DESPERATE MEASURES – Sublime Destruction (Cadiz)

Lemmy once said that if Motörhead moved in next door your lawn would die. Well, if Desperate Measures became your neighbours you could kiss goodbye to the hedges and herbaceous borders too. Abrasive, aggressive and loaded with malevolent charm, the London-based quartet are back with a new album which once again cherry-picks the best of the golden age of garage punk, adds a sprinkling of modern-day glitz and tops the whole thing off with massive slice of Attitude with a capital A. It’s kind of how The Dictators might have sounded had they come from Dartford, or the Stooges had they been born in Seven Sisters, a district of London the Desperados actually pay homage to in a track called, well, ‘Seven Sisters’.

Desperate Measures are Eugene Butcher (vocals), Michael Gaffney (guitar / vocals), Ricky McGuire (bass / vocals) and James Sherry (drums). The band have a bit of a backstory, with Sherry pointing out that “the original Desperate Measures existed in New Zealand in the early 1980s and released a single and recorded demos etc. The new line-up released an EP in 2021 called ‘Rinsed’ – ’cos during and after the pandemic we all felt rinsed – but the new album is our first proper full-length. We just wanted to make a great rock record to the best of our abilities. It was recorded in bits in short sessions as and when we could afford it, but we were in the excellent hands of [producer] Andy Brook who has recorded artists like Ginger Wildheart and Status Quo, and he did such a great job in capturing our songs and getting the best out of us in a really encouraging way. We’re really happy with how it sounds. The finished album has far succeeded our expectations. We’re very proud of it!”


photo by Louise Phillips

Unpretentious and streetwise, ‘Sublime Destruction’ serves up eleven cuts in thirty-nine minutes, with songs like ‘The Rich-Ual’ and the title track thumbing their nose at convention and sobriety. Asked to describe the band in three words, Sherry shots back “chaotic, fiery, and drunk!” But that’s not to say that this is a one-dimensional knock-off. There’s depth and layers to the songs, and closer ‘Still Got Me’ shows a more sensitive side to the band: so, can we expect a Desperate measures’ ballads collection at some stage? Sherry laughs. “Well, the album is – intentionally – quite varied in styles and moods. We didn’t want to make a record where all of the songs sound the same so while there’s plenty of blistering rockers, songs like ‘Untouchable’, ‘Flowers At Your Door’, and ‘Seven Sisters’ show a moodier side. ‘Still Got Me’ is a nice reflective song to end the album that looks back on a life well lived and thinks, ‘how did that go by so fast?’ Something those of an older age can all relate to!”

If, as the adage goes, desperate times call for Desperate Measures, this could be the band to save rock ‘n’ roll.

Video clips:
‘Sublime Destruction’ -
‘Seven Sisters’ -

© John Tucker March 2024