Sunday 16 October 2016

Album Reviews: Punk is not Dead: Broken Bones, GBH, Discharge - Classic Punk Rock re-issues on Westworld

Today I am doing a bundle review of a few punk reissues, I had the choice between 5 bands and I picked 3 of them. Now this is a bit of a trip to memory lane and at the risk of giving my age away I actually remember clearly the first issue for most of those albums. Broken Bones, GBH and Discharge were punk bands but they were more than that as they appealed to a large cross over audience thanks mainly to James Hetfield and a few others who were regularly sporting their T-Shirts in the early 80’s.

Discharge and Broken Bones were kind of well established within the HC and tape tradin’ scene while GBH was probably more punk in its approach whether in terms of looks or music, having said that they were and still are well respected and legendary combos in their own rights.

Broken Bones - CD1: Dem Bones / Decapitated, CD2: FOAD / Bonecrusher, CD3: Live at 100 Club
Released 24 June 2016 via Westworld Recordings

Broken Bones: you need to have a great appetite for destruction as indeed the cake is big there with 3 CDs (The third one is live @ 100 Club). Described as hardcore punk, crossover trash or crust punk band, the tribe from Stoke on Trent is led by Anthony "bones" Roberts, a transfuse from Discharge. It is melodic enough and tribal at times with pure punk vocals. Bone Crusher with its Cherokee rhythm or the hypnotic live version of Secret Agent on CD2 will transport you back in time. But my all-time favourite is obviously the iconic Dem Bones followed quickly by the frenetic anthem Kick Down the Doors. A great recap for an erratic and spread out discography for a band who has helped forging and influencing the identity of the first trash metals bands.

GBH -Punk Singles 1981-1984
Released 17 June 2016 via Westworld Recordings

GBH or Charged GBH for the purists, past the City Baby aspect of the titles of their albums or the legendary Iroquois hair style from Lead vocalist Colin... GBH a street punk group that has always impressed me with their ability to craft punk singles under 2 minutes and today’s reissue is a collection of their singles from 1981 to 1984. I hope you will be listening to Dead On Arrival or the fantastic Sick Boy. You may opt for the happy Four Men which shows how mature or musical GBH could be when they wanted to be but I must say it was great to rediscover 2.52 minutes of pure GBH style with Give Me Fire. This one does personify what this great band has been to the 80’s and beyond.

Discharge - Massacre Divine
Released 17 June 2016 via Westworld Recordings

Discharge. At first I did not like that band and it took me a while to appreciate them. They were too hard rock and I did not like the voice which can be irritating at times... But Grave New World was probably more influential and cross over than what any other punk bands had produced at the time. Check out Love Believe or We Dare Speak and you will hear some bridges and recognize some musical constructions that many bands would use later. With an almost Glamour Punk sound this band is definitely cult but the purists would call me an heretic if I was not referring to their utmost influence on Metallica and Sepultura to name a few.

Overall: Punk’s Not Dead
If I was to Pick 3 Only: GBH Sick Boy / Broken Bones Dem Bones/ Discharge We Dare Speak
Live Test: Energy, destruction and…. musicianship would you believe!!!

Pascal Derrien for RockChickenz

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