After enjoying a dip into Crass's first few record's I decided to seek out some more Anarcho Punk since the sound really appealed to me. Steve Ignorant of Crass actually joined the band after this, their debut record, released in 83 around what seems to be the peak of popularity for this rebellious sound. Many similar musical ideas are deployed although the record opens with a misleading track, "Young Parasites" sounds very much like The Clash with its prominent colorful baseline and generally tuneful, toned down aggression. Poorly performed guitar leads make a mockery of themselves as a shout cuts the track short to start over again.
The mood is flipped upside down with the real record as "Kings & Punks" kicks in with a crash of fast, lively drumming, temperate guitar riffs and an angry Colin Jerwood shouting with fury over a crunching baseline. At just a minute it sets the tone for fast and to the point music where songs rarely span further than the two minute mark. These tempo driven quick cuts make for an energetic atmosphere were nothing stays settled for to long as anger and frustration comes to fruition in dissent.
With an anarchy mindset, the lyrics take on progressive issues of anti-war, meat as murder and anti-establishment values with an exasperated grit of irritation. Jerwood keeps the heated resentment flowing but the accompanying music leans from its dissonant rebellious accent into catchy melodies and rocking riffs that despite being enjoyable, finds itself distancing from the core idea. A few songs here drift from the path and in these moments the consistency dips noticably.
When all elements are on the same page the soundtrack is set and the resolute attitude becomes engrossing. The records production is reasonable, guitar tone a little brittle and plastic, at times it doesn't quite have the aesthetic vitality to match its anger and the same might be said of the drums which despite being rather lively and rampant, find themselves getting buried in the mix. I also love the way the records end with some sort of improvised jam where the tempo keeps increasing and they keep going for it over and over. Chaos! Great album, potential to be great but falls short it too many places.
Favorite Tracks: 1824 Overture, One Nation Under The Bomb, Blind Attack, Blood Morons, Crazy Governments