Personnel: Wreckless Eric (guitar); Davey Payne (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Charlie Hart (Farfisa); Barry Payne (bass guitar); William David Lutton (drums).
Audio Mixer: Larry Wallis.
Liner Note Author: Terry Staunton.
Recording information: Lyceum Ballroom, London.
Wreckless Eric's eponymous debut is a ragged, endearing collection of crude rock & roll. In a way, crude doesn't even begin to describe Eric's music. A muddle of scratchy guitars, pounding drumming, and snarled, indecipherable vocals, the record is pure, primal garage rock in the old-fashioned sense. Although Wreckless Eric has the demeanor of a punk, his music is straight-out rock & roll in the old-fashioned sense -- there's even saxophones and organs popping out of the mix. What makes Wreckless Eric such fun is its combination of catchy hooks, spirited playing, and downright rudeness. Only a handful of songs are fully formed, and those -- "Whole Wide World" and Ian Dury's "Rough Kids" -- are punk-inflected pub rock classics, pure pop songs in every sense of the term. The remainder are off-kilter, idiosyncratic pop songs -- about everything from "Personal Hygiene" and "Waxworks" to "Telephoning Home" and "Brain Thieves" -- performed with sloppy, drunken abandon. Too punk for pub rockers, too straightforward for punk, and too weird for everybody else, Wreckless Eric's debut album is one of the small gems of the punk era. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine