Rubella Ballet’s one of those bands that, although quite influential on the U.K. anarcho-punk and early goth sub-subcultures, are a bit obscure these days to the average punter that wasn’t actively immersed in punk during the ‘80s or is a bit of an archivist. Their dayglo-splattered take on peace punk stood in stark contrast to the “black is fab” fashion etiquette normally associated with that set and their music similarly added a hint of, oh, bounce while addressing much of the same subject matter of their peers. Their first full-length of wholly new material since 1990, PlanetPunk doesn’t stray too far sonically from the band’s previous efforts, meaning they still tweak the ‘80s peace punk template by adding bits of influences from outside sources and slather on a bounty of relevant media sound bites while the lyrics remain firmly rooted in addressing topical issues: the consolidation of power by moneyed interests, the global “Big Brother” surveillance state, the dark side of biomedical research, Hacktivism, the overreliance on pharmaceutical prescriptions, Mexico’s drug wars, police corruption, conspiracy theories, widespread political corruption, and the belief in punk as a viable form of resistance to all the above. I’ve honestly been feeling a bit cynical and fatalistic about the state of both punk and the planet in recent weeks—feelings that are inevitable to come up at various points when one has been around long enough to see both change for the worse in a lot of ways on more than one occasion—but while listening to this, I felt that glimmer of hope that, no matter how bleak shit gets, folks will continue to resist and address that which the rest of the population prefers to pretend isn’t happening. 

 –jimmy (Overground)