• Roll-Ups
  • Low Dives for Highballs (UK Bridge House) 1979 

These popsters from South London anomalously emerged in the midst of the mod revival, on a mod label no less. They go in a lot of different directions but are saved by spunky individuality that lets them build a niche of their own. Lea Hart (almost all the songwriting) sings like a cocky cockney crossed with a dollop of — it’s true! — Donald Fagen, and melds his guitar to Jeff Peters’ in dual-axe moves Brian May didn’t have in mind when he wrote the book. Add an assortment of non-electronic keyboards, and you’ve got a swell pop recipe for songs ranging from a 10cc-ish look at adulterous “Blackmail” to shock-horror destruction as epic as any punk’s. (Hart later tried a solo career, formed Ya Ya for a major label LP which is best forgotten and, most recently, hooked up with Fast Eddie Clarke of Motorhead in a new outfit.)

[Ira Robbins]