One has to hope that the Lurkers have an exalted place in punk heaven waiting for ‘em, ‘cause lord knows they haven’t gotten their well-deserved due here. Part of the U.K.’s initial wave of punk, they specialized in a blissful mutation of pub rock’s stripped-down aesthetic and the Ramones speedy buzzsaw-guitar attack, and this reissue of their debut album shows just how truly good they were. Adding eleven assorted singles and demo cuts to the original album’s already generous fourteen tracks, you get in one fell swoop a good chunk of the band’s prime output, including “Ain’t Got a Clue,” “Total War,” and two versions of “Shadow,” the latter of which was resurrected nearly two decades later by the Rip Offs on their debut album. If you like your early punk lean ‘n’ mean, it rarely gets better than this.
–jimmy (Captain Oi)