There’s been some good stuff this year, but even more was promised. New albums by English Dogs, Runnin’ Riot, and Rubella Ballet were all due in “the summer” – summer 2016 perhaps (although the Rubella Ballet album seems to be imminent). There were also whispers of new albums by Varukers, Templars and Peter & The Test Tube Babies , although that one was supposed to be imminent in 2012 so I’m not holding my breath. Basically the punk scene is made up of people as lazy and/or disorganised as myself, so I can’t complain. Here’s some people who’ve actually managed to get records out in 2013.
PARANOID VISIONS & STEVE IGNORANT – WHEN…? (album)
Ireland’s best punk band working with ex-Crass vocalist and possibly England’s angriest lifeboat volunteer – a dream collaboration? Did the album meet my expectations – to paraphrase, of course it fucking did!(although it took about three listens to decide). The Ignorant connection grabbed a lot of attention, with the album getting reviewed in proper magazines (the kind you can buy in shops). It got some good reviews, although was that the slight whiff of sneeriness? There were suggestions that Steve was giving a boost to “generic punk”. Other than one acoustic track,Paranoid Visions did keep their more experimental side in check here, but some of these people haven’t listened to as much generic punk as I have! Comparisons were made with UK Subs, but I think the Ruts are a better comparison, minus the reggae and with a lot of extra bile. Joint album of 2013 with The Restarts. Here’s the single Join The Dots , complete with unexpectedly poppy chorus
GOLDBLADE – THE TERROR OF MODERN LIFE (album)
Goldblade have been around for years, frontman and self-publicist John Robb even longer. I got into them with their highly singalongable 2005 album Rebel Songs. I was less impressed by the follow up Mutiny where that seemed to veer into self parody. This time round is a different matter, probably their best album. There’s been a lot of talk about it being “darker”, and that’s true (especially the title track) but being Goldblade there’s still plenty of mob choruses. Early Stranglers seems to be a big influence (not lyrically happily!), particularly with the heavy bass sound. The Stranglers meets Sham 69! This is my favourite track, Someone Stole My Brain (which to confuse things sounds more like Dead Kennedys)
THE WARRIORS – BANK HOLIDAY EP
What’s been missing so far is some mindless oi! Happily The Warriors have obliged. Last year they were giving a metaphorical kicking to the ConDem government. This year they were getting nostalgic about genuine kickings ie the good old days in Margate. The lead track on the EP is very old song that hadn’t been recorded before, a short blast of Cockney Rejects style thuggery. Elsewhere on the EP the targets are more carefully chosen (“Woman beater – you fucking c**t”).
LOST CHERREES – “pre-release” album – no idea what it’s called
Lost Cherrees didn’t let trifling matters such as yet more changes of lead singer slow them down, releasing a fine album of tuneful anarcho punk themselves when they got bored with record label shenanigans. None of it’s on youtube so I’m cheating and posting a live version of one of my favourite tracks, Tsunami Of Shit
FUK – FUK album
More blatant cheating, no tracks from FUK’s recent-ish LP (not sure when it was released – appropriately it was on Tardis records to add to the time travel confusion) on youtube, so here’s Cider Violence from 5 years ago, which was rerecorded for the album. The album itself? Loud, nasty guitar, barely decipherable obnoxiousness and titles like Sick Of Having Fun, Burnt Out Speed Camera, and Barking Fruitcake. What more could you want? Happy new year!