Album Review: The End "Gusto"

THE END are a London-based quintet, who have released their debut album, Gusto through Phil Manzanera's (of ROXY MUSIC fame) label, Mad Moon Records. They consist of Rook Randle (vocals), Nic Hall (guitar), Bemo Miller (drums), Clove Taylor (bass), and aptly named Matt Hammond (keyboards). The record was produced by Owen Davies, whose credits include THEN JERICHO and LITTLE ANGELS. The collaboration has resulted in a promising energetic first offering, with Davies giving them a bright colourful sound.


The accompanying press blurb describes THE END as "psychedelic groove merchants." There's something in that but to elaborate further, this is rock (as opposed to Heavy Rock) with itchy feet, flavoured with a welcome motown and funk influence. THE END also have a lingering late 60s feel to their music. The keyboards that flesh out their sound, help create that feel, whether it's a bubbling Hammond organ (psychedelic rock) or a brass-tinged sound (motown/ funk)

Destiny, a recent single, is catchy enough but elsewhere there are other songs that display their potential to greater effect. City of Lost Souls might lack their groove-laden trademark, but it is a strong atmospheric, anthemic ballad of sorts. However, it's the exuberant Cavaliers that really jumps in your face; a forceful, insistent melody-laden song, full of verve and bursting with energy. Redman isn't far behind. It's both intense and brooding as well as irresistably funky.

THE END are a cohesive unit and in Rook Randle they possess a charismatic singer with a rich, distinctive voice. On the downside, though, some songs promise more than they deliver, but can't be faulted for lack of passion in their delivery.

Generally speaking Gusto is proof indeed that there's still fresh and original British talent breaking on through. Yeah, the vibe is good.
Grade B+

Mark Liddell
Riff Raff
September 1991
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3 comments:

  1. Saw this band supporting 'The Ramones' at Brixton and they were fuckin' awesome. Found this little gem on youtube.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2O77mfyvvE

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  2. Went to see 'The Gaye Bykers on Acid' at the Marquee on Charing Cross road and THE END were the support band that night and they had such an unusual blend of styles within their music (for the time). Needless to say I caught them on several occasions after that doing their own headliners at The Marquee & The Astoria. They always kicked out a vibrant performance with much charm and stage antics from their frontman 'Rook'.
    I think they only did the one album.
    Whatever happened to them ?

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