2001: PAGE 1 - PAGE 2 - PAGE 3 - PAGE 4
SNOTTYNESS... Punk Rock Classic - World Contender - Worth A Listen - Average - Plastic - No Future
'The Anthology'  2XCD
(CMDDD369) 2001
Some people think little girls should
be seen and not heard, but I think
Ray Spex
should be compulsory
audio. Lead singer Poly Styrene in
case you didn't already know has the
strongest female vocal to erupt from
the punk scene since it first kicked up
a fuss in the late 70's. Her aural
power could literally strip paint,
shudder yer speakers from their
moorings and rip Consumer Society
to shreds in an after thought.  
are a classic illustration oh how
diverse punk rock can be with
creative songs that were so modern
lyrically speaking when they were first
penned in '77, it now seems almost
prophetic when heard 25 years later.
They are all performed on top of a
wailing sax that vied for your
attention just as much as those
chunky rip roaring power chords
churned out by Jak Airport did. It all
comes together so vividly as they
rampaged through their Day-Glo
landscape for the next couple of
years. What makes Poly even more
of an appealing commodity than say
Siouxsie or Arri, is the warmth and wit
of her composing and singing.
Powerful, vulnerable and downright
fucking rockin! She wasn't a blueprint
ice queen or a screeching vamp; she
was an unworldly, futuristic
innocence abroad in a wicked world
but armed with an equally wicked
imagination. Who needs acid tabs
when you're living in an Art-I- Ficial
universe? Opening with the band's
1977-79 studio output, from the
brilliant '
Oh Bondage! Up Yours'
single which first introduced us to
their synthetic world in '77, onto the
essential 'Germ Free Adolescents'
album that left them gleaming on the
brink of stardom in late 1978, before
finally imploding with exhaustion and
mental fatigue as their final 45 '
burnt out unnoticed and
signalled their demise from pop
culture at the arse end of '79.
But lets concentrate on the 16 tracks
that make up their late 70's
catalogue which kicks off with their
most punkiest chewn of their set the
'Oh Bondage Up Yours'. A
2.46 min. bawl which screamed a
defiant yell not heard since Rotten
roared on 'Anarchy In The UK' the
previous winter. This unruly anthem
is set alight by some ingenious sax
work of Laura Logic which adds
panache to the pounding rhythms
and those defiant vocals sealing its
fate in punk folklore forever. Hotly
pursued by
'Im A Cliche' which is spat
out at an even more frenzied pace as
Poly hollers
"yama yama yama,
boredom boredom"
to the dog
collared Roxy patrons. You knew
when you heard it that these kids
were x-tra special. And it wasn't long
before bidding wars by record
companies wanting their scalps was
in progress. By the time of the
chugging monster
'Day The World
Turned Day-Glo'
was unleashed
X-Ray Spex were on a major label
(EMI) and at the peak of their
creative prowess. The fluorescent
world that lived in Poly Styrene's
head was a strange world to behold,
as we are driven on a futuristic
travelogue of urban guitars and the
eccentric saxophone now given to us
by Rudi Thomson and providing the
band with a truly dynamic signature.
Who'd have thought sitting on a
Hastings shingle beach could inspire
such a new world view. It's almost
eclipsed by the brilliant '
Im A Poseur'
that really sums up the late 70's
exhibitionist punk culture with total
suss. '
Identity' however signals the
second top 3 hit for the band and its
released came about the same time
Poly had her nervous breakdown
which screamed alarm bells in the
X-Ray camp. The song came with
some harrowingly appropriate lyrics
"Identity is a crisis, can't you see"
and a crisis was what Poly was
actually living in. One of my fave
Spex tracks is the dirty low level
grunge of '
Lets Submerge' performed
and logged with a resound
resignation of the weird and wacky
scene that dwelt in subterranean
clubs and cellars that this new breed
of punks frequented.
"If you've got
the urge c'mon lets submerge"
lured us with a raunchy kind of self
satisfaction. '
Germ Free Adolescents'
their 4th single slows things down
dramatically as they play out this
throbbing waltzer of a track that
shimmers with a high tension guitar,
pulsating keyboards, moody bass
and a poignant sax in the
background. It actually sounds like it
could've come from the soundtrack of
the Barbarella movie, as Poly takes
us on the antiseptic mating ritual of
young love with all its clinical pitfalls
and that encompassing yet crucial
compassionate vocal. '
With You'
greets us with a sax attack
reminiscent of sonic dolphin sounds
from the deep, and some crunching
riffage that can only make all these
tracks worth your time.
has a really great vocal, spot lighting
Poly's phenomenal power in all its
bawdy glory. There just seems to be
one track after another of roaring
punk rock on this album so its gotta
be heard. From the anti apathy of

'Plastic Bag'
to the defiant skanky
rhythms of
'Warrior In Woolworths' it
just don't get much better than this!
What you also get on this two disc 37
track package is some demo
outtakes and instrumentals that
features '
Prefabricated Icon' a yet
unreleased track, which are all worth
hearing. But sadly none of the
Spex demos appear which
could only have given us that raw
and rare comparison with the by now
well produced classics we know and
love. On disc two there's a live set
from the Roxy club which is a brutally
shambolic affair that captures the
band at a prototype stage in their
career. Plus 3 tracks from Poly's
X-Ray Spex reformation album
'Conscientious Consumer' which was
released in '95. However by now the
band lacks the drive of their original
momentum, both vocally and in
execution it has to be said. There's a
fitting biography in the Day-Glo
booklet, plus the lyrics reproduced
from the album. So hear Disc 2 just
to realise that within 6 months of this
live set, they would turn into a
contingent of visionaries and a
potent force within the punk rock
scene forever.
£7.99 HMV
'Direct Action Animal Rights'
(?) CD Autumn 2001
JJ has done himself proud here
collecting a massive 21 bands from
all over the shop. 'Direct Action
Animal Rights' gives us a broad
selection and interesting mix to drive
this Animal Rights benefit CD home.
Veteran ranters
Riot/Clone kick off
the proceedings in true Anarcho
tradition with their by now familiar
rants, that are given an extra edge
with duel vocals. A band alright in
small doses.
Kismet HC are getting
better each time I hear em! They've
really improved on this track 'A Storm
In Paradise' which is protest with
tunes. Something that's always
gonna further the cause, great duel
vocals too. JJ plays guitar in the next
Active Slaughter. They're the
newest North London protest band
(about 4 months old) and they hold
their own with the
Conflict inspired
foot n mouth rant 'My Foot In Your
Mouth'. Should hear a lot more from
these soon! Thank god this ain't all
Anarcho by death polemics coz there
is some comic input by Cabbage core
Chineapple Punks. They
steam in with a cheeky riffy track
made good with a clever whistling
'Streets of London' pastiche. Big
Conflict make their presence
felt next with their eagerly awaited
21st century 45 'Now You Put Your
Foot In Your Mouth'. They've still got
that well thought out trashy guitar riff
with a piss taking sneer by Colin
applied with lots of clever editing and
completed with a choir. Colin's vocals
are still angry but not quite so
convincing these days, still pretty
good though.
Crucified Venus have
an early 80's feel done from an
American perspective on 'Blood
Pervert', and comes with a
suprisingly good guitar solo.
come from a totally different
angle to any band on this
compilation. They literally blew me
away here in Wolfenstein. They're
without a shadow of doubt the best
band on here with their laid back,
r'n'b standout track 'Fur Is Dead'.
Instead of taking the angry approach
that the majority of bands on here
have, they come at the animal rights
question via a very clever addictive
way. They use some very, very smart
lyrics all topped off by a singer and
guitarist who can really give em a
potentially wide screen audience. It's
bands like this that could really reach
the straight world and charts with
their message. Back to reality with a
Somebody And The
have a great name but
an atrocious out of tune singer on
their tinny effort. Great to hear
again if only to satisfy my
curiosity about their new rock sound.
Well all the rumours are true but I
gotta admit this is a lot better than I
expected. Although Beki's screechy
strangled rock vocals ain't half as
captivating as her earlier style, she
still gives good head as far as
animals are concerned. Their track
'Breeders' has a sinister riff and is
another highlight.
Chester seem
fucking lost without their rolly poly
ex-singer and come over really
fucking wank in comparison.
Flag 77
seem in strange company on
this album but diversity is punks
biggest factor, or it should be. Well
they give us a good effort on the
questioning 'Why Do You Do It'.
Dunno?...better ask...
Dog On A
who sound a lot more lively on
'Let's Get Ronnie' as our favorite
child molester gets strung up by his
yellow boot laces and kicked in the
goolies no doubt! Feedback is one of
my punk rock turn on's, so when it
ushers in
Stress I was all gooey
eyed and cooing. But that soon
stopped coz all I got was stressed out
as that strangled horrible vocal
kicked in. No wonder the cunts
"screaming bloody murder" coz I'd
be committing murder if I had to sit
through an album of
Stress. Sons
Of Liberty
come out the traps with
the angriest vocals on here, done
with an Irish brogue to give it extra
panache. However it was all to no
avail coz this track suffers from an
inferior low-fi production. More
Paddies on the tray next, this time
from Brum.
Dogshit Sandwich' who
ain't half as exciting on record as
they are on stage go for the jugular
on 'Unfit For Human consumption'.
Ruidoactivo all the way from the
exotic sounding Miranda De Ebro in
sunny Spain, give us a manic paced
hardcore attack with hilarious duel
vocals one of whom reminds me of
Speedy Gonzalez
"ribaa ribaa!". A
own a great distorted
guitar sound pity the plodding rhythm
section ain't too together coz a
tighter sound and a less drunk vocal
would've give em a lot more impact.
Old Scarborough recluses
introduce us to a promising
textbook anarchist intro. I was just
about to refrain from some putdown
when they go and spoil it all with a
late 90's muddy thrashout...get back
in ya fucking penthouse scum!
Mundomatadero are more
Spaniards, all the way from the
Basque country (wolf whistle). They
are called in from the mountains by a
chiming bell as dinner is served on
their scary but atmospheric
'Slaughterhouse World' track.
However the stylish intro is soon lost
as they burst into a basic street punk
run-around broadcast with Latino
female vocals.
17 Stitches from
London sound a lot better in a studio
than in a live setting, but still a band
who've never really lived up to the
name. They do give us well played
powerful hardcore with a big
American influence on their anti-Blair
song 'Thorn In Your Side'. And finally
bringing up the rear on this monster
collection is
Ostracized from South
London who spare us any death
throes with a 20 second blast of
'McMurder King' tee hee. 'Direct
Action Animal Rights' comes with
some impressive artwork by Laura
Norder and Jake from
plus a sheet telling you
some valid reasons why animal
testing is bang outta order. The only
2 things missing from this collection
Bug Central and a lyric sheet to
really soak up the hate. Still definitely
and your attention!
'Conquest: Writhe'
(prank045) CD 2001
Now here's a band on the verge of
rock theatre. I can imagine
who come from...yeah you guessed it
Sweden playing in torch lit dungeons,
armed in leather and chain mail
tunics with long haired bearded
conquistadors sword fighting to this
Burst are a million miles
away from the punk I was dragged up
on and they belong in a metal mag
like Kerrang! To really justify this 10
tracker I need to grow me hair,
discover air guitar, flog my punk and
get me Iron Maiden's back catalogue!
Coz to me this just ain't punk and is
outta place for sure on my grimy
phlegm covered old fashioned PUNK
ROCK site. I'm sure Ken Prank
would've sussed this when he sent it
for review, but oh well you can't
blame the geezer for trying to open
my blinkered double vision. I've read
the reviews of 'punk' in metal mags
and they nearly always get it wrong
so I'll see what damage I can do
here. I like the powerful guitars but
hate the acoustic dabblings. And that
lead vocalist HUH! He even roars
when he's supposed to be whispering
in that 'heard it all before' manner.
So that's basically what this album is
all about from my ignorant (but to be
frank I'm very glad I am!) perspective.
If the roars were adapted to a more
snarly, snottier attack then this could
be a lot better, but for now this is
metal pirouetting on a grand fucking
scale and is pretty fuckin 'grim'
listening to my tattooed ear. You
gotta give Ken Prank his due though,
coz he's gone for different genres on
his releases but I need something a
lot more real to get me jumping
around the room.
'Oddville Preservers'
(053-2) CD November 2001
Voice Of A Generation from
Sweden, are named after
Blitz, the
early 80's UK mobs debut album, but
sadly this eclectic collection of
covers, counter covers, perversions
and schitzophrenia ain't nothing like
Blitz. First of the 7 tracks is the
cover of 'People Like You'
giving a nod to the record label. I
liked it's laid-back, sleazy sounding
swagger, with the oddly alluring gruff
vocal that conjures up visions of a
Jim Henderson puppet doing life, and
was about the best track of the
bunch.. They then change tempo
and sound completely,
with a couple
of high energy
Dropkick Murphy's
inspired rockers, but without the
'Baseball bat' was well in your
face. The
Discharge cover of 'State
Violence/State Control'
was pretty
pointless as the vocals are never
gonna get close to the original with a
Jack Russell in the recording booth
instead of Stoke
's number one
ification of dread, and the
amplification on a low setting is
always a no no. How come no-one
ever covers
'De-control' by far their
best song and a more tempting offer
for us all?
'Twentyfourseven' was
more like it, but again those
strangled vocals and dumbo gang
choruses don't really fill me with glee.

'Get Some More'
was probably the
best original track with lots of raw
energy, but with yet another style to
contend with
, I got bored very easily.
I think this band needs to see a
shrink and sort out it's personality
crisis coz I was REALLY lost and
confused by the time Johnny Cash
came on?
I Used To Fuck People Like You In
Prison Records
2001 PAGE 1 - PAGE 2 - PAGE 3 - PAGE 4