Thursday, April 02, 2009

ANTI-NOWHERE LEAGUE: 1987 - The Perfect Crime (Griffin Records)

Remember the old days, when Punk Rock bands played Punk Rock and we all knew where we were?
No, of course you don't. Everyone sells out in the end don't they. Obvious exceptions are people like Crass and the like who bred inverse snobbery of the finest order before they disappeared up their own orifices.
The Anti Nowhere League were the best Punk Rock band on the planet, and brought out what has to be one of the essential Punk Rock Albums ever in "We are the league". They also had a refreshing philosophy and attitude to life which came across in interviews with the band in their early days. Unfortunately, they decided that their direction of diversity lay in becoming the next U2/Big Country soft rock/pop sensations.......and didn't make it. Whether it was their original fans deserting them, or the fickle nature of the music industry which brought about their downfall, who knows. The only certain thing is that this album didn't sell very well at all when it was released.
That really is a crying shame because it is a superb slice of 80s rock. Admittedly the meat cleaver guitar has been overshadowed by lilting keyboard strains, but the songs just go to show how clever and talented this band were. Hearing "Crime" and "Branded" played live by the reformed League in the 90s with loud guitars and no keyboards shows that a lot of the change on this album came from the mixing and production.
Fans of 80s pop/rock will probably enjoy this album, but fans of the first album and the reformed band's new release "Scum" may find it a little clinical and overproduced.

tRaCk lIsTiNg
1. Crime
2. Atomic Harvest
3. On the Waterfront
4. Branded
5. (I Don't Believe) This Is My England
6. The Johannesburg
7. Shining
8. Working for the Company
9. The System
10. Curtain

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