German, surf, and punk are three words you’re unlikely to hear in many band descriptions, but it’s a pretty bang-on description of The Razorblades sound and style.
Hard-touring and hard-rocking, the group take the iconic 50s surf rock sound, shove a packet of speed up its arse and crank the volume to 11 – and have a lot of fun doing it.
Miss Peapods in Penryn was hardly packed when the Wiesbaden three piece played, but that didn’t dim guitarist/vocalist Martin Schmidt’s enthusiasm, striking poses and strutting round the stage before jumping into the audience. It’s hard not to get involved when you’ve got a large German guy singing in your face and sweating on your shoes.
The band solidly chug out fast, loud, three-minute pieces (songs with titles such as Amazing! Awesome! Wow! and Punk! Punk! Rocker are unlikely to herald deep, heartfelt lyricism) interspersed with almost virtuoso surf rock solos. The words are far and few between, although Schmidt does seem to be singing more than he used to.
He loves engaging the crowd, and the Penryn regulars seem genuinely happy to be in this wet corner of Cornwall, hundreds of miles from home, communicating through punk what their grasp of the nuances of language might not manage.
Thrown in with the Cali vibes and the hardcore bombast, the band have a couple of covers up their leather sleeves, including some ska and a 100mph instrumental version of Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ (introduced with the words ‘This was written by a man named Ian. He died. He wrote this beautiful song. So that’s good).
Earnestness and enjoyment combined, with slamdancers from 15 to 50, and crowd members holding lyric boards (three words) on stage. The Razorblades showed Penryn the fun side of Germany.