Reviews

A few reviews of our albums and EPs…


BBC Gloucestershire on Four Three-Minute Pop Songs

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Bands and artists of a certain sensibility are compelled to write and sing not just one song on a particular theme but a whole collection of them.

The Who famously did this with their rock opera Tommy. The Jam did it with Setting Sons.

You’ll also find themed concept albums from Plan B (The Defamation of Strickland Banks tells the story of a soul singer imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit) and Pink Floyd (more than just one album considers themes of madness, loneliness and despair, generally inspired by former bandmate Syd Barrett).

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Meanwhile Blur produced a selection of character portraits in their triptych of Modern Life is Rubbish, Parklife and The Great Escape which broadly supported the observation that modern life was, indeed, a bit rubbish.
The Television of Cruelty (or Ian Williams as he is better known) is not averse to the notion of concept recordings either.

Last year’s Dead Sea Shanties was, in fact, two concept albums for the price of one.

The first half concerned Goths gathering in Whitby, the second told the story of a pre-war public schoolboy’s adventures.

The Television of Cruelty’s (TV of C) latest offering takes a different, innovative look at the themed or concept album.

Rather than committing himself to writing a selection of songs on a given theme of horse racing, the life and times of Alfred, Lord Tennyson or the Boxer Rebellion, Williams has decided to set himself the challenge of writing four pop songs that last precisely three minutes.

He has called the resulting EP, Four Three Minute Pop Songs.

There are some familiar themes running through these new songs: recurring ideas found in previous Television of

Cruelty songs which Ian Williams has refreshed for the EP.

‘Political songs’

Two things define the lyrics of TV of C’s music: political comment (see previous album Lower England) and an attachment to urban landscape.

Regarding the former, Ian Williams’ politics are clearly to the left.

Lower England reserved much bile for Margaret Thatcher and her government’s actions during in the 1980s.

While there are no obliquely political songs on this new EP, there are allusions to war and “tea on the terrace” which may (or may not) reflect something of Williams’ enduring interest in the goings on in and out of parliament.
This comes in the song The Magus, a track so riddled with mystical allusions (“Head of goat, face of an angel”) that it could give the Biblical book of Revelation a run for its money.

There’s also a instrumental which nods its head to Pink Floyd’s Keep Talking.

But, it is the second of TV of C’s defining characteristics that is more evident on this EP.

Feet Don’t Touch the Ground and Drive By Saturday are typical of this act’s love of lyrics centred around life’s sheer ordinariness.

Inspiration

Williams draws inspiration from the same places that The Kinks, The Beautiful South and Pulp did.

Think also of The Jam, Blur and Kaiser Chiefs.

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And so Feet Don’t Touch the Ground opens with a train announcer advising passengers about the arrival of a train bound for Manchester Piccadilly.

It then launches into a fairly simple lyric about the excitement and busyness of life in a large city as it appears to someone who’s “just up from the sticks”.

Appropriately for a song referring to a train station in Manchester, Feet Don’t Touch the Ground doffs its cap to one of that city’s sons, David Gedge.

Musically and vocally there is something of The Wedding Present or Cinerama here – and that can only be a good thing.

‘Brimming with regret’

Drive By Saturday is an even more resolute return to previous TV of C themes with a description of dreary urban life (“Freak show at the bus stop/on the street of broken contemplation”).

This song is Television of Cruelty at its best: a track brimming with regret, bleakness and despair.

The imagery is so well written that if you close your eyes for long enough you can almost see the pensioners as they “panic at the chip shop”.

Premonition, meanwhile is something of a departure for the Television of Cruelty in that it is a relatively conventional song about love.

So readily does it match conventional pop song themes that Ian Williams acknowledges the fact in the lyrics.

The final line of the last verse idealises the perfect woman as “the sort of girl you might find in a song”.

Premonition is an anthem of a song. The sort of thing Embrace did back in the day.

‘Bang on’

It may be a while before Television of Cruelty are touring stadia and headlining festivals, but Ian Williams should definitely put this one by for pleasing the flag/lighter/mobile phone wavers.

The self imposed challenge of four songs of equal length, the idealised three minutes that radio stations love, seems to have paid off well here.

You don’t feel that the songs are stretching themselves or outstaying their welcome.

There’s no rush to get the songs finished, no elongated guitar solos to act as filler.

The songs are bang on the money. These are twelve minutes of your life that will be well spent.


BBC Gloucestershire Top 10 Of 2009

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“The Television of Cruelty always like to throw in a bit of social comment with their music”

Their earlier album, Lower England was full of references to miners’ strikes in the eighties, but their latest offering goes back even further for inspiration.

“Dead Sea Shanties” is in fact two concept albums for the price of one.

The first, a mini-album themed around Goths gathering in 21st Century Whitby; the second, a short record set in a pre-war public school.

The artistry doesn’t just stop at the songs, but spreads over into the artwork on the CD’s liner notes which all links in.

Despite the apparent differences between the two mini-albums, they are linked by themes of detachment and disillusion with the real world which allows the record as a whole to become much more than the sum of its already impressive parts.

Stand out track: American Bar

Stephen Morris’s top ten of 2009


Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion on Dead Sea Shanties

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“tour de force album”

‘Dead Sea Shanties’ is a unique album that contains an incredible array of songs spread over two sides. This tour de force album contains both the passion and creativity found in groundbreaking singer-songwriter style music. The Television of Cruelty can be likened to the experimental groundbreaking sounds like Pink Floyd, David Bowie, and new wave independent artists of today. The Television of Cruelty eclectically dips and skims through several genres while maintaining a solid delivery of masterful musicianship.

Tr. 2 ‘I’ll Be Your Winter’ – Like John Lennon’s solo work, this romantic ballad is a wonderful homage to lovers with a strange but friendly twist. Great progression and vocal delivery throughout.

Tr. 3 ‘Sand Babies’ – A thought provoking ambient track that explores the depths of existence through pastoral sounds capes. Great beat and layering, essentially new wave and experimental.

Tr. 7 ‘Third Before Epiphany’ – With the curvy styling much like David Bowie, the composition and delivery of this song swings with precision and great production.

Tr. 9 ‘Godcast’ – A sublime piece that hearkens back to a classic 60s sound, something like Airplane meets with Paul Simon.

Reviewed by Ron Ingalla at Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion

Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion


BBC Gloucestershire review of Dead Sea Shanties

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“The result is a multi-layered, multi-textured phenomenon”

Television of Cruelty’s new record, Dead Sea Shanties is in fact two albums for the price of one.

Both are mini concept albums, loosely themed around the plots of two fictional stories.

The C-Side (Geddit!!) features songs relating to the plot of a proposed film, The Dead Sea Shanties.

The B-Side, meanwhile consists of songs themed around a school boy yarn set in a 1930s public school entitled The Nettlemen.

Concept album(s)

Both stories are summarised for the particularly attentive listener in the album’s liner notes.

Although the stories are ostensibly different (suicidal Goths in twenty first century Whitby vs. the overactive imagination of a pre-war school boy) both plots revolve around the ideas of disillusion, despondency and, most importantly, a sense of detachment from the world.

These are themes that have been keeping The Television of Cruelty busy for quite a while now.

The band have been considering the dreariness of everyday life ever since songs like Doncaster Sidings from their 2004 EP, Happy 4 Less (“I don’t think it rained that day/would’ve been too romantic/just dull, with the chance of more dullness later” was one particular outstanding lyric).

Such themes took on a more polemical bent with the release of 2007’s album, Lower England with its musings on the political discontent of the eighties.

So it’s of little surprise that this very English of bands (owing much to acts such as Pulp, David Bowie and The Beautiful South) should be ploughing similar furrows with this two-piece concept album.

In goth we trust

The first part of the LP, The Dead Sea Shanties, is the darker of the two halves.

It contains familiar references to rainy days and railway stations that permeate the band’s previous work.

There is a continued sense of gloom and of everything going to rack and ruin.

The tone is set with the albums’ opening lines: “Well, they closed the railway station/but they never told this town” (Nowhere Central).

There is little respite as the songs of this first half proceed with a sense of resigned gloom in I’ll Be Your Winter, political dissatisfaction in American Bar (“We hold these truths to be self-evident/that not all men are created brothers”) and macabre doom in the folk-tale like Tommy Catt’s Bride.

There are bad times just around the corner

The themes in the second part of the record are a little more meditative, possibly reflecting the more rural, days-gone-by setting of this mini-albums’ concept.

Here, the mood is one of foreboding, of a future that will change things forever.

And so there is much talk of “the end of a summer’s day” (The Picnic Tree) and declining weather: “far away a storm will gather/and these autumn leaves will gather” (Third Before Epiphany).

Each song is filled with metaphors (some more original than others) for the impending doom awaiting the main character in the “Nettlemen” story: “Edward joins the International Brigades fighting fascism in the Spanish Civil War. He does not come home again”.

The result is a sense of poignancy and mourning for an innocence soon to be lost.

Music with attitude (and brains)

The lyrics found on the whole record show the workings of a passionate, intelligent mind.

Songs that play around with the wording of the American Declaration of Independence or emulate the style of a nineteenth century folk song require more than a drunken, back of the fag packet scribble.

These songs have been crafted in truest sense of the word – and crafted well.

Where there is room for any improvement on the album, it is in the instrumentation.

The songs are a little too reliant on keyboards and synthesisers in places (such as Sand Babies, Humber and the second half’s title track).

The result is that some tracks are left sounding like theme tunes to a health and safety video you might watch on your first day at work.

Vintage synths

The exceptions can be found mainly in the album’s second part. Third Before Epiphany embraces the full extent of what can be done with synthesisers.

The result is a track that sounds like a bridge between David Bowie and The Stranglers.

Meanwhile Edward’s Wood opens with the sound of birds twittering along to a synthesised flute, giving the track the feel of any early Pink Floyd album, and Godcast has an Emerson, Lake and Palmer feel to it – particular in the Greg Lake-ish vocal part.

It goes without saying: I don’t think any of Mssrs. Bowie, Cornwell, Waters, Emerson, Lake or Palmer ever sound tracked Work Place Accidents and How to Avoid Them – Part IV.

Elsewhere, American Bar is all the more refreshing because it tries to steer itself into new musical territory, somewhere approaching Bob Dylan singing The House of the Rising Sun. If only the violins on the track were real.

In deep

Dead Sea Shanties shows us once again that The Television of Cruelty are on top of the creative game.

What we have here is not just a record, but two mini-concept albums themed around two distinct story concepts united in a general theme of pessimism and decay.

The result is a multi-layered, multi-textured phenomenon.

You can enjoy each song on its own merits (American Bar, Tommy Catt’s Bride and Third Before Epiphany in particular), you can simply enjoy listening to a collection of eleven songs, or you can encounter a full multimedia presentation of the plotlines of a film and a boys’ adventure story, well designed artwork and a rich soundtrack – all helping to give detail to the universes created on this record.

You might have to go back as far as The Jam’s Setting Sons to find an album with such detailed themes and textures running through it.

This is an album that should not be so much listened to as it should be experienced.

Give this one some time: it’s a grower.


 Babble & Beat Mag on Dead Sea Shanties

“the offspring of Elvis Costello and Neil Finn”

On-line music-zine Babble & Beat announces the release of Dead Sea Shanties:

The Television Of Cruelty has a new album, ‘Dead Sea Shanties’. On the track ‘Nowhere Central’ their vocalist sounds like the offspring of Elvis Costello and Neil Finn. Of course, we realize that’s physically impossible. The question is, do you?


Toxic Pete review of Dead Sea Shanties

“their amazingly varied take on modern music is not just workable but truly viable”

Once more The Television Of Cruelty have contrived to come up with something a bit different; ‘Dead Sea Shanties’ refuses to be genre labelled – with an eclectic coming together of modernistic electro experimentation, nu-folk/rock and some good old progressive undercurrents, The Television Of Cruelty demonstrate their insatiable appetite for the unusual and the slightly obtuse!

‘Dead Sea Shanties’ is also kinda different insofar as it’s split into two distinct halves; ‘C Side’, ‘Dead Sea Shanties’ and ‘B Side’, ‘The Nettlemen’ – the former ‘a plot outline for a film’, the latter a storytelling fantasy! See, different!! I have to say that once the initial threshold has been crossed, the music takes a form of its own as it trips lightly but indelibly through a host of modern musical forms, stamping down genre barriers as it goes. ‘Dead Sea Shanties’ is a five track ‘soundtrack’ that’s bright and optimistic and begs to be revisited and re-played. Constantly ‘on-the-move’ in terms of style and feel this is probably the more diverse ‘half’ of this wonderfully inspired work – indie meets electro done with serious sensitivity and respect for its lyrical side. For me, ‘The Nettlemen’ is more punchy and reminds me somewhat of the more ‘progressive’ early Genesis (the Peter Gabriel variety!); beautifully scored keyboards driven by thumpin’ but punctuative percussion, soaring guitars and an overall feeling of warmly delivered soft-rock.

The Television Of Cruelty have put together another seriously compelling album here – possibly slightly better mixed and produced than its fore-runner, ‘Lower England’, and better for its attention to detail. The somewhat elusive but totally focussed The Television Of Cruelty have come up with the goods once again – ‘Dead Sea Shanties’ (and ‘The Nettlemen’) is a pretty ‘big’ sounding project and the ‘band’ have managed to do it full justice here – it really is the mutt’s nuts!

The Television Of Cruelty show once again that their amazingly varied take on modern music is not just workable but truly viable – The Television Of Cruelty may not be totally commercial, they aint yer average pop group but, they certainly know how to put great music together and deliver it with passion and believability through superior musicianship and somewhat off-kilter but majestic creativity. ‘Dead Sea Shanties’ by the enormously talented The Television Of Cruelty is part contemporary nu-folk and part pure progressive! I absolutely love it and there should be many takers for this excellent album.

(Sadly, Pete doesn’t review indie CDs any more (due to complete work overload attributable to the fantastic reputation he built up) but you can still visit his web-site.}


 Bill’s Music Forum review of Dead Sea Shanties

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“pure melodic pop perfection”

Some artists defy classification and I would classify The Television of Cruelty (TVC) as one of those. ‘Dead Sea Shanties’, the third and latest offering from Ian Williams et al., is more like a journey to be experienced in full and through headphones rather than a collection of disjointed tunes comprising your average CD. Some would liken their work more to rock opera.

The lead off track, ‘Nowhere Central’, is simply fantastic – everything is optimized to pure melodic pop perfection from the songwriting to the vocal performance. It excited my ears, so I settled back into my chair for more of this wonderful carnival of pop rock. Unfortunately, despite some flickering moments of genius, nothing else really captured my attention like the excellent first track. I guess I got spoiled! Don’t get me wrong, though… if you are looking for something that sounds unique, with bold and witty lyrics, you need not look further than TVC.

‘Dead Sea Shanties’ is a musical smorgasbord – clearly rooted in 80s new wave, but with branches that venture into carnival pop, acoustic driven pop rock, prog rock, Celtic rock, and, naturally, electronica. It just leaves me asking one thing… where’s the gangsta rap, Ian?

Some will applaud these bold forays into so many different branches of musical genres, but others will not have the energy to climb such a tree. Ian is also notable for his ability to mold his voice to fit the piece. On ‘Nowhere Central’ he sounds like Tommy Keene. On ‘Tommy Catt’s Bride’ he sounds like Alice Cooper. On ‘Humber’ he sounds like, well, nothing… it’s an instrumental. Actually, there are a considerable number of instrumentals (‘musical narratives’) scattered throughout the disk, some reminding me of Enigma (check out ‘Sand Babies’).

To fully appreciate this CD, it would do you well to read through their web site. There you will find the curious explanations behind each of the two groups of songs, ‘The Dead Sea Shanties’ (fictional) movie soundtrack (C side) and ‘The Nettlemen’ (B side). You’ll also find, as you would expect of course, the ‘lyrics’ to the instrumentals (musical narratives).


BBC Gloucestershire review of lower england

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“Lower England, exudes a quiet, despairing Englishness”

The Television of Cruelty were last seen on these pages scoring an eighth place position in the Top Ten of 2005. They earned their place through a blend of English lyricism and melodic pop.

Times have changed but these two sensibilities, pivotal to the success of Television of Cruelty, linger on.

True, they may have mellowed a little: the bitter rants about the failings of Big Brother have been kept to a minimum, but they continue to wear their politics, quite literally, on their (record) sleeve.

The cover features images of pit strikes, poll tax riots and anti racism posters. Oh, and a picture of Debbie Harry.

Cover Story:

Television of Cruelty’s Lower England can indeed be judged by its cover. It is a collection of songs that seem to look back to a bygone era – a typically English era of mid 80’s austerity. Forget partying like it’s 1999. These guys are going to demo like it’s 1985.

And they’re going to do it, not with the sound of thrashing punk, but with melodic pop. Think Cinerama. Think the Beautiful South. Occasionally you can even think The Good, The Bad and The Queen. Whatever you do, don’t think of clash city rockers training in vain while London’s burning.

Power to the People (20 Years Late):

The album is littered with references and themes drawing on this bygone 80s era. “La-La Land” takes a pop at consumerism amid a time of dockers’ strikes.

Meanwhile the mirror image of that song’s “sumptuous softness” can be found in the punning “Mind-Altering Rugs”. Here, a salesman boasts of items that don’t quite work – “But you got to remember: you don’t get cheaper than this”.

The theme of 80s politics and cultural history returns on “I Remember When You Could Smoke on the Bus” with a reference to “The Tebbit kiss, a touch of Despair”.

Scattered Showers:

Just as with their previous EPs, Happy 4 Less and Teenage Wasteland (now compiled on the album Season 2), Television of Cruelty have embraced the world of English wet weekends.

“Midsummer Dreaming” and “Doncaster Sidings” were the songs that ToC used to convey their message of days being “dull, with the chance of more dullness later”.

Here, the very English themes are reintroduced with paeans to a lonely wait for the train (“Fountains”), a cold wait for the bus (“Bus Lights”) and a drunken walk home from the pub (“S**t for Brains”).

Thoroughly English Telly:

From the opening burst of Greenwich pips on track one to the dying of the same in the album’s final moments, Lower England, exudes a quiet, despairing Englishness. Even the title takes this unimpressed pessimism to its heart.

So it’s no surprise that the penultimate song features the following lyric: “The thief in the garden/ has taken the harvest/ it grew in the summer/ now it has gone.” Perhaps the surprise is that there was a harvest in the first place.

Malediction:

All of which makes the final song, “And May Your God Go With You”, sound all the more desperate. Despite its faintly liturgical language, and a less than faint whiff of homage to Dave Allen, one cannot help but sense that this is less of a blessing and more of a despairing, pessimistic sigh.

While Ian Williams may be singing “May no lightning strike you”, you get the sense that he’s already succumbed to the fact that it probably will anyway.

This album shows that ToC have not lost their touch. Occasionally the disconcerting gap between pop ballad style and gritty lyrical substance does jar, as it did on the band’s first two outings, but when there are lyrics such as “Never been as happy when you didn’t go to Leeds”, I can’t complain too much.

I went to Leeds once. By accident. Got stuck at the train station for three hours. I sympathise entirely.

BBC review


Toxic Pete review of lower england

Toxic Pete

“superbly entertaining, stunningly crafted, sensitively performed”

When I saw the name of this band, The Television Of Cruelty, I just knew instantly that this album was gonna be something somewhat removed from the norm. How right I was! And, how glad I am!! ‘Lower England’ by The Television Of Cruelty is simply magnificent!

The Television Of Cruelty are not musical conformists – this intriguing outfit are doing something very smart and extremely entertaining. ‘Lower England’ is what used to be referred to as a ‘concept album’ – nowt wrong with that, coz I’m pretty sure that’s what it is – the album is a set of songs all based on a story-telling theme of, yes you guessed it, ‘Lower England’. To find out what’s meant by ‘Lower England’ you’ll just have to get hold of a copy and give it a bloody good listening to coz I’m not gonna tell you here!

‘Lower England’ is like a much-needed light at the end of an extremely long and dark tunnel. That tunnel being the years of relentless indie music that purports to be innovative and fresh (well, I suppose it was once!). The light is the refreshingly creative way that The Television Of Cruelty have gone about their work here – well written songs performed with relish and professionalism that come together as a somewhat enlightening vision of ‘Lower England’. Now, none of these guys are the best vocalists you’ll have come across but what they do is get their story across in their own inimitable way. Musically, ‘Lower England’ is a real mish-mash of styles – for me, that’s just fine, you have to look at this work as a ‘bigger picture’ and look inside it with an open mind and a bit of vision. ‘Lower England’ is a remarkably well put together work that will not be to everyone’s taste – of that I’ve no doubt. But, give it a chance, open up and let it in and you’ll soon see the beauty that lies within the ‘beast’.

The Television Of Cruelty have come up with something that’s not only pleasantly different but totally enjoyable – I love every second of it – this is my kinda music, something that’s not superficial, something that’s well thought out, well structured and just bloody great to sit back and enjoy!! I just wish that there were more people using their creativity in this way – the music scene would be a much richer place for it! Thank God for bands like The Television Of Cruelty – they bring sanity (well sort of!) back to music and make it all worth while. ‘Lower England’ by The Television Of Cruelty is superbly entertaining, stunningly crafted, sensitively performed – exquisite, breathtaking and just so bloody refreshing!! (Why can’t there be more of this out there?)”


BBC Gloucestershire review of Season 2

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“Pure Jarvis Cocker if ever you heard it”

Television of Cruelty. What kind of music would a band with such a name produce? There should be three possibilities: Punk (in the same vein as Public Image Ltd or even Television); Metal (see also System of a Down) or Arty/Experimental (see Art of Noise).

It’s Only TV – And They Hate It

What you might not expect is a blend of English (or Anglophile) pop that covers such bases as David Bowie, The F laming Lips and The Beautiful South. And you certainly wouldn’t expect to log onto the biography section of their web site only to be confronted by an unending (and unnecessary) diatribe against the excesses of Big Brother. But then they do call themselves Television of Cruelty.

Television of Cruelty are a lot smarter than your average band. When they are not posting essays on the Internet about the evils of reality TV, they are producing interesting sounding songs with some interesting ideas.

English Pop

The band have produced two EPs for your listening pleasure, “Happy 4 Less” and “Teenage Wasteland”. In total, there are nine songs covering these two CDs and both are worth more than a cursory listen.

Television of Cruelty betray a typical English attitude to their songwriting that began with The Kinks and Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd, worked its way through to Blur and Pulp in the mid-nineties before landing in the hands of the likes of Franz Ferdinand and the Kaiser Chiefs.

Lazing On a Rainy Afternoon

They sing about rainy days (“Your Name Here”), more rainy days (“Midsummer Dreaming”) and dull days in Doncaster. “Doncaster Sidings” features a wonderfully dreary lyric: “I don’t think it rained that day/would’ve been too romantic/just dull, with the chance of more dullness later”. Pure Jarvis Cocker if ever you heard it.

Elsewhere, there are mentions of the Countryside Alliance and deluges in Leicester Square (“Take the Flags Down”). It’s all suburban boredom (“Endless Street”) and dreams of a better life (“Show Girl” and “Midsummer Dreaming”).

These people couldn’t be more English if they hung bells from their trouser legs and waved handkerchiefs around on a Mayday afternoon.

Heavens Above!

When they’re not being typically English, their thoughts turn to the celestial.

On the early-Pink Floyd meets Bowie meets Ooberman “Teenage Wasteland”, Television… envisage a band’s line up of “God was playing lead guitar/and Jesus playing bass/and angels doing vocals/singing right into your face”. But even here, the sense of quaint, English disappointment lingers.

The Most Democratic Band in the World

There is enough variety on these tracks to keep your interest going. Were they to stick to one vocalist or one particular style, Television of Cruelty could easily bore.

The band avoid this by changing the line-up singing duties are split between band members (Jak, Lady Muck, Blitzcat and Ian – only G and Bruiser avoid microphone duties).

Meanwhile songwriting is also split between the group. It’s almost like the good old days when Lennon and McCartney would give Ringo Starr a chance to pen a song.

There may not be an “Octopus’ Garden” on these EPs, but who is going to complain about that when you have an amazing Bowie-style piano solo on “Teenage Wasteland”?

 Tune in Next Time for…

For all the navel gazing and adolescent pomposity of their anti-Big Brother rantings, Television of Cruelty are an excellent band with some good tracks behind them. No doubt there will be more to come.

In the meantime, let’s make a cup of tea, pass the cucumber sandwiches around and have another listen to some of the most English music on the planet.

BBC review

(This review was actually of our first two EPs, ‘Happy 4 Less’ and ‘Teenage Wasteland’, which were later combined and released as the album ‘Season 2’.)


BBC Gloucestershire Top 10 of 2005

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“excellent songs in the tradition of the best of British indie”

Boy do they hate Big Brother. Who knows what they make of George Galloway and Michael Barrymore on Celebrity Big Brother. If you want a quiet life, you would be better off not asking.

Away from TV related stroppiness, Television of Cruelty write and perform some excellent songs in the tradition of the best of British indie from the Smiths to Pulp. Standout track: “Teenage Wasteland”.

Top 10 of 2005.

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