Doctor And The Crippens: Fired From The Circus

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Commercially unavailable for 20 years, according to the blurb, Doctor And The Crippens’ debut splurge of hardcore punk is at last out on CD –not that it makes any difference to the grottiness of the sound.

Coming on mostly like a frenzied take on Motörhead with added cartoon humour (check out Virgin Slugburger, Eat My Dog and Don’t Look In The Freezer), Fired From The Circus projectile-vomits 22 cuts of Special Brew-fuelled riffing into an economical 30 minutes or so; some of the songs are played so fast the band sound like they’re actually racing each other to the end.

All of which leaves plenty of space for some extras, another 22 tracks, including ferocious demos, chaotic live versions and a rather excellent John Peel session from May 1988, which, unsurprisingly, is sonically superior to the album. Hardcore fans just got an early Christmas present./o:p

Essi Berelian

Whether it’s magazines, books or online, Essi has been writing about rock ’n’ metal for around thirty years. He has been reviews editor for Classic Rock and Metal Hammer, rock reviews editor for lads mag Front and worked for Kerrang!. He has also written the Rough Guide to Heavy Metal and contributed to the Rough Guide to Rock and Rough Guide Book of Playlists, and the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles (13th edition). Most fun interview? Tenacious D – Jack Black and Kyle Gass – for The Pick of Destiny movie book. An avid record/CD/tape collector, he’s amassed more music than he could ever possibly listen to, which annoys his wife no end.