Album Review

Cigarettes, The – “You Were So Young” – [Optic Nerve]

Thurston Hunger   2/21/2023   12-inch, A Library

Missing link piece of UK punk from a three piece that only lasted two years (back then officially just had a three-song single and a two-song EP). Hearing this extensive recovery of those and unreleased material is a massive WFT. Ye olde John Peel though heard ’em and connected the dots, four Peel seshes wrap up this absolutely brilliant compilation. Two of the gents, Rob Smith (guitar) and Steve Taylor (bass) ran merch for a tour of the Buzzcocks, osmotically Side A has that kind of brightly agitated punk flair. Side B adds more chops, reverb and a dub splash of things to come. Still that kind of sweet and sour anxiety. Side C revs up the Mod engine, drummer Adam Palmer at his perkiest. Side D has the Peel appeal and stamp of approval. Rob and Steve share vocals through-out, damaging your health and peaking your pique via your freaking speakers. Songs are catchy, tight and well-revived, hell “Stay Inside” has a whole ‘nother pandemic pop. Kudos to Optic Nerve and previously Detour, I was bummed when I missed the latter’s first pass at this. Chuffed to puff puff pass this along finally. Sounds from ’79 and ’80 still smoking in the 2020s.

-Thurston Hunger

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