to read me giving these boys a bad review, and as usual this record stands shoulder to shoulder to the rest of their output. RSD releases are usually of no interest to me, but I have to get hold of this one.

(Welly)

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