I think it has been about a year since we last heard from Northern punk rock crew Anger Without Reason and since then and the release of EP ‘Retaliate First’ they have had a bit of a shuffle in their ranks. We have a new drummer in the group and it looks like the old bassist has gone too with singer Fraser stepping in to take up double duties. Glad to see them back and by the sound of this they will be raring to go and play live again and throw plenty of new music our way.
I like this lot as they are one of the few newer bands playing a good style of proper punk, the way it was intended, not what the bloody kids call punk these days. Formed from the ashes of Deadlock (UK) they have kept their vision constant and the cut and paste style of their cd’s are without pretension, without the needy clamour of a band wanting nothing but to be signed to a ‘real’ label and without anything but thoughtfulness paid to the lyrics and the music itself.
The opening guitar line of ‘The Rising Of The Dark’ has an Amebix sort of feel about it which chugs into a bouncy and simplistic punk rhythm pogoing around singer Fraser’s gruff delivery. The production is rough around the edges but perfect as it gives a stripped down feel about things, allowing everything to be heard properly in the mix. Tools are downed and there is a sombre melody between fits of aggression and it’s a catchy song that throws you around, gives some nice thick bass lines and a scorching guitar solo before it is done. More visceral in the guitar scything we have ‘Psalm 316: Promises And Lies’ and the new drummer shines through giving things a tribal beat and powering his way through things. There is definitely an Anarcho and post punk feel to this, the bass reminding me of early New Model Army and the song itself nodding towards the likes of Icons Of Filth with its poetic delivery. Loud gang shouts bolster ‘We Are Not Your Slaves’ shouting out the title in an act of defiance all so relevant in these days the same as they were 3 decades ago. Nothing has changed unfortunately and this is why songs like this need to be written and shouted to all that will heed their call. One criticism perhaps is that this particular song could have more of an impact if it were shortened a little. ‘The Black Inside’ does just that and with the lyrics “I could sing a happy song but that wouldn’t be me” being particularly perfect, I can imagine Dick Lucas doing this although perhaps twice as fast with the Subhumans and causing pit carnage with it.
I enjoyed this although I don’t reckon we have heard the best of the band yet and I am sure once they get the new line up totally in gear there is a revolutionary punk album in the making. Showing their credentials there is a particularly good classic cover here as an extra and if you don’t recognise it, fuck off and listen to Gallows you bitch!
(6/10 Pete Woods)