Dr. Strange has the uncanny knack of picking out older bands from the brink of obscurity and releasing top notch material that stands up to their classics. The Partisans are a perfect example. Formed in 1978 by fourteen-year-old kids and English label mates with the newly formed Blitz, the Partisans sounded like an amalgamation of the Professionals, Sex Pistols, Peter and the Test Tube Babies, the Buzzcocks, and most obviously, The Clash. Their first album, self-titled, came out in 1983 (It’s been re-released as Police Story.) The summer of ‘84 saw their second LP, Time Was Right. Then, pow, aside from reissues, nothing until they self-released an EP in 2002. The only strange thing that happened in the interim is that the bassist, Dave Parsons, went on to form Transvision Vamp, then joined Bush, of all bands. 2004’s Idiot Nation pulls it off right. No stutter steps. Nothing tentative. Their roots are solidly in place (it’s punk, not an assy form or new wave or a cringing version of metal), and they don’t sound like geezers with their eyes on a brass check. This record sounds like ‘77 well spring punk. Great melodies, singalongs, and appropriate amounts of coarseness and abrasions. All in all, an extremely satisfying listen. How the hell does Dr. Strange keep doing this?
–todd (Dr. Strange)