This Bristol-based five-piece signed to Stiff in 1981 and recorded a mountain of material, only a tiny fraction of which was released. First to appear was a 7” called Language Problems (BUY 148) but when this failed to make any immediate impact its follow up Beat Me Hollow (BUY 161) was cancelled and joined all of their album sessions in the vaults.
All of which is a minor tragedy, if only for the fact that Martin Rushent produced all of their material. Rushent had won a Brit award for Best Producer the year Language Problems was released. That was for the great strides in electronic music he’d made producing the Human League’s Dare (to say nothing of its remixed, mashed-up cousin, the wholly Rushent-created Love And Dancing). But with the Electric Guitars, Rushent took all he’d learned on the dance floor and attempted to fuse it with a band more akin to his earlier charges, The Buzzcocks, Generation X and XTC.
Having formed in 1979, the Guitars first release was a set of live tracks for their local label-cum magazine, The Bristol Recorder. They then went to other local labels, Fried Egg and Recreational, which is where they met a band that would crystallise their direction and stage presence – the Thompson Twins.
This was in the days before the Twins were known for synth pop and big hair. A seven-piece squat-based group of indie anarchists, they swapped band members and instruments with the Electric Guitars after they invited them to play support on a 20-date UK tour of 1982. From there the Electric Guitars went on to support U2 at some of their early London dates and – if only for a moment – their future looked very bright indeed…