Reviews

Secret

Chron Gen Jet Boy, Jet Girl EP

Super lame. Boring songs, weak guitar, and a general lack of imagination make this a waste of vinyl. CHRON GEN were much better on their debut EP, before they allowed themselves to be overproduced. Live and learn.

Chron Gen Chronic Generation LP

CHRON GEN’s debut album derives most of its influences from CHELSEA circa ’78, though without as many of the catchy melodies to depend on. Originals like “Reality,” “Chronic Generation,” and “Mindless” are the class offerings here, but it’s odd that all of these appear on past singles. Nonetheless, the bonus free live EP is excellent, hinting at the excitement of their tight, powerful live performances.

Chron Gen Outlaw EP

CHRON GEN’s polished ’77-style pop-punk may not be very exciting to listen to, but their emphasis on accessibility and politically astute lyrics make this EP an above-average one. “Outlaw” draws an especially convincing point on fashion vs. content in contemporary punk, while “Behind Closed Doors” addresses the subject of abortion somewhat ambiguously.

Infa-Riot The Winner / School’s Out 7″

By no means special, but a vast improvement over their first heavy metal-punk release. Increased speed is the differentiating factor rather than improved songwriting.

Infa-Riot Still Out of Order LP

This release ranks right up there with those of the 4-SKINS and ANTI-PASTI (Caution in the Wind LP) in the contest to see which English band can put out the worst album. Mediocre material, a mundane instrumental attack, flat production, and generic Oi themes make this duller than an overused razor. “In for a Riot” and “Boot Boys” are decent new tracks, but you know something’s wrong when a hoary old MOTORS’ cover like “Emergency” sounds real strong. Zzzz…

The 4-Skins Low Life / Bread or Blood 7″

Surprisingly good for these normally boring Oi-sters. “Low Life” is twice as powerful as anything on their awful LP, and damn catchy to boot. Louder guitars and soccer choruses pull this one up by its braces.

The Business Smash the Disco’s EP

Generic Oi with a five-year-old theme and a banal sound. Too little, too late.

The Exploited Attack / Alternative 7″

The new release by the UK version of the PLASMATICS may contain the best song they’ve ever written (“Alternative”), with its snappy hook-laden chorus, raw power, and—perhaps strangest of all—intelligent lyrics. Unfortunately, the flip exemplifies their usual mediocre standards.

The Exploited Troops of Tomorrow LP

Lots of really fast HC stuff here, but you can’t tell what they’re singing about—no lyrics sheet. But maybe it’s better this way. I’m afraid to know what these “geniuses” are saying. Cover says it all.

The Exploited Computers Don’t Blunder / Addiction 7″

A lot’s been said about this band being a bunch of moronic yahoos, much of it probably justified, but on this record there’s evidence to the contrary. “Computers Don’t Blunder” is a great anti-militarist song about the possibility of technology-induced holocaust. The B-side is as strong an anti-drug song as you’ll find. The music is fast and powerful.

The Gonads Pure Punk for Row People EP

Very clever and very funny, but all too typical from a music standpoint. Except for the thrashed-out “Got Any Wrigley’s John?”, it’s the humor that makes this one stand out. (Not the award-winning title: “I Lost My Love to a UK Sub.”)

The Gonads Peace Artists EP

Despite Dig’s valuable warning that the GONADS are a phony Bushell non-band, I can’t help liking this ridiculous funnypunk offering, with its soccer choruses, punky guitar, and cocktail-party piano. All Bushell is good for is a few laughs over a beer, but this is clearly the best medium for his antics. A knee-slapper from a double-dealing rip-off artist; it should be taped, not purchased.

V/A Britannia Waives the Rules 12″

One cut each by EXPLOITED, CHRON GEN, and INFA-RIOT. All I can say is, “Bring back SHAM 69!” Secret must have the worst taste in punk.

V/A Oi! Oi! That’s Yer Lot! LP

The fourth and supposedly final Oi compilation LP is far from the best. In fact, I’d say they’re scrapping the bottom of the barrel here. Aside from fetching cuts by the BUSINESS, the OPPRESSED, ATTAK, SKIN GRAFT, and our own BLACK FLAG, as well as a magnificently funny poem by ATTILA THE STOCKBROKER (“Away Day”), the res is pretty disposable. Gary Bushell’s silly liner notes are well in character, but he’s got a lot of cheek trying to force BLACK FLAG into an idiotic Oi mold.