Well-produced and well-played UK punk ((and by “well-produced” i of course mean TURN THE FUCKING KICK DRUM DOWN, TOM)) that seems to be utterly obsessed with government surveillance, as if Dale Gribble joined GBH circa 1983 or something, then they fast-forwarded fifteen years or so into the future ((note clever Vibrators reference)) and recorded in the same studio in which the Libertines would record five years later, and cut an entire album based on the song “Brand New Age” by the UK Subs, although i suppose one could argue that “Brand New Age” by the UK Subs is already an entire album based on the song “Brand New Age” by the UK Subs, so perhaps there goes my entire argument. I haven’t been able to get into much UK punk since 1982 or so ((with a few exceptions)), and i generally don’t respond with vast effusions of gushiness in the presence of three-and-a-half-minute, big production punk songs, but, all things considered, i can’t say i’ve heard anything better in this genre in years—and they cover the Vindictives and X-Ray Spex and totally nailed that saxophone part in the X-Ray Spex cover—so if that’s your kettle of cod, buy with confidence and wave to the eye in the sky on your way out of the shop, mate. BEST SONG: “Spy In The Sky” BEST SONG TITLE: “Rule Nanny Britannia,” perhaps. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Liner notes thank someone or something called “Barbie’s Dead,” which is also a song off the UK Subs “Brand New Age” album.
–norb (Rowdy Farrago)