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The Adverts - Cast Of Thousands

The Adverts - Cast Of Thousands

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Originally released to a fan base and music press that were unprepared for the band to move on from the punk fury of “Crossing The Red Sea”, The Adverts “Cast Of Thousands” has since been recognized as a lost classic of the time.

TV Smith’s cutting observational lyrics and sharp musical instincts saw his song writing grow and move in unexpected directions. The primal thumping was replaced by dynamic and driving drumming, acoustic guitars and probing solos emerged, and Tim Cross joined to add keyboards and fill out the overall sound. The one constant was the pounding throb of Gaye Advert’s bass. Encouraged to experiment by surprise producer Tom Newman (Mike Oldfield “Tubular Bells”) the band found themselves stretching creatively, both in song writing and recording techniques.

They might agonize over the sound of recording a match being lit in the middle of one song, while doing a single take of a vocal via a microphone hung in the bathroom for another. Giant choirs were built meticulously over multiple tracks, while the sound of a rat running through the reverb room would be captured forever. The results wrapped some of TV’s best songs in strange and inventive sounds to compliment his anti-pop smarts and rock and roll heart.

They did not know it at the time, but the band was falling apart. Tensions would soon rise to the level that replacement players were called in to finish their final tour. Punk fans left them in droves. Critics skewered the singles from the album. Their record label had moved on to the next big thing. Feeling that they had reached a creative peak made the tumble even harder to swallow. Time has been very kind though, and fans discovering punk after the first wave have been able to hear “Cast” for what it is - a brilliant and biting collection of rock and roll.

Still full of stomp and swagger even when stripped down on “My Place” or via the anthemic surge of “Television’s Over”, with TV’s hook factory on full display on the anti-love song “Love Songs”, and the band closing the album with the creeping ballad “I Will Walk You Home”; The Adverts had grown from a great punk rock band to a great rock band.

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