“No More Heroes”

THE STRANGLERS – “No More Heroes” / “In The Shadows” (United Artists UP 36300) September 1977

The Stranglers ‘No More Heroes’ – Daft title from The Stranglers, who are most firmly established heroes of the New Wave. They’re so solidly fixed on their pedestal it seems like posturing false modesty to issue this sort of disclaimer.

Indeed, for the reviewer, it would be an act of great perversity to deny the song’s place as the week’s major release.

Rather like slagging off ‘The Last Time’ for lacking the ethnic authenticity of ‘Little Red Rooster’. To be accurate, this is not quite as classy a single as the one before it, and that one wasn’t quite as ace as ‘Peaches’, but the band’s momentum is such that quibbles of that sort are irrelevant.

The lyrics are again strongly to the fore.

ice-pick that made his ears burn

“Whatever happened to Leon Trotsky?” they ask. “He got an ice-pick that made his ears burn” they answer.

It’s the instrumental work that’s the selling point, though. American critics may dismiss The Stranglers as retreads of The Doors, but surely Morrison’s lot never had this sort of energy.

The keyboards are certainly in the patented Ray Manzarek style, a beautiful rolling sound, but the approach is that much more intense. A hook that you could use to scale a cliff compounds the cut’s potential.

The Stranglers now set the standard against which the rest of the new bands have to measure themselves. (NME)

Could it be Jim Morrison didn’t die in that bath in Paris? Could it be he just went into hiding in an expensive Swiss clinic and had plastic surgery, emerging some years later and calling himself Hugh Cornwell?

This single is a dead ringer for The Doors and a good thing too, because no-one really replaced that band when it split. The resemblance was slightly noticeable on ‘Peaches’ but it comes out and hits you in the forehead on this one.

The fast walking pace is sped up to a steady run, like being chased by a strange man on a dark night. David Greenfield’s keyboards creep closer and closer to the vocals, the sinister catching up on the cynical.

Imagine the drumbeats as the thumping of your heart and it’ll scare the pants off you. (Record Mirror)

Leave a Reply