With the film Good Vibrations hitting Irish cinemas next week, it’d be easy to assume that the Belfast punk scene depicted in the film is a thing of the past. Fortunately along come a band like I Think I’m A Cylon to remind us that the scene is still very much alive and kicking. The EP ‘Rear Mirror Surprise’ is a sharp slice of punk energy. It takes a fierce live energy and compresses into a tiny package. The EP flashes brightly for a few short minutes and is gone, but leaves a lasting trace of a band with a lot to offer.
An eclectic mix of tangential lyrical diversions and black humour runs through the EP. Afghan rattles past in a minute and a half, but crams a huge amount of energy into a compact space. The song buzzes angrily like a bee trapped in a jam jar. It’s hard to imagine very many other bands capable of crafting lyrics like “Crawling through the poppy fields/smoking with the infidels/ daddy would be proud of me/ cos I don’t eat no happy meals.” But somehow it works.
The chorus of Buckfast Shuffle, “They got me on… the fortified wine… the fortified wine from Benedictine” could be written off as mindless fooling around, if it didn’t fit so perfectly within an incredibly tight song. I Think I’m a Cylon may not take themselves too seriously, but that certainly doesn’t mean they are bad at what they do.
Elsewhere Blood is Blood sees the band venting a more traditional punk anger towards society, but managing to do so without losing the bold streak of humour which runs through the rest of the EP. I Think I’m A Cylon are a band that sound like they have a lot of fun when they are locked into a garage and given a few instruments to bash together. ‘Rear Mirror Surprise’ jumps out at the listener, assaulting the senses with a cheeky irreverence that is strangely hard to forget.