Friday, 1 June 2012

Seven Inches of Joy #2 - Syd Dale

Syd Dale - Theme to Screen Test (Marching There and Back) [Trunk 2002] - Cat# JBH 01

It's all about the drums with this one, well that and a certain amount of nostalgia. You see for anyone of a certain age who grew up with 70's kids shows this slice of madness will be instantly recognisable as the theme tune to Screen Test, (you can tell by the title really can't you). You remember don't you? Maybe presenter Michael Rodd's face spinning round in the center of the record will jog your memory. There were always plenty of Children's Film Foundation clips and stacks of super 8 shorts sent in by viewers. I used to love it.

But I'm not here to natter about TV am I? I first heard this one sided 7" at a friends house back when it was first released. It had me rushing over to the deck to find out just who had the audacity to put it out, turns out it was Trunk (who I already knew of thanks to them sticking out The Wicker Man soundtrack a while before). The bad news was that it was limited to just 500 copies and they had sold out long ago.

It took a while for me to track down a copy (#253 if you want to know), and ever since then I've collected everything that Trunk have put out. They're a great little label and well worth checking out if you haven't done so already.

Anyway onto the music, which starts out pleasant enough, but soon shifts up a gear thanks to the absolutely bonkers drum fills, and ends up heading for a total meltdown before regaining it's composure and just about holding it together until the end. The military drumming is accompanied by what is possibly the most plodding bass line ever committed to vinyl. Still the flute (or whatever it is), piano and xylophone fighting it out over who gets to play the lead melody is a perfect counterpoint to the music rumbling away underneath. The sudden heroic guitar break around the half way point is such a great unexpected touch too. If you listen carefully you can hear the guitarist coming in just a little too soon during the end of the hectic drumming that precedes his solo. You'll be lucky to find a copy of this for normal money, but if you do then you should snap it up sharpish. Nice hand folded sleeve in a plastic bag thing too.

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