Saturday, September 19, 2009

One Way System: Jerusalem

Y'know for all it's anti-New Romantic talk, a lot of UK '82 era punk was just as peacock-ish in it's fashion-mongering as any member of Duran Duran. Lancashire's One Way System (Gavin Whyte on vocals, David Ross guitar, Gaz Buckley bass & Tom Couch on drums) represent this early eighties punks on postcards era pretty flamboyantly. Whyte's mohawk is perfectly coiffed, Ross looks like a possible member of the Alarm, Couch looks a football hooligan and Buckle (check out that hat!) is pretty New Romantic himself. Fashion aside, One Way System did write some pretty ripping anthems, "Jerusalem" first and foremost amongst them.

Can't say what this song from 1982 is all about but at some point upon their return visit to that Biblical city, "All the water's gonna turn to beer". However, with that simple, punishing chorus powered by a stuttering riff and a relentless rhythm section (plus there's a quintessential punk rock break-it-down section just before they sprint to the finish line) this song is is pure nitro glycerin.

Download Jerusalem 7"

If you like the single, go to the ever-dependable Captain Oi! for more One Way System.


  1. If I remember correctly the song Jerusalem was about a bar with that name and not the city. Then again I may be full of shit. My memory isn't what it once was.

    I went to London in 2001 and was lucky enough to be there for the Punk Aid festival. One Way System played although the guitar player was the only original member. They pulled off the old songs quite well, but all of the new stuff sounded like generic American hardcore. It seems that happened to alot of those English bands that got back together.

  2. Thanks jeffen.

    Do you know of any compilations of punked-out Slade covers? Seems like there were quite a few of "Cum on..." and "Mama..." anyways!

  3. Oliie
    Makes a whole lot more sense, the image of OWS touring the Holy Land seemed a bit much.
    I'm not sure who I'd go see from this era, though I did try to go and see the Exploited in '90 but they canceled.

  4. bio
    There isn't such a comp (that I'm aware of) but if you ever compile one - I'd put it up here post fuckin' haste.

  5. Hmm. Let's brainstorm the comp. You've got the Crack ("Cum on Feel the Noize"), the Oppressed (an entire EP of Slade covers)...

  6. The 4Skins did 'Cum On Feel The Noize', 'Merry Xmas Everybody' and supposed to have done 'Thanks for the Memory' (but I haven't heard it...)

    Discipline also do 'Cum On Feel The Noize'

    I can remember hearing versions of 'Cos I Love You' and 'How Does It Feel', but never knew who did either of them.

  7. I often wondered what the song was all about, probably what helped make it such a good song as well as the chorus and hooks. Brilliant track.

  8. Adny / Bio

    I've tracked down most of those, maybe I'll put out an "all-call" to see if anyone has anything to add - if we could get ten songs, we're good to go.

    (Of course this comp could be punk-glam' and could include stuff like "Quick Joey Small" and "ballroom Blitz""...)

    Yeah,it being about a club makes perfect sense (but it might've helped if the place had been named The Jerusalem or Jerusalem's..)

  9. "Jerusalem" kicks ass! Next rock walk I'm borrowing some One Way System...please?

  10. Won't Andy O. be excited to have a conversation about the virtues of the One Way System discography!


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