21 July 2011
The Answers - Just A Fear
Year of Release: 1966
There seems to be a misconception in some circles that the minimal, wiry, angular, paranoid rush of a noise frequently associated with amphetamines only occurred when punk broke. I suspect you know where this entry is going just by looking at the "year of release" above, and why should I patronise you by beginning a new sentence with the word "However"?
"Just A Fear" is, it has to be said, a startlingly forward-thinking single, combining many of the kind of minimalist, dischordant structures and production techniques post-punk would utilise many years later. The skeletal, persistent main riff here could just as easily grace an early Fall single, and whilst the track does occasionally find its way back on to the main roads of convention at points, it's still as uncommercial as sixties beat pop ever got. Screeching its way towards a demented conclusion, its astonishing this ever got released at the time. The B-side, on the other hand, features a bluesy, honking harmonica and a clapping beat, and sounds like a product of an entirely different band.
The Answers only released two singles, both this and "That's What You're Doing To Me", before their guitarist Tony Hill was poached by cult psychedelic legends The Misunderstood. That band's output is rather more appreciated than "Just A Fear" ever has been, but a quick listen proves that Hill was already operating on the fringes long before they whisked him away.
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