CHAOS UK: Kings for a Day—The Vinyl Japan Years: 2 x CD

Bit of an odd listen here for me. I’m well versed in their early thrash-o-matic stuff and have kept informed enough over the years to know they still have a fondness for raising a ruckus, but some of the stuff here kinda came from left field. The first disc is primarily covers of tunes originally by PIL, Elvis Costello, Ian Dury, Plasmatics, the Drones, and others, some of which are actually pretty well done and funny at the same time. The other disc is a collection of EP tracks, including some more covers of Lurkers and Partisans tunes. The first block of originals sound more like oi-inspired tunes, which is a bit of a shock to those of us used to the raucous slam-bang these guys claimed as their signature sound. Just when you start wonderin’ where all the noise went, they slap on the tracks from the Kanpai EP and you’re back in familiar waters. On the whole, I can’t say this was my favorite stuff by ’em, but it was definitely an interesting departure from the tried and true, most of which they successfully pull off.

 –jimmy (www.cherryred.co.uk)