Nick Garvey and Andy McMaster first worked together as members of Ducks Deluxe, one of the tougher and more rollicking bands to emerge from the British pub rock scene, so when punk rock raised the ante on volume and attitude by the time their next band, the Motors, released their first album in 1977, they were more than willing to meet the challenge. While The Motors 1 is a long way from punk rock, it certainly reflects what many pub rock refugees learned from punk — namely, keep playing straight-ahead rock tunes, but kick up the volume and tempo and forget trying to sound like the Band. The Motors 1 kicks off with the superb "Dancing the Night Away", an excellent fusion of pop melody with big guitar firepower, and the song is so effective that it sets a standard the rest of the disc can't quite match. But they do come close in spots, especially on the cranked-up "Phoney Heaven" and the Springsteen-esque "Bring in the Morning Light", while the neo-reggae lurch of "Cold Love" confirms these guys didn't have to limit themselves to four-square rock & roll. Nick Garvey and Bram Tchaikovsky are a formidable guitar combination on this album, while Rick Slaughter's drumming is sharply energetic and Andy McMaster is a truly valuable point man on bass, keyboards, and guitars. The Motors 1 is a fine set of meat-and-potatoes rock & roll played with the right amount of sweat and more smarts and craft than you might expect — if more pub rockers had made records like this earlier in the 1970s, Johnny Rotten and Joe Strummer might have had to find something else to rebel against. -AMG
If you like "1" get it here!