I've been meaning forever
to post something about Razorblade Smile, the band Pete Dale was in before Milky Wimpshake and Red Monkey, in the bad old days of the early 1990s. Thank you, Jigsaw Records
, for getting me off my ass!
Jigsaw has done the world a great favor and released a compilation of the band's songs with the title Razorblade Smile
. Order the CD
or get all digital at Bandcamp
. The label has streaming of each track and two free downloads, including "Special"
, an early and quite catchy Pete-penned love song.
I e-mailed with Pete a little about Razorblade Smile a few years back, when I was trying to get "Special" from vinyl to mp3, despite an iffy record-player needle. (Who procrastinates?
Pete split the songwriting duties with Jim Spall, and Chris Lanigan drummed in RBS before he drummed in Milky Wimpshake. The band put out two 7" records on Chocolate Narcotic and a 12" record on Sugarfrost called Fastest Wide-Eyed Implement
. The cover for FWEI
, to the right, depicts Pete's Slampt collaborator Rachel Holborow as a youngster.
Writing in the book Riot Grrrl
, Cazz Blase included Razorblade Smile in the "second, or third, wave of twee bands" that were "less dainty than some of their predecessors." There is a much fuller sound on Razorblade Smile
than on the Wimpshake records---more distortion, more solos, and more vocal harmonies. Pete calls it "MBV[My Blood Valentine]/Sonic Youth theft." He claims embarrassment, but there's a lot to like. There is also a bit of emo. Or, if that's your preference, I'll rephrase: there's a a bit of emo!
One anecdote from Pete:
I managed to wear a home-made Beat Happening t-shirt in the photo when we were NME new band of the week back in '91, next door to another new band called Radiohead! I've still got the clipping!! That Tom Yorke stuck his middle finger up at the camera, which looked a bit more convincing than my floppy fringe and Beat Hap t-shirt combo, but never mind...
A discography for the band is at Discogs
and Vinyl Destination has a nice piece on the This Accurate Pain 7"
, including shots of the record art and a manifesto!