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Ten Grand | This is the Way to Rule (Southern)
It takes a mere 48 seconds for Ten Grand's Southern debut to explode, as Hands Off the Merch builds and builds before vocalist Matt Davis erupts over a wall of post-punk noise. At only two minutes long, it couldn't be a better opening act for a record that is as varied as they come, but always retains a viciousness that threatens to emerge and shred the listener's ears mercilessly. The half-screamed, half-sung vocals courtesy of Davis and Joel Anderson occasionally intertwine, but on the whole Davis takes the lion's share, sounding like a man teetering on the brink of madness without wholly knowing how or why he got to where he is; the one certainty being that he's pissed off with somebody. Or, at least, he sounds like he should be. Chances are he's a pretty happy guy; happy to be in a band that have broken down the boundaries between acts like Les Savy Fav and The Blood Brothers, and happy to have done it beneath the radar of mainstream attention. Interpret the Morse Code-style guitar part on Get Out of My Dojo though, and you'll find the band's plans for world domination are well and truly in full swing. You've been warned; 'This is the Way to Rule' is frighteningly good.

Mike Diver
CWAS #12 - Summer 2003