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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Review: Charged GBH - The Clay Years 1981 - 1984

The Clay Years: 1981 - 1984 compiles 14 tracks from one of the better 2nd wave UK street punk bands who started off a bit tribal (good) and ended up metal (bad), as was the way back in the day. Along with The Exploited and (bloody rectal) Discharge they gave the world the apocalyptic rooster look kept alive by crusties, trendies and unemployed kids who want to stay that way.

Clay was their first record label and the cd is a collection from singles and such. "Time Bomb" and "City Baby Attacked By Rats" are perennial toe-tappers, and at their best GBH could rev up and change direction with sureness. They were good musicians who could create a big sound.

On the down side GBH wrote a number of songs incomprehensible besides a few words and phrases, making it a tough call if a song like "Christianized Cannibals" is anything more than a bizarre word grouping. Normally I wouldn't point this out but their socio-political songs sometimes boiled down to the titles, which were screamed. Does the song then boil down to a screamed phrase?


Anonymous New Evolutionist said...

Saw them in '84 or '85. Probably the last punk show I ever went to, as I don't particularly like dodging flying ashtrays.

I remember them as being slightly better than The Exploited, which wouldn't be difficult, but incredibly low-brow. That "Big Women" was a classy tune, though.

5:29 AM

Blogger Emerson said...


I was wondering what happened to you. I'd never guess you were a fan of this stuff too.

The last street punk show I went to was around 1997. What a freak show that was. Have a rumble or enjoy a concert. Why are the two always being mixed?

7:57 AM

Anonymous New Evolutionist said...

Well, we were all young once. Supposedly.

I tended to only borrow punk albums from friends and acquaintances. Hey, I was (selectively) anti-corporatist before it was kewl!

8:25 AM

Anonymous New Evolutionist said...

Spoke too soon: saw The Meatmen on their "Rock and Roll Juggernaut" tour, although by then, they were closer to being a glam band.

I had the great honour and privilege of urinating next to Tesco Vee. Er, in the bar washroom, that is.

8:45 AM

Blogger Emerson said...

I'd love to know what became of Mr. Vee. I went to a Halloween party at his house once and he had a used toy store too in an old house in Maryland.

9:18 AM


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