Fire Engines Codex Teenage Premonition

Of the small handful of bands who emerged as Scotland’s post-punk scene around the turn of the 1980s, Fire Engines were considered the most atonal and abrasive, standing beside such pop-minded bands as Josef K and Orange Juice. In light of the success of Franz Ferdinand, it’s only right that Fire Engines receive their due as innovators since their frenetic, off-kilter jangle is as part and parcel of Franz’s oeuvre as those snappy hi-hats. (The two bands actually did a split single in 2004 where they covered each other’s songs.) Instead of compiling the usual career overview to help Fire Engines receive their modern-day dues, Domino has arranged this collection of outtakes, BBC sessions and demos, which for the most part deliver the band’s goods ("Get Up and Use Me,” "Candyskin” and "Hungry Beat”), albeit with the often quite shoddy recording quality intact. People who want the best Fire Engines have to offer should seek out copies of their debut, Lubricate Your Living Room, or the Fond compilation, or wait for either to be reissued, which is bound to happen in the not-so-distant future. In short, Codex is more likely to please long-time fans rather than win over new ones. (Domino)