Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Punk Territory: Great Britain 1979-1982

This is for Dead Wretched. Recently, one member of that band in a polite and decidedly unpunk manner requested another blogger take down his post of their single, in light of their up-coming re-issue. Rather than jeopardize the sales of any one's re-issue (sadly, one of my favourite words in the English language), I won't post the single either. Instead, I'll offer up this long-out-of-print bootleg, which, along with a boat load of what's called UK '82 punk, just so happens to include the mysteriously wonderful, "No Hope for the the Wretched" by Dead Wretched.

In the early eighties "No Hope for the the Wretched" appeared, uncredited, cheek-by-jowl with Demob's "No Room For You"(see here) on a very formative mix tape. So this volume of Punk Territory seemed so apt to me, containing, as it does, both of those obscurities. At first listen, "No Hope For You" sounds mighty dour (and if there was one thing UK '82 excelled at, it was Dourness). And yet, it's got a perfectly baited hook that reels you in. Then, after snaring you, it releases you with a start, saying, "Despair not oh wretched one, you need only sing along".

Much of the rest of this comp fits squarely with UK '82, of which American super-punk Felix Von Havoc says, "Early 80's UK punk was catchy as hell; it has sing-a-long choruses and hooky riffs". He's right but while lots of these bands aimed for a punkified Motorhead roar, their recording budgets left them with tinny guitars that bled right into the cymbals in the mix. Still, there be highlights here, including Pseudo Exsistors' "Coming Up for Air" the Fun 4's disturbing pop-punk song, "Singing in the Shower" and Defiant Pose's Stiff Little Fingers-ish "Someone Else's War". Meanwhile, the not-without-their-charms Fits, "Listen to Me" kinda encapsulates everything that became cliched about UK '82.

Since I have a limited and fitful connection to this highly specific sub-genre, I'd like to entreat MRML readers to add their voice to this post by relating clever anecdotes, sordid gossip or other musical minutiae in the COMMENTS section.

Download Punk Territory Great Britain 1979-1982 CD


  1. Great stuff as ever Jeffen. That Demob vid is done too :-)

  2. I grew up with all the stuff that's retro-actively been labeled UK82 or Street Punk. Alot of it still holds up pretty well too.

    I was in a band in the 90's called The Subversives and we recaptured that feel pretty well (if I do say so myself!)

    I posted our first EP on my blog, check it out if you're into this kind of music.

  3. Okay, correct me if I'm wrong here but you guys were from the States (Minneapolis?) and you played in Winnipeg on one of your tours (maybe a singer named Brad?).

    If I'm remembering the right band, you guys were really good, you were like what Total Chaos pretended to be.

  4. Yep, we were from Minneapolis. Mike was the singer, I (Ollie, aka Brad) was the bass player. WE played Winnipeg twice, 3 times if you count the time Mike put together a different line-up of the band and played there once more.

  5. Yeah I'm pretty sure you know my friend Andy O., who used to play in the Umpires and the Horribles. I saw you guys once, it may even have been at Winnipeg's vaunted original punk haunt, Wellington's. It was a good show. I'll try to find a way to link up your Subversives post.

  6. Andy O. is a really good friend of mine! Small world in the internet world...

    I've ripped the 2 Subversives albums and will post them on my blog in the next few days. Feel free to repost if you want. Both Step-1 and Charged have given me the rights to the recordings, so share as much as possible.

  7. Yeah, Andy phoned to tell me about who you were just after I posted that comment.
    I'll keep linking to your Subversives posts!

  8. there were 5 volumes of punk territory cds

    two first parts are the best

    vol 1 us punk
    vol 2 uk punk
    vol 3 us hc
    vol 4 italian hc /demos and tapes/
    vol 5 mainly us and anstralian punk


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