Network (1976)

Paul Steere (bass): The only real criticism I can level at this film about the reality-warping effects of mass media is it fails to predict how bad it was actually going to get. But then, who did? I suppose having William Holden’s flinty embodiment of American Values portrayed as corrupted but always redeemable may be a bit too... well... American for some. But come on; Faye Dunaway and William Holden tear shit up in supporting roles and Lumet hits on a few sequences that are as capital ‘C’ Cinematic as it gets. So what are you just sitting there for Charlie? Fire it up!

Jaws (1975)

Dom Berry (Organ/Guitar): Truly everything you could want from a blockbuster film (cast, score, director). Honourable mention of Jaws 2 (1978), one of the best sequels ever made.

Coma (1978)

Gemma Fleet (Vocals): I love the 1978 Michael Crichton medical-thriller Coma. The story follows Dr Susan Wheeler (Genevieve Bujold), a surgical resident at Boston Memorial Hospital. Dr Wheeler becomes certain that something fishy is going on at the hospital after her close friend falls into a coma during a routine operation. She battles a tirade of gaslighting attempts by male colleagues as she systematically uncovers a deep-rooted hospital conspiracy.

In an early scene, we are introduced to her romantic partner and fellow surgical resident Dr Mark Bellows (Michael Douglas) who quickly asserts himself as a bit of a knob as we see him kicking off his shoes at home and demanding equally exhausted Dr Wheeler to "get me a beer!", throughout the film, we are unsure of the motivations of Dr Bellow and exasperated by his continuous undermining of his partner. Teetering on the edge of Sci-fi, we finally enter the brutalist Jefferson Institute and get an overview from the foreboding nurse Emerson (Elizabeth Ashley) of the economies of scale for comatose patient cold storage. One of the best medical conspiracy thrillers and echoed in the 1996 film Extreme Measures.

Mad Max (1979)

Guy Crouch (Guitar): I love films from the 1970s. I love Australian films. I love revenge films. The first Mad Max film produced on a budget of $400,000, is the starting point for much of these loves and remains right around the top of the pile for me. A brutally dystopian arid landscape is given precious little exposition - only that this is a world of the near future – serves as the backdrop for a revenge story of a highway cop (Mel Gibson in his second film role) taking down the Acolytes biker gang that maim his wife and partner, and murder his child. The film’s style (the inspired vision of director George Miller) has always felt seminal to me, perhaps due to it being the product of a writer, director and producer all working on their first film. I don’t love the sequels anything like as much.

Steel Beats Beneath (1967)

Tom Pollard (Drums): I’m going to call this 1967 Mexican film a Surrealist psychological horror, but to be honest, it alludes easy classification. I’ve definitely never seen anything else like it. The premise is simple enough - a small town receives a new parish priest and then things start to go... off the rails. It starts small and builds to one of the most unhinged climaxes in cinema. The cinematography and set design are both amazing, subtly shifting as the situation in the town deteriorates. But the real centrepiece is Juan Ferrara's performance as Father Aisporo which is by turns menacing and genuinely innocent; it’s a confounding character that is as much a victim as a villain and Ferrara balances both brilliantly. It’s genuinely hard not to feel some sympathy for him, even when he removes his cassock at minute fifty-three. But I’ll leave that for you to discover if you can find it. To the best of my knowledge, it’s never been commercially issued in the UK since the '80s but it does crop up online. It’s worth the hunt!


Thick Syrup - which features members of The Wharves, Broken Arm, Mob Rules, and Whipping Post - released their debut album (Living In Leeds) on 23rd February via Gringo Records. Check out the video for 'Heavy Syrup' below.