Positive Noise are the forgotten sons of this legendary host of Scottish groups looking to reimagine pop music in the early eighties. Led by Ross Middleton (vocals/guitar) with brothers Fraser Middleton (bass) and Graham Middleton (keyboards) and Les Gaff (drums), they came out of the same fertile Glasgow music scene that gave the world Post Card Records. But where Orange Juice wedded jangly, Byrds-inspired pop with grooves borrowed from Chic, Positive Noise seemed closer in spirit to some of the Manchester bands on the Factory Records label, with stentorian vocals declaimed over splintered guitars and thunderous drums. This was heavy music, which had it been more dubby might have sounded rather like Joy Division, or if more funky, like A Certain Ratio. But, in truth, Positive Noise were more squarely in the pop mold than either of their Mancunian counterparts, with strong bass lines and memorable choruses. Ross Middleton chants rather than sings, intoning his words with a manic passion, and the album as a whole seems to heave itself from song to song as if it were Sisyphus pushing a great rock up the side of a mountain. It just never gives up. Keith Levene of PIL guests on the opening track, and Gary Barnacle, the celebrated horn player who played with just about every act of note in the eighties, adds some terrific brass touches to two tracks.
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