Lord High Fixers – Is Your Club a Secret Weapon (Estrus) 1999


The Lord High Fixers were the brainchild of the underground rock luminary, Tim Kerr (Poison 13, Jack O’ Fire). They existed between 1996 and 2001 and during that time released an impressive collection of material. I own pretty much everything they released but I chose this one to post on because I reckon they really nailed it on this record.

The band formed after the demise of Jack O’ Fire who were a fantastically anachronistic punk-blues cover band. The Lord High Fixers mine similar material. The difference between the two bands is their approaches to mining the past. Jack O’ Fire churned out shambolic punk versions of blues classics. The Lord High Fixers were a more substantive beast. Instead of narrowing their focus to the blues the Lord High Fixers expanded it to include influences like Gil Scott Heron, Chuck Berry, 1960’s bubblegum and garage, skiffle, jazz and scat. Is Your Club A Secret Weapon? is probably the most intelligent and complex garage punk record made. The band are tight, the production is crisp without being slick. All of the Lo-Fi fuzz has been treated in such a way that it is more of a bedrock rather than a blanket. Think more along the lines of Mudhoney rather than the Gories.

I was talking to one of my friends about posting on this band and he mentioned something which I had never given much thought to. On all of their records they make a reference to the Young Lion’s Conspiracy. He felt uncomfortable with organised anything so he has never fully embraced the band. I have no idea what the Young Lion’s Conspiracy is. Even Tim Kerr’s website is silent on it except for some vague references to it. Is Your Club a Secret Weapon? certainly drips with revolutionary intent. If the Young Lion’s Conspiracy is serious then there is something terribley sad about a band rehashing the 1960’s to speak to revolution in a new millennium.

But you know what? I don’t fucking care. The Lord High Fixers produced music that was dated but sounded effortlessly modern. No other band could have mashed the same influences and made such a fun, frantic and cool garage record such as this.  So there!

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