The Embrooks, “Nightmare” / “Helen” (2016): One Track Mind

Who would’ve thought the Embrooks would be playing together again in 2016, let alone releasing a brand-new single, too? Well, Mole, Al and Lois have done it, and they sound as great as they ever did.

The terrific trio have pretty much picked up from where they left off from Embrooks’ last album in 2004, with no delineation whatsoever from their fab Freakbeat sound. The driving “Nightmare” leads the charge on that front, showing once again that the Embrooks are, if anything, consistent. That’s a big plus for any band new or old these days.

The b-side “Helen” is an exact remake of the 2000 version, which the Embrooks originally recorded for their classic second album, Our New Day. I don’t know why they chose to remake it, when the original version of this song was perfectly recorded at the legendary Toe Rag Studios. This clean, new update comes to us from 2016 sessions at State Records Studios, but doesn’t really improve upon things.

That’s not to say the 2016 version of “Helen” is a bad. It’s quite faithful to the bigger-sounding 2000 studio take. I just don’t see the point of recording it again, when another new original song or a cover would have been much more preferred from a fan’s perspective. Oh well, that’s just a minor quibble; maybe the Embrooks will record another new single or album soon now that they’re back in action. (And maybe a return to Toe Rag Studios to record it all?) I hope so; they’re a really great band.

Because this is a small indie label, distribution in the UK and Europe is by Clear Spot and in the USA by Get Hip Records, so contact them or State Records in the UK ( directly for the single. This is a limited edition pressing of 500 copies, so grab a copy while you can.

Steve Elliott

Steve Elliott

Steve Elliott has written for Shindig, Twist and Shake, Garage & Beat and Ugly Things. A big fan of all things rock and roll - especially the British Invasion, garage rock, psychedelic, new wave, folk rock, surf and power pop - he was a consultant on Sundazed Music's reissue of 'The Best of Butch Engle & The Styx: No Matter What You Say' in 2000, and has also provided liner notes for Italy's Misty Lane Records. Contact Something Else! at
Steve Elliott