Terrorvision are Shutty, Tony, Leigh and Mark - four down-to-earth blokes from Bradford... 'Perseverence' crashed into the Top 5 on 25th February 1996 following previous hits such as 'Oblivion', 'Middleman' and 'Alice What's The Matter'.In fact, their previous album had produced an impressive run of five hit singles, each of which peaked between 21 and 25. So they were primed for an even bigger breakthrough, and third album Regular Urban Survivors, with its brilliant Bond-film pastiche artwork, supplied that with four Top 20 hits, of which this was the first, the biggest and the only one to make it onto a Now! album
As you'll see, the album was so outstanding that even I bought one, not a common occurrence as I'm pretty much a metal sceptic. There again, I tend to think of the relationship between them and metal as similar to that between, say, Madness and ska: it's obviously the music they loved and wanted to make together, but they have their own take on it, which isn't watered-down exactly so much as it's filled with other influences and an ear for a great pop hook. For a while this style was called Britrock and whilst the name didn't stick, there is something in the distinction: Tony Wright's Yorkshire vowels immediately mark this out as a product of the UK, and whilst those crunchy guitar chords set it apart from the typical Britpop repertoire it shows some kinship in its openness to lightheartedness, far from the earnestness of grunge or modern hardcore bands but also from the worst of hair-metal machismo. Pulling out the album again for the first time in a few years, I was impressed at how much of it I knew off by heart, and by the fact that 'Perseverance' isn't even the strongest track although its breathless energy and the neat use of low-pitched brass makes it a logical choice of lead single. They sound like a band who enjoy being a band and want you to enjoy it too, and that's enough for now.
Although the band have, like most of this era, reunited for sporadic tours and recordings, Tony Wright now has a secondary career doing letterpress printing.
Also appearing on: Now 42
Available on: Regular Urban Survivors