The Optic Sevens 2.0 Reissue Series is devoted to reissuing classic indie singles, and having a catalogue that includes The Wedding Present’s second single, ‘Once More’, The House of Love’s ‘Shine On’, ‘Son of a Gun’ by The Vaselines, and an array of lesser-known cult classics.
so here we have 800 colour vinyl copies of ‘Don’t Slip Up’ by Meat Whiplash, originally released in 1985 on Creation records. Notorious for being the opening band at The Jesus and Mary Chain's infamous ‘riot gig’ at the North London Polytechnic on 15 March 1985, ‘Don’t Slip Up’ was the East Kilbride combo’s only release.
The info in the press release prompted me to spend around three hours watching footage of the Mary Cain live in the early years, after – coincidentally – revisiting ‘Barbed Wire Kisses’ only the night before after a walk out under social distancing reminded me of their cover of Can’s ‘Mushroom’ and I found the line ‘I gotta keep my distance’ echoing around my brain in a wash of treble and reverb.
Eventually, I come back around to the single, which spent 19 weeks on the independent chart. Does this qualify them as one-hit wonders?
Anyway: a squall of treble and feedback, with a rumbling four-square bass and primitive percussion hammering away in the background, this very much like ‘Psychocandy’ era Mary Chain, only without the attack and without the panache, and the production is so muffled it sounds more like a demo.
It IS exciting, but more in the sense that it provides a flavour of the time: ‘Don’t Slip Up’ is alright, but no more, although I expect those who were there at the time and witnessed the band first-hand may feel rather more strongly.