The finest thing to come out of Bradford since… The finest thing to come out of Bradford ever, Terrorvision were one of the UK’s best rock bands of the 1990s, and while they disappeared for a while, they came back with a new album earlier this year, so here we go…
The song that got me into Terrorvision was My House, which featured on Kerrang! The Album and it’s the obvious highlight of their debut album. The guitars are a bit heavier and the edges are a bit rougher than the rest of their discography, but I still really like Formaldehyde and there’s some really enduring stuff on there as well as My House. Opener Problem Solved is a fine introduction to the Terrorvision sound, while American TV and New Policy One are both excellent singles. It doesn’t all work as well as that, but it’s a cracking start for a band who were about to get really good really quickly.
How To Make Friends And Influence People (1994)
A huge leap forward that helped the band do exactly what the title suggested, the production powers of Gil Norton took away all of the rougher edges of their debut, replacing them with huge hooks, soaring riffs and a sense of fun that would epitomise the band from here on in. It starts with a stunning one-two of Alice What’s The Matter and the catchy, barking mad Oblivion, and rarely lets up the pace or the quality. Discotheque Wreck and Pretend Best Friend are two of the most deliriously entertaining rock songs ever written, and the band showed they could slow it down on Top 40 hits Middleman and Some People Say. Just fantastic.
Regular Urban Survivors (1996)
With their tails up, Terrorvision returned two years later with fantastic album artwork (see above) and another fantastic collection of songs. Perseverance was this album’s Oblivion and shot up to fifth in the charts, while Bad Actress, Celebrity Hit List and Easy get up the momentum and the band’s high profile. There’s no really any weak links here, from the mad Mugwump and Cluedo-esque Dog Chewed The Handle to lyrics as daft as ‘the dog-io and the cat-io are fighting on the patio’, this was Terrorvision on top form and it was great to see it getting the success it deserved.
Shaving Peaches (1998)
After that success, Terrorvision were under pressure from EMI to maintain those levels, so follow-up album Shaving Peaches featured four different producers and a sound that was presumably intended to be more chart-friendly. However, it took a remix of Tequila to give them a chart hit and the album was generally less well received than the two that preceded it. However, I still really like it, with III Wishes and Josephine a great start to the album, and it doesn’t quite have the dizzying highs of HTMFAIP or RUS, it’s a great collection of really catchy songs (Babyface, Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind, etc). But ultimately, it was kind of taken over by THAT remix.
Good To Go (2001)
To paraphrase a line from a song from the previous album, this one took a while to click (*click*), but then I got the gist. At first, it seemed to me to be the sound of a band caught between doing what they want to do and what they think might help them maintain the surprising success of Tequila. So both singles (D’you Wanna Go Faster and Fists Of Fury) had a dancey, quirky feel to them, and neither really got anyway. Having been dropped by their label and with this album flopping, they split up not long after and I didn’t really listen to it much. But recently I have been and it’s actually a perfectly good Terrorvision album and it’s a shame that I didn’t give it much of a chance at the time.
Super Delux (2011)
Ten years on, this album took me completely by surprise. Somehow I totally missed any news of it being released and literally stumbled across it on Amazon’s MP3 store. Obviously I immediately bought it, but had a slight feeling of trepidation. Sometimes when one of your favourite bands comes back after a long time, it’s not quite the same. They’re older, you’re older and it just doesn’t really work. Thankfully, that’s not even slightly the case here. Super Delux is great. Neighbourhood, Hold Tight, This Is Suicide and Shiny Things are my favourites but all of it is way better than it should have any right to be. Somehow they’ve bounced back with one of their best albums.