Album Review: Pizzatramp – Grand Relapse

Review by Ollie Stygall.

Pizzatramp are from Wales so let’s start with some facts about Wales.

Wales is the largest county in England. It is only accessible by a bridge and they make you pay to enter Wales, presumably to discourage you from bothering. Wales is owned by Prince Charles, but he doesn’t live there. The Welsh have their own language but you need an overactive saliva gland to speak it, but that’s OK because 99% of Welsh people don’t understand it.

Wales is full of castles because they’re extremely unpopular and got attacked a lot… they even attacked themselves, because they don’t like each other either! Wales is full of mountains, because even the landscape dislikes the Welsh and has tried to make itself as uninhabitable as possible. Wales has a seaside resort called Barry, like the boring Brummie character from Auf Wiedersehen Pet. Wales has nothing at all to do with the mighty and majestic sea creatures that its name sounds like. Catherine Zeta Jones is Welsh – and hot – but she’d rather shag an American pensioner than Welsh blokes.

However, there is now something exiting to come out of Wales, other than the M4. A musical behemoth that does go some way towards righting the wrongs done by The Manic Street Preachers: and that is Pizzatramp.

Pizzatramp make out that they’re a shambolic, pissed up mess. They’re not. Well, they may well be to be honest, but that doesn’t stop them being a fucking incredible band.

If you’re already familiar with Pizzatramp (and you should be), then this new album will not be any kind of surprise to you. It ploughs exactly the same furrow as all of their previous releases: namely short, fast and intense bursts of hardcore built up of great riffs and throat-mangling vocals.

Musically, they have a lot in common with the thrash/hardcore crossover movement of the 80’s, where DRI, AOD, COC and various other bands comprised entirely of initials, smashed out brutal, metallic, one minute blasts of manic, shredding punk. Pizzatramp’s humour and apparent lack of regard for professionalism belies the fact that these guys are actually supremely tight and way beyond competent musicians… especially the drumming of Dan Lewis, who the band will admit holds them all together!

Lyrically Pizzatramp stay true to their tried-and-tested blueprint of highlighting the stupidity and mundanity of everyday life (I’ve Got Work In The Morning), calling people cunts (Stop Being A Racist Cunt) and various other humorous and surprisingly cleverly worded, catchy little titbits such as Millions of Dead Goths. They’re the punk equivalent of Goldie Looking Chain.

Having had the pleasure of catching the band live and subsequently smashing the fuck out of their entire back catalogue, I think it’s safe to say that Pizzatramp may actually be one of the best bands in Britain… a fact which, I’m sure, would be a massive surprise to the band themselves. They’re certainly one of the best hardcore bands we have and easily the best Welsh hardcore band now, maybe ever! [Ed: perhaps apart from the album’s namesake Grand Collapse?] I would suggest you check them out immediately, but I that would only encourage them.

Grand Relapse is available now on TNSrecords. They’ve release it on orange vinyl and CD aaaaaaand they’ve only gone and bloody made a picture disc! They’ve sold out of the picture discs already (probably because of the awesome Mark Bell design), but you can still grab a copy on vinyl from their website.

Review by Ollie Stygall.

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