Despite Gruff's solo work, a new album is on the way.
Andy Day
13:15 6th October 2004

four and a half stars

Neils ChildrenIt’s a bit of a task setting out your agenda in only eight songs yet that’s what Hertfordshire’s Neils Children (now residents of East London) manage to do on their mini-album ‘Change/Return/Success’ with great aplomb.

You’re wrong footed from the start when a Floyd-ian intro on opener and first single ‘Come Down’ builds a tense sonic-panorama before exploding into the song proper. And that’s kinda what Neils Children are about. At first glance they’re a Sex Pistol’s pastiche with Clockwork Orange overtones. Yet it doesn’t take long to realise there’s much more going on here. Not only does there seem to be a lurking tongue-in-cheek menace to their lyrics but there’s also a lot of clever and subtle use of guitars and guitar effects, all coupled with the tribal pounding of a snareless drumkit a la Adam and the Ants.

This is a brilliant debut album, with the only criticism being that it’s far too short. It’s a fantastic mix of early The Cure, visceral British punk and psychedelia, with a raw and unmatched passion that many “saviours of British music” sadly lack to match even a smidgeon of. Let’s hope that there are several more siblings to come.

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