THE ELEMENT OF CRIME: The Things You Do For Love (7″, Soul Static Sound SOUL 2, ?)

The Element Of Crime - The Things You Do For LoveI really like this record’s packaging. A simple, cardboard sleeve, with a folded-over photocopied sheet of paper glued on, and – on the back of the sleeve – a hand-stamped Soul Static Sound logo and catalogue number. This was a second-hand purchase – from, as I remember, a record shop in Wellington, Telford called Langland Records, which used to have a small box of second-hand seven-inch singles on its counter. The shop is still there, I think, in a different and smaller location, but when I was growing up I used to enjoy visiting it regularly. It was my go-to shop for records during my formative years of getting into what was then more genuinely called ‘indie’ music – back when that term meant something, grumble grumble. It was also directly opposite my pub of choice The White Lion, and its owner would often be brought pints from across the street to make his working day more, um, relaxed.

The glued-on paper has long since become unglued – indeed, it was that way from when I purchased it. This has revealed that whoever glued it on did so using criss-cross lines, and a single square outline of glue, which is – to anybody familiar with glueing – a normally excellent technique. Perhaps they used something that wasn’t built to last, like Gloy. I always used to prefer Cow Gum, but – unfortunately – I think that’s unavailable these days. Perhaps because of the outrageously noxious fumes it would release, that would turn one’s glueing session into impromptu glue-sniffing. Actually, perhaps that is why I used to prefer it, rather than for its sticking capability.

The Element Of Crime was a UK Riot Grrl-related outfit, featuring (I think) members of Huggy Bear. Let’s see what the internet has to say. Aha! It turns out – according to this blog, at least – the band included members of not only Huggy Bear but also Linus, Blood Sausage, Skinned Teen and Sister George. Pretty cool – at least to anybody into that whole scene in the early nineties. That was a fun time, and a lot of records were released back then. It was like bands released records just for the sake of the music, or to reinforce a point they had to make, rather than with some kind of career in mind. Does that still happen?

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