You may have read some hype about the Sheiks' first single, released in 1979 by our old friend the Local Label. Well, someone's wallet was lightened to the tune of 110 bucks to find out what we can tell you for free: it sucks. Two parts whitey blues and one part Dylan cover will always a turd cocktail make, and no amount of comparison with Dr Feelgood can render it any more palatable. As with past cases of seller-generated hype, emptors should consider themselves caveated.
The real three-figure Sheiks record is the second single, though Popsike and the unclaimed copy in the Wallaby Beat trade pile might argue otherwise. Perhaps listening to Ten Times Around - which we invite you to do at the link below - will help to redress the balance. Hard to know what happened in the year between records to prompt such a drastic reorientation, but we suspect that the release of Entertainment by Gang of Four might have had something to do with it. The perfectly mid-fi recording (courtesy of Scattered Order and M-Squared) works in the song's favour, and the forcefulness with which it's delivered makes its dissonance sound less "post-" and more "punk". Rondos fans are unlikely to be disappointed.
In fairness to the first single, there are microscopic traces of Ten Times Around in one of its four songs (When You Bring Home Your Pay). Not enough to elevate it beyond being passable - we're talking a generous C-minus here - but just enough to connect the dots. Similarly, Ten Times Around's less strident flipside signposts singer/bassist Paul Cupples' next outing - we continue that story next week.
Ten Times Around [Download]