Former Cell Mates - Who's Dead and What's to Pay? (Cover Artwork)

Former Cell Mates

Who's Dead and What's to Pay? (2008)

Household Name

London's Household Name are back. The label that bought the UK punk scene its most popular acts earlier this millennium have returned with a handful of potentially exciting new releases.

First up is Former Cell Mates, a band who plays Leatherface-ish punk rock, meaning gruff vocals, strummed chords and a tinge of country. This isn't any real big surprise considering that they hail from Sunderland (same city as Leatherface) and were formed by David lee Burdon, ex-Leatherface bassist, who writes everything.

The album works at a constant level: Bruce Springsteen punk, no real surprises (no jazz chords whatsoever), no real chances, no real changes. Burdon's voice is somewhat an uneasy listen, being cleaner and sounding generally a bit drunk.

There's nothing that really sets a spark going, but I'm sure it has its market: There seems to be enough (too much?) of this stuff going on in the UK as well as the US at the moment -- another band (even if it's ex-Leatherface) is not really needed.

To paraphrase Sheryl Crow – a change - a change - a change would do us good.