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Jim Cruttenden reviews South Specific 2020 DISC ONE REVIEW

Jim Cruttenden reviews South Specific 2020 DISC TWO REVIEW

Jim Cruttenden reviews South Specific 2020 DISC THREE REVIEW

From SS2020, the added 1980 rarities include Again Again. From their extraordinary John Peel session which should have made them, but didn’t; ‘Beached’ is a unique, off kilter, dub/psychobilly romp, still sounding fresh some 40 years later. One of the great ‘lost’ Pompey bands.

Blitzkrieg rock and no nonsense roll! Two new tracks from the Glorias, provide South Specific 2020 with a big dose of hardcore garage rock’n’roll. Photograph by Vernon White Photography

South Specific 2020 features some of Portsmouth’s best-known current bands, this time around it’s Franco-Pompey quartet Curl; ‘Just like This’ is masterful dreampop … a wistful, elegiac tune. Gazing at the moon, not at their shoes.

Kid Scaramouche, a fandango of off-beatness, a three track musical trip from Paris to England’s South Coast and Yeovil’s Sheepskin Shop; accompanied by The Goons, Luis Bunuél and Captain Pugwash. What more could you want?

Opening the first of two CD’s of South Specific’s 2020 music - Race Car Hearts … Anthemic, evocative, atmospheric song writing. Both ‘Magnets 4AM’ and ‘The Immortal Ones’ stand up as fist in the air tunes, worthy to grace the biggest venues in the country … maybe sometime soon?

Going back to my roots. 'Sweet Sensation', the 1970 Trojan Records ska hit by The Melodians, gets the Tonic Ska Choir treatment, a classy update with rock steady beats. Another not to be missed trail blazer from SS2020.

The mysterious Pan Atoms drop their first recording on South Specific 2020. Imagine a 1930’s Paris jazz club, the surrealists have taken over for the evening, ‘Fat Lappers’ is the soundtrack and Absinthe fuels the dancefloor revelry … Avant-garde Monsieur?

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Two Paul Groovy & the Pop Art Experience exclusives for SS2020, ‘Here Come The Freaks’ is a slower paced tune, an anthem in the making? ‘Crawling back’ is their trademark, finely honed garage-rock. Oh, you're cute... like a velvet glove cast in iron

Portsmouth’s long-standing post-rock stalwarts Torpedoes have handed South Specific 2020 two tracks of bold, menacing rock music - the epic ‘In The Sky’ and the fast paced ‘Delirious’, words and soundscapes from the dark side …

Too much, too young! South Specific 2020 presents the first recordings from a new band Patrikk - capturing the feel of early 80’s electronica to create a unique sound for Portsmouth in 2020. A dark soundtrack for dark times, Black Mirror meets Gary Numan …

Clair – A solo outing for the ex-Astral Body singer, unearthed for the rare tracks added to the SS1980 CD, the self-penned tune was written in 1980, but only recorded some years later. ’Love Has’ is a moody, atmospheric, slow burning song, a late-night tale of toxic love.

More 1980 links to South Specific’s 2020 music. Acid Attack formed in 1980, disbanded in 1984 and reformed in 2016; here we have two tracks of in your face, classic punk rock, who needs more than two and half minutes to make your point? On ‘Pen Pusher’, are they talking about me?

Blitzkrieg rock and no nonsense roll! Two new tracks from the Glorias, provide South Specific 2020 with a big dose of hardcore garage rock’n’roll. Photograph by Vernon White Photography

Watch You Drown - South Specific 2020 presents ‘Tectonic’, a blistering and tuneful 3 minute anthem from one of Portsmouth’s long surviving punk bands

Pompey quartet The Stayawakes deliver a mighty guitar-based wall of sound and carefully crafted melodies, the West Coast USA meets the South Coast UK. Their new single ‘Lovestruck’ out tomorrow is a great preview to their two songs to feature on South Specific 2020.

Celebrate the return of The Media! SS2020 includes their first new recordings since they reformed. Now with a Saxophone, adding another dimension to their tell-tale sound - raucous, tuneful, and with singalong choruses. Is this the beginning of a glam punk revival?


Introducing the Muvvas, two played for Attic on the original South Specific album in 1980. Their song "Let your ego go" questions one of our ultimate fears on self awareness and inhibition, whilst "Time and Space" propels our intimate close relationships into the event horizon.

South Specific 2020 continues its eclectic musical mix – JJ Summer’s debut song ‘Bygone’ is a blissful, down tempo tune, evoking the cool of a late-night Balearic beach bar, dreamy melancholia made in Portsmouth.

Renaldo & The Loaf are the only band to appear on both South Specific releases spanning the 40 years. They have three songs on the 1980 album and, for this 2020 version, have recorded two new songs that will be exclusive to this release. Both songs are inspired by 1980, the recordings they made in that year and the places and sights that have changed over time. ‘Blue Mountain Goat’ is a bit of a bluegrass inspired stomp about a goat of course, whereas in contrast, ‘Now:Then’ is a wistful, nostalgic reflection....sort of.


Louie Snacks - South Specific 2020 track ‘Boast the Most’ is a lo-fi, genre hopping musical conversation; candid self-depreciation wrapped up in a lyrically comedic scattergun of a tune, adios!


Poppy-Joy Cherry-Daniels AKA Anna Blume 2020 - Pared down from the original electronic experiment, look out for the South Specific 2020 acoustic gem ‘Mourning In Yellow’, a radical rework of the original 1980 South Specific Anna Blume track.