Vinyl, Tape and CD Reviews

Beggars can be Choosers - Razor Records Raz 6


Reviewed by Garry Johnson/Garry Bushell/Jerry Harris

Garry Johnson: "if you're lucky you'll get a scratched copy so you'll miss Attila and Seething Wells making their guest appearances on the first track. They get in everywhere..."Gary Bushell: "Well that's good in a way, it's solidarity- they've got the same message, they ain't in competition." GJ: "Who want's solidarity with wimps? And who want's the same message three times? At least Swellsy's contribution's short- they should have left that opening bit out and steamed in with the song- it's a good lively number with a dodgy intro."

Jerry Harris: "The whole LP's good, there's not a weak number on it. Very impressive. The Neurotics are real positive punk, sincere and hard gigging.I prefer 'em to the Redskins, who are like the glam side of it all." GJ: "What's glam about X-Moore apart from seeing the back of his head?"

GB: "I don't think there's a song here that touches 'Lean on me', that's got everything - suss, exuberance and a real classic tune." GJ: "Even if it is nicked from 'Jeepster'."GB: "But that said, I agree there's not a duff track on here. It's all good stuff - not great yet, but it's getting there. Can't help making those Jam comparisons again. More Jam than Robinson's..."

JH: " The Jam and the Clash - but they've got the best punk harmonies since the Clash for sure." GJ: " Yeah, 'Life In Their Hands' is very Clashy, it reminds me of 'Spanish Bombs', and 'The Last Gang In Town', I love the guitar part on that. And 'Newtown People's good too, great white reggae, better than UB40, but it goes on too long. I reckon this a very varied album: some of it's very good, some of it's very bad ( mass groans ) . No, there are a couple of naff tracks but compared to the Exploited, It's brilliant. Even the naff one's are listenable."

JH: "This is the smart side of punk - there's not a mohican in sight. And they don't drink with Carol Clerk down the St Moritz..." GB: "The worst thing's the way the lyrics are printed over the pic on the back - they're virtually unreadable." GJ: "did Dave Long design it? It makes the cover of 'Wheat From The Chaff' look like it wasn't an accident. Are they that bad they don't want anyone to see 'em?"

JH: "No, there's some really good bit's, all along the lines of not letting the Bastards grind you down." GB: "That bit on 'Get Up And Fight' is good' - 'How we gonna make our nations rise? Educate! Agitate! Organise! And I like the way they subvert the Members classic 'Solitary Confinement' into 'Living With Unemployment'. My big criticisms are that the words are a bit plain in places, and the production's a bit flat in places, relative to what I think they can achieve. But it is a great debut nonetheless."

JH: "I disagree: it's bursting with punch and energy, easily as good as the live gigs promised they would be. No wonder the NF are getting worried, the left's definitely got all the best bands."

GJ:"Their Greenham Common song is the worst - 'No Respect'. Black and white trendy feminism that could have been written by Seething Wells. I've got a lot of time for these though: 'Kick Out The Tories' ( which ain't included ) was great and at least three of the songs here are of that standard. It's definitely worth listening to, to ferret out the good one's. It's a shame the band have thrown away their future by taking on Attila as a manager."

GJ *** GB **** JH ***** aggregate star rating **** Garry Johnson/Garry Bushell/Jerry Harris

Sounds, Sept 10, 1983

* it was Garry Bushall, who's political beliefs changed overnight when he got the job at The Sun. It was really the only publication his writing style (sic) suited and the only publication who would have him! click here to see reference

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Simon Lomond-Demon Drummer with a smile like a frog