VICE SQUAD: Defiant: CD

I know I’m gonna get crucified by more than a few buddies for this, but here goes: Although the lyrics are often of the “we’re defiant punx/gonna change the world” variety, the music here—from the guitars to Beki’s now-raspy vocals—screams bad, uninspired metal dipped in punk flourishes to give it street cred. Now I’m willing to concede that a) it’s been some twenty-odd years since this band’s prime, b) Beki’s the only original member at this point, c) her post-Vice Squad “progression” away from punk and more towards rock as a solo artist and with Ligotage is bound to creep into her more recent endeavors, but what I wanna know is a) why does “progression” so often translate into “pretentious crap rock,” b) how a band can use such a legendary moniker when it contains at most the original singer and none of the original song architects and not see it’s a recipe for disaster (also known as the “TSOL Rule of Suckdom of the 1980s”), c) why said sole original member of said band would want to piss all over her former band’s legacy by releasing something that makes “sub-par” sound like a compliment? Do I want a complete rehash of the Stand Strong Stand Proud album? Not by a long shot. Do I want hard-hitting, angry, topical and SINCERE music from a band claiming to be “punk,” especially one claiming such a respected pedigree? You bet yer fucking boots I do, kid. Sadly, I find nothing approximating that here.

 –jimmy (SOS)