Pop Will Eat Itself: Love Missile F1-11 UK 12″ 
- Love Missile F1-11
- Orgone Accumulator
- Everything That Rises Must Converge
- Like An Angel
I think that the first time that I encountered PWEI was when I was watching Snub-TV and they played the video for “There Is No Love Between Us Any More.” It didn’t make much of an impression on me at the time. It remained until the video for “Can You Dig It” met my eyeballs on 120 Minutes before PWEI managed to hit my monkey nerve. I bought that album and started buying any and all singles for a time, but to this day, I only own “This Is The Day… This Is The Hour… This is This.” This in spite of my best intentions to at least own a copy of “Box Frenzy” as well. By the mid 90s, all of the CD singles got sold off, but I kept the one 12″ single I’d ever gotten by the grebo goofballs, a record I had to buy when I saw it in the used bins of Murmur Records.
It was maybe 1990 when I bought this. I finally listened to it last week and there’s a lot to love here. The indie-rock version of the A-side is certainly fun for fans of the high tech original. My one regret is that PWEI seemed to drain the song of its political payload completely for some laddish larfs instead. The crucial lyric of the song – “multi millions still unfed” was excised, alas. Along with most of the lyrics, actually. What’s left is the Veganesque minimal rockabilly of the tune that will probably stand the test of time.
When I saw PWEI live on their US tour for “This Is The Hour…” they still reached back to their Hawkwind cover of “Orgone Accumulator” to fill out their set. I had never heard the original, nor their studio cover of it, which at roughly two minutes is but a tiny fraction of the length of all of the Hawkwind versions floating out there in space. The tune was a minimal Krautrock variation on a blues riff with the main leitmotif played on a cheap, nasty Vox organ. It sounded like amphetamine garage rock of the best kind.
I have been intimately familiar with the original of Shriekback’s “Everything That Rises Must Converge” from “Oil + Gold.” I have to admit that I love the stripped down, almost skiffle version that the Poppies did here. The only concession to electric rock music was the tremolo fuzztone open chords that act as a sonic foundation for most of the tune’s full running time. Finally, the last cover was of fellow Black Country band The Mighty Lemon Drops indie debut single “Like An Angel.” I only have the remake on their “Happy Head” album, but the Poppies don’t stray too far from the mark made by the original, with Clint Mansell’s phrasing awfully similar to that of Paul Marsh of the Drops. For that reason the last track here was the one that sort of fell flat for me, if only because PWEI brought nothing new to the table. For the rest of us, this EP from the band’s indie-rock days, before the long shadow of Public Enemy was cast over their fates, remains a short, sharp pleasing valentine to their favorite bands.
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