It’s quite amazing that we managed to be so productive with a few quid, a glue stick and copious amounts of drugs.
This third trawl through London’s DIY post-punk scene is one of the strongest Messthetics volumes to date and reveals once again that punk’s most fertile legacy was to present music as an uncompromised mode of expression that could be embraced by allcomers.
The egalitarianism of indie record shops, squats and disaffected school kids helped to present everyone with the opportunity to record and release their sometimes crude but often compulsive songs. Of course, there are a few acts whose efforts it might have been kinder to leave in the attic, but the jewels unearthed (again!) by Messthetics make this reissue exercise culturally invaluable; you might wonder how you lived without The Jangletties’ punk paean to drugs, Happy All The Time, or the insistent mod pop of The Steppes’ God’s Got Religion, for example.
It’s worth buying this CD (a mere $11) for the sleevenotes alone, which provide a fascinating archive of DIY’s communal spirit and a glimpse into the early lives of luminaries such as music mogul Andy Ross and Alabama 3’s Reverend Wayne D Love.