Product no.: CHIXXX-LP

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'I first heard of China Drum in 1995. I was a big Green Day fan and had acquired one of those weird bootleggy interview cd and book things that were common in record stores in the mid to late 1990s. Anyways, in the interview the band are asked about the UK and European punk scene as they'd recently returned from touring. Mike Dirnt answered by saying there were some great punk bands particularly in the UK, such as China Drum; and he then went on to say how great they were and how much energy they had live, etc. So obviously I made a note and shortly after found Goosefair on sale on cassette in my local HMV for £4.99. Things were never the same after that! But this isn't about that, that's just an introduction to this!

This is about the XXX 30th-ish anniversary rarities release from China Drum; formally consolidating the bands releases (of predominantly) pre-Goosfair, amongst other things. And for someone who considers themselves a lifelong fan of the band; what an absolute delight it is to have this archive collection finally gathered together and released on one album! The artwork immediately shouts out to you and grabs your intrigue and attention. But press play, put the needle on the record, and you're treated to the wonderful, rich sounds of some real classic Drum gems! Original demos of songs that eventually were re-recorded for Goosefair, such as the piss-angry Simple; a reflective and contemplative, acoustic demo of Meaning; along with an acoustic version of the beautifully self-loathing Biscuit Barrel all make a very welcome and wonderful appearance in a very fresh and raw and also very pure presentation. And it was a stunning surprise to hear an earlier version of what I consider *the original* 'curveball cover' of the band performing Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights! On My Way, Great Fire and Brain also make a very welcome appearance during the course of play; and you can really feel the positive energy oozing out of the speakers, contrasting against the wonderfully pure, blunt emotional sincerity of the downtrodden wordsmithery.

And I haven't forgotten to mention Barrier! I've kept that for a separate sentence, as ever since first hearing it on a compilation cd a mate of mine made me about 18 years ago, I've always considered it one of the finest compositions of the modern era. So painfully beautiful and mirroring the sincere but realistically observational lyrics. It all just comes together so perfectly! There's also the 'full beans' FMR (Full Metal Racket) version of Meaning in there too, which is relentlessly pummelling from start to finish, but also shines with beautiful melody! That leaves me with the two fully live tracks on the album. We are treated to a very interesting and slightly different arrangement of Down By The River to the arrangement that features on Self Made Maniac which is very refreshing and full of positively charged energy! But Sleazeball live… like a sonic atom bomb! I first heard the track on a free cd with Kerrang! or Metal Hammer in the late 1990s. It was a studio version and still has to be one of the most intense songs out there. I believe this live version originally featured as a B-side on the Stop It All Adding Up single and if even if I tick every single box on my bucket list from now til my deathbed, one I wish I could've ticked would be to have been at this gig, this performance of Sleazeball. You can feel it trying to kill you with rage through your speakers! An amazing, passionate performance of an awesome, nasty, bitter song!

In 2014, I discovered China Drum were active again after virtual radio silence for nearly a decade and a half. The subsequent releases of new and this archived material have both been a very long time coming…maybe a while in the making…and I always hoped through all that time that maybe the band would return; but feared they may have been a relic of younger times. But the recent new album and now this release has not only been the comeback I've wanted over any other comeback by anyone alive or dead; but also, the wait has been oh-so worth it! Welcome back to my comrades, my friends, and my heroes; and thank you over 30 years of inspiring us all and enriching our lives! This release will likely make both old and new China Drum fans so very, very happy! The more you leave things to chance, the more the chance is less.'


A1 Simple´93

A2 On My Way

A3 Meaning Acoustic´93

A4 Great Fire

A5 Biscuit Barrel (Acoustic)

A6 Meaning (FMR)

B1 Down By The River (Live)

B2 Barrier

B3 Brain

B4 One Way Down

B5 Sleazeball (live)

B6 Wuthering Heights ´94

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