by VICE SQUAD
El Grande taken from PUNK ROCK RADIO ( bonus disc ) by VICE SQUAD
Online Review by PUNK WORLD;
Vice Squad's 2009 release 'London Underground' was always going to be a tough act to follow, so when they re-released their 2006 album 'Defiant' in a re-mastered format with 5 bonus tracks I assumed that they were struggling to come up with the follow up to 'London Underground'.
Then 'Punk Rock Radio' landed on my desk and the brilliant sleeve artwork suggested that they'd managed to at least match their previous album.
If anything, 'Punk Rock radio' is even better. The album kicks off with 'Stuck in Reverse' which gallops along like a Punk Motorhead with resonating guitars and vocals split between the rough and the angelic.
Next 'Punk is the Blues', an absolute killer of a track with a huge riff and equally huge chorus, which bewails the rigors of touring ' up four flights with a heavy load, always broke always on the road '. So Punk is the blues of today ' and you've gotta suffer ' roars Beki into a classic Rooney guitar solo.
This is followed by the title track, 'Punk Rock Radio ', where Beki declares ' We don't do quiet, don't do slow ' , the song superbly mixes melody with aggressive drums and clanking bass.
' End Of The Line ' is a tribute to the victims of the July 2007 London bombings and to Jean Charles de Menenez who was killed as a suspected terrorist by police in Stockwell, South London. It aptly rushes along like a tube train while tongue-twisting lyrics like ' Backward boy, suicide bomb, claustrophobic crammed so tight morning rush to eternal night ' suggest that Beki and guitarist Paul Rooney are pretty much peerless as songwriters in the punk genre as each less-than-three-minutes gem proves.
Next up is ' Seventies Misogyny ' which delivers the painful truth loud and clear, that women in general are still treated like bits of fluff, whether they be ' Doctors, lawyers or Punk Rockers '.
' Sick Of Being Poor ' is bang on target for recession Britain and manages to be instantly catchy whilst delivering a serious message.
' Advance Britannia ' hits the message home further as Beki grieves for England's lost dream, ' Justice and integrity are sacrificed anew, don't ask me what the country's coming to '. The final choruses are lifted skywards by a neat string arrangement , making it a fitting new National Anthem.
Then comes light relief in the form of the hilarious ' Him Indoors ', complete with farts, snores and other masculine grunts, this one will be a huge hit with female fans. '
LA Low ' continues in a light hearted vein, threatening Californians with an invasion of manic depressive pasty faced Brits ' We shall over run with our English sense of fun, depressing everyone'.
Then the glorious 'Punk Rocker', the unoriginal title belies the anthemic chorus, as Vice Squad sing the praises of die-hard punks ' full time shocker aint no sucker, Westend Camden Town, wears his colours, pure Punk Rocker, never try to put him down'
'Done Before' bounds along nicely while warning us that history repeats itself and that Britain is going backwards.
'Are You Looking At Me' is an absolute cracker of a song with a great twist on an old saying ' judging a book by the way that it looks only proves you don't know how to read ' . The huge chorus should strike a chord with anyone whose appearance varies from the norm.
'UK OK' takes a nostalgic look at old school punk but declares that punk is equally relevant today, and that though 'Summer fashion's fade' Vice Squad won't go away.
El Grande, Burden of the State, There's Always One and Catchy Song.
Latest Vice Squad releases can be purchased online from the band's online store in London England. The label is 100% DIY and you support Vice Squad directly by supporting them.
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