PunkNet77 - Abrasive Wheels


Text taken from the booklet of the Punk singles Collection CD (Mark Brennan)

Abrasive Wheels originally formed in Leeds in the late 70ís though it wasnít until mid 1980 that Shonna (vocals), guitarist Dave Ryan, bassist Dave Hawkridge and drummer Mark Holmes finally got round to releasing a record. The three track Army Song EP was issued on their own Abrasive Records and , coupled with some support slots to Slaughter & The Dogs, quickly sold out itís 3000 pressing - "Not bad for a band who at the time didnít have a permanent drummer and were relatively unknown outside of their native Yorkshire town" said Sounds at the time. Having secured a publishing deal with Cherry Red Music the band then sought a record deal as the money made on Army Song had been spend on a transit can and paying for itís tax and insurance!

Bristolís Riot City Records were quickest off the mark and signed the band - now featuring new bassist Harry Harrison and drummer Nev Nevison - and their first release for the label was the three track Vicious Circle EP which, after gigs with the likes of GBH, Vice Squad and The Partisans, shot into the Indie Top 20. Interest in the band was at such a peak that Riot City re-issued the Army Song EP with the initial pressing coming in red vinyl. Mike Stone, producer of the likes of Discharge, GBH and The Lurkers, was then drafted in to oversee the recordings for the When The Punks go Marching In LP and the difference was plain for all to hear. The LP contained 14 superb cuts including of their Vicious Circle EP and also featured the bands next 45, the classic Burn ĎEm Down which shot to the top of the Punk Chart and scored highly in the Independent Chart.

Early 1983 saw the Wheels moving to Mike Stoneís Clay label and the release of the Jailhouse Rock single - "Because it is a supposedly untouchable classic, we knew weíd be criticised for doing it but why should we be predictable, why should we play it safe?" - Harrison told Punk Lives at the time. This was followed by the double A side Banner of Hope / Law of the Jungle which again saw a slight change in the bands style - "You donít need speed to create powerful music, you need feeling. We want to take the power of Punk and put back the emotion", explained Harrison at the time of itís release.

With Stone once again at the helm the band recorded the Black Leather Girl LP and released it in March 1984 at the same time as the single The Prisoner. Both releases drew heavily on influences like the New York Dolls and The Cramps as well as the bands Punk roots but were released at a time when neither the music press or radio were interested in anything remotely to do with Punk. (or it was that the punks were no more interested in the band Ďcause "they tried to sell out", but didnít succeed - Jukka)


The ABW EP (sis.: Army Song / Juvenile / So Slow; Abrasive Records ABW-1) -81
Vicious Circle EP (12"; Riot City RIOT-4) -82
Army Song EP (= ABW EP:n uusintajulkaisu; Riot City RIOT-9) -82
** LP ** When the Punks Go Marching in (Riot City CITY-001) -82 (re-issue as CD -94 Captain Oi! AHOY-CD-25)
Burn 'em Down / Urban Rebel (Riot City RIOT-16) -82
Jailhouse Rock / Sonic Omen (Clay CLAY-24) -83
Banner of the Hope / Law of the Jungle (Clay CLAY-28) -83
** LP ** Black Leather Girl (Clay CLAYLP-9) -84 (re-issue as CD -95 Captain Oi! AHOY-CD-47)
The Prisoner / Christianne (Clay CLAY-33; also as 12"with Black Leather Girl as bonus track 12-CLAY-33) -84
** CD ** Abrasive Wheels (Captain Oi! AHOY-CD-25) -9?
** CD ** The Punk Singles Collection (contains all single/EP -tracks; Captain Oi! AHOY-CD-51) -95

Most important tracks on compilations:

Punk And Disorderly: Army Song (Anagram CD-PUNK-100)
Riot City Punk Singles Collection: Army Song and Burn 'Em Down and Vicious Cirlce(Anagram CD-PUNK-015)

Abrasive Wheels links:

Abrasive Wheels - official site
Abrasive Wheels - Captain Oi!
Abrasive Wheels - Heartbeat Productions


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Urban Rebels Plays Jailhouse Rock