After 14 years, 4 albums, numerous splits, EPs and 7″s Manchester DIY stalwarts Revenge Of The Psychotronic Man have sadly decided to call it a day. Having announced the decision at the start of this year they will be gigging as much as possible around the country up to their final gig in Manchester in December as well as releasing this, That Was Just A Noise (2004-2018), a career retrospective of their favourite tracks, rarities and unreleased songs.
Having originally formed with the intention of having fun and gigging as much as possible their music is riddled with drinking references, nods to Alan Partridge and general irrelevance as well as some of the fastest, most abrasive punk you will hear.
The album track list is chronological, opening with the oldest songs, the band’s modus operandi Get Pissed, Talk Shit, Dance Like An Idiot and Rita, Sue and Bob Too. Both tracks say everything you need to know about the band in a combined 3 minutes 40 seconds. Fast, furious and riff-packed yet they somehow manage to be catchy, with an ear for a memorable chorus.
Debut album Make Pigs Smoke provides us with five songs, the supersonic Mine’s A Pint, the self-explanatory Mainstream Music Is Shit, Needles To Say, I Know A Cracking Owl Sanctuary and Drop Dead. All are fast as fuck but for me, it’s when they take their foot off the pedal that it gets really interesting. The ska instrumental of I Know A Cracking Owl Sanctuary shows that under the speed and bluster there are talented musicians and adds a nice variety and change of pace whilst the rumbling bass lines of Drop Dead flows into a memorable elephantine groove.
The International Split EP provides the next few tracks, all of which sum up their attitude to the life that they’ve chosen. Tour life is summed up by the visceral Drinking In The Van, a fast scuzzy blur of riffs before the clock merchandise inspiring Booze Time, which impossibly seems to up the ante in terms of speed. It’s dizzying and thrilling with a simple chorus. The End Of Everything continues the debauchery theme, again with a memorable chorus of “we don’t know what’s coming next, so let’s all getting fucking wrecked”.
Things take a turn to the surreal with picks from the Shattered Dreams Parkway album, highlights being the gritty Another Way, the rum-soaked sea shanty Is This Cool, which sounds like Squeeze if they had been taking amphetamines all night, the glorious solo in Fuck The Sea, which comically refers to it as a “big green bastard” but the real left field picks are the remixes of Beer For Breakfast and Things I have Learned In My Life So Far. The former has been given a dubstep/dance make over by Tim G whilst the latter has a futuristic techno vibe going on. Both are so different to what you’d expect and are brilliant for it.
The most recent album, Colossal Velocity is the next to be picked from with the blistering To Be Frank whilst I Am Absolutely Fuming has lost none of its impact with heavy basslines and a mosh friendly breakdown. Live favourite Rose Selavy (To Make A Toast To Life) is the last of the album tracks to feature, packing high energy riffs as they wring the very life out of the guitar.
It’s the last few tracks though that fans and completests will buy the record for as they represent the last bodies of work from ROTPM, the previously unreleased Fake News with its Donald Trump-baiting metallic crunch and the bouncy Planet Earth II. Both stick to the ROTPM blueprint: fast, furious and plenty of riffs.
The Queen Is Dead, Long Live The King Singers featuring Tim Loud of Bootscraper and solo fame was previously available on a three track EP they recorded together after touring. More restrained than most ROTPM it’s classic anti-establishment, catchy punk with some nice gang vocals going on in the background whilst final track 15 Million Merits, which was recorded as part of the Maida Vale sessions for the BBC’s Radio One Punk Show reverts to the tried and tested full throttle mode that served them throughout their career.
At a whopping 27 tracks long in just 42 minutes, it may have been just a noise but what a glorious, fast, booze soaked noise it was. Cheers.