THE JOLT The Jolt CD 2002
Mr. Radio Man / Watcha Gonna Do About It / I Can't Wait / Chains / No Excuses / Decoyed / I'm Leaving / Everybody's The Same / In My Time / Hard Lines / (Can't Tell You) It's Over / All I Can Do / You're Cold* / Again And Again* / Route 66* / Maybe Tonight* / I'm In Tears* / See Saw* / Stop Look*.
The Jolt: Robbie Collins: vocals, guitar, harmonica / Jim Doak: bass, vocals / Iain Shedden: drums.
Best remembered for their smartly suited, tightly riffing contributions to the late-'70s mod revival, the Jolt were, in fact, one of the few bands who not only straddled the divide between classic punk and that more specialist sound, they were also the only ones who could give label- (and genre-) mates a run for their money. Debuting in late 1977 with the sparkling "All I Can Do" single, the Scottish band barreled through the new year, redeveloping their sound as adroitly as Weller and company ever did, and drawing from many of the same archetypes as well -- a virtue proven by their second single, a sterling cover of the Small Faces' "Watcha Gonna Do About It." Punk in a parka had never sounded so fresh. By the time of their self-titled debut album, however, the Jolt were already consigned to dwell in the Jam's lengthening shadow, a fate that the band themselves seemed to encourage. The best tracks on the album were those that could have sprung from Weller's pen -- and that is precisely where they did get "See Saw," the finest song among the eight bonus tracks appended to the Captain Oi! reissue. The B-side to Jolt's final single, "Maybe Tonight," the song was written for the band by the Jam man himself. But there is so much more to Jolt than an adrenalin rush of Jam-isms. Noisy, exuberant, eminently danceable and absolutely exhilarating, Jolt is the sound of mod at its most potently creative, a record that could have been made in 1965, but was certainly remixed in 1978, to take into account all that had happened since then. Even more importantly, the passing years have chipped none of that original excitement away, and Jolt remains just that...a welcome, thrilling jolt. Allmusic
"The Jolt formed in the Glasgow area of Scotland September 1976 while guitarist/songwriter Robbie Collins and bassist Jim Doaks were working as lowly clerks in the Civil Service and Ian Sheddon was a journalist writing the pop page for his local newspaper.
Apart from The Self Abusers and The the Zones there were few Glasgow punk bands not helped by an unofficial ban on punk in Glasgow. Originally playing 60's based covers the band influenced by the new punk spirit quickly got up to speed with tunes like Decoyed and Mr Radio Man and built up a following in Jim and Robbie's home town of Wishaw playing the Crown Hotel.
As a lot of Scottish bands found there was only so far you could go in their native land and the decision was taken to move to London. In one sense the gamble paid off. They played the Marquee, Nashville and supported bands like The Jam, Stranglers and Generation X. In Sounds 13.8.77 it reported the bands signing to Polydor which they did for £90,000 and a four year deal. In another way it was the start of their troubles.
Having left Scotland they were accused of selling out and got the cold shoulder from 'the scene' and the press.
Worse than that the punk scene they came from was now over a year old and there were hundreds of bands in London. Ironically punk was taking a different direction that would have suited the Jolt. Punk had turned to New Wave to power pop and The Jolt went back to their roots (just like The Cortinas) and began to change image and produce commercial pop with a punk punch.
Ten months on from forming the band released the Faces 'What'cha Gonna Do About It?' and overhaul their image into a sixties mod suited look.
Around September 1978 the band expanded into a four piece with keyboards. In June 1979 they released a final single before splitting up ironically just missing the mod revival that in the end they seemed to becoming so suited to.
Another single and an album were released to some critical acclaim along with favourable live reviews and interviews but not translated into sales. At the same time other events overshadowed the band that took the spotlight off their music. The Jolt were signed to Polydor, home to another three piece with a monosyllabic name beginning with 'J' and a penchant for suits. We mean of course The Jam who The Jolt often toured with and were great pals with. Inevitable comparisons were made to the detriment of the band.Whereas they were conceived as a tribute and for originality, I think in the end the suits helped kill the band and just create more Jam comparisons." www.punk77.co.uk
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