To give you a little background, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry (named after a none-too-challenging tongue twister) were a Leeds, England quartet, formed in 1981 by vocalist Chris Reed. Longtime guitarist Dave "Wolfie" Wolfenden jumped aboard a litte later. They would comprise the Lorries core-lineup through their fourth album, 1989's Blow. Virtually from day one, RLYL were lumped into the burgeoning British Gothic rock scene, much to their dismay and confusion. To make matters worse, they were, and remain perennial footnotes in this so called "movement." By and large, their first two albums, Talk About the Weather (1985), and Paint Your Wagon a year later, along with a slew of crucial early singles (released almost entirely on the Brit sh Red Rhino imprint), was the allotment of their discography most revered by critics and old school Lorries devotees. Overtones of Joy Division were fairly evident, but the Lorries busier and more robust arrangements aesthetically put them in league with contemporaries Killing Joke, and to a lesser extent the Chameleons UK.
The album in question, Nothing Wrong, was RLYL's debut major label offering. Released on Beggars Banquet/Situation Two with distribution through RCA on both sides of the Atlantic, the band's ever changing rhythm section included bassist Leon Phillips and skinsman Mark Chillington for the recording, but would be altered once again on the coinciding tour.
There is an inescapable semblance of doom and anxiety that courses through nearly every vein of this album. Trouser Press magazine opined that Reeds lyrics on Nothing Wrong were "straight out of an Existentialism 101 textbook." A charming observation in retrospect, but Reeds droney, deadpan vocals further bolstered such comments, yet they add to the magic. The Lorrie's other main ingredient, Wolfie, carves out a vast, echoing canyon of fretwork, glazing prime cuts like "Hands Off Me," and the bustling "Open Up," with a dense and an enthralling vigor that take firm command of the senses. Topping that off is Chillington's unremitting drumming, nearly as pounding and rhythmically intense as the bludgeoning din of a freight train, and to very appropriate effect I might add. Nothing Wrong is all about atmosphere - raw, bleak and foreboding as it's convincingly represented herein. Thematically, RLYL outline the cutthroat nature that is the modern world, but underlying all the insanity and pressure it entrails, perseverance can, and usually does prevail. For me, this record took on a life of it's own, and remains not only one of my top-10 album picks of the '80s, but all time.
As you will no doubt discover, Nothing Wrong features occasional dialogue from African Bushmen on a few tracks, from a British TV documentary, Testament to a Bushmen. Still trying to figure this one out myself folks.
Nothing Wrong was released in the US as a 14 track LP/CD. The British CD incarnation lops off two cuts from the domestic version and substitutes them with three b-sides. I've posted the US version in it's entirety, along with the three b-sides as an addendum. Out of print for years, Nothing Wrong was reissued in 2001 with the Blow album on one uncomfortable CD, that omits many tracks to accommodate the 80 minute time constraint. Not recommended, if you hadn't already guessed. After Blow, RLYL capped things off in 1992 with a final album, Blasting Off, which boasted a completely revamped lineup. In 2004, Chris Reed corralled a few hired guns for Red Lorry Yellow Lorry version 2.0, that resulted in a handful of UK gigs and precious little else. A one-off reunion show is scheduled this August as a tribute to the recent passing of Red Rhino Records proprietor Tony K.
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01. Nothing Wrong
02. Open Up
03. Hands Off me
04. Big Stick
05. She Said
07. World Around
09. The Rise
10. Only Dreaming (Wide Awake)
11. Do You Understand
12. Never Know
13. Pushing On
14. Time is Tight
15. You Only Get What You Pay For
16. Another Side