Mention the name The Things and one of two visions spring to mind. One, a band who have always found themselves on the margins, besieged by unfortunate luck and lumped in with the likes of the awful Humanzi and Mainline, part of a Dublin scene that never really amounted to much. The other is of a band who got off their arses right from the start and did things their own way while others were sitting around waiting to get signed; building bridges across the world, running their own club nights, releasing a series of singles on various labels, developing a fine live reputation, just keeping going.
The truth, as it often is, is somewhere in the middle. Whatever the case, the Things’ debut album has been a long time coming, maybe too long. You sense that, for a first full length release, Some Kind Of Kick, has an awful lot resting on it – not least for the band themselves.
What’s not surprising about the record is that it sounds like a concoction of the Cramps and the Stooges plus a whole host of obscure garage, punk and psychobilly bands. What is surprising is how fired up, how alive and how downright vital the whole thing sounds. Unlike previous attempts, this finds them getting the studio balance between down & dirty and achieving a clarity that allows the songs to shine through.
And it’s those songs that really make Some Kind Of Kick the piece of work that it is. You can see that five years plus worth of writing went into the making of the record, but also that they’re also finally hitting their stride. Sure the likes of -Pyscho Lover’ and -Demon Stomp’ sound exactly like you might expect, but they are delivered with such conviction that any cracks are easy to ignore. On the title track, the Elvis-tinged -Make Her Cry’ and the glorious -Set Me Free’ (complete with sixties Hammond organ) they manage to transcend those influences, actually sounding like their own band. For an outfit so enthralled with what has gone before it’s no mean feat. It’s been a long time coming, but just maybe The Things are going to have their moment. They’ve earned it.