It was a strange time for music in western society in general. Disco was starting to flake out and the original Punk Rock movement was to face a test long term as well. Released in 1979, this album is now considered a classic for Punk Rock. Let’s take a look at this album, track by track, and see how it holds up today.
We begin with Suspect Device which begins with loud, raw guitars and screamed vocals. It sounds a lot like the Ramones, except it is pretty full-on. A decent tune regardless, and very short, at around two and a half minutes long. A good start to the album.
Next is State Of Emergency which has some excellent guitar riffs, before going into a snarling Punk Rock number. There is less screaming on this one, it just sounds raw, loud and excellent. Another good tune to listen to, this is quite in a genre of its own. A good listen.
Here We Are Nowhere comes next, and is a very quick number that is a good piece. Being less than a minute long, it is a short and bitter listen. Still, not bad to hear.
Wasted Life follows. It has an excellent intro, sounding a bit like The Who, before launching into a loud and Punk tune moaning against war and the sacrifice one could do for it. A very good song to listen to and this sounds like a full-on tune. Very short, it is only three minutes long. Great to hear.
Next is No More Of That. This begins with a weird guitar intro, before launching into another really good tune. There is less screaming here, and more singing instead. This music is very simple and is designed to be a sonic assault on the senses. Excellent song.
Following is Barbed Wire Love which has a nice feel to it. This is a more human-sounding Punk Rock piece, referring to being tangled up in the said barbed wire love. This is a short and excellent Punk Rock piece. In the middle, drum rolls begin and harmonies enter for this part of the song. This is a highlight of this album, and brutal guitars lead us onto the second half of this song. Cool piece of music. Interesting use of lyrics here.
White Noise comes next. It has a guitar and drum roll intro, before launching into a blisteringly fast piece that sounds really good. Totally underrated, and an excellent Punk Rock tune. The screaming at the end is excellent, and some synthesized “white noise” leads us into the next track.
Breakout is a more Pop sort of oriented piece. Less screaming, more melodic music is here instead. This music is impressively simple and good to hear. It’s not always screamed vocals and fast instrumentation, there is a sense of good music and arrangement here. Still very Punk Rock though, this is groundbreaking.
Following is Law And Order which has some chugging guitars and anti-authoritarian moaning in it. It is a superb musical piece, both musically and lyrically. Another good tune to hear, this one is a longer song from this album, at around three minutes long. The guitar solo here is fantastic. A top tune to hear, and still sounds good today.
Next is Rough Trade which begins with a chugging guitar part, before the rest of the band follow. It is a really good listen and is an excellent piece of music. No doubt underrated an album, this is really awesome. The musicality here is excellent to hear. Loud, raw and uncompromising, just like Punk Rock should be. Chanting against lies at the end, superb tune.
Johnny Was begins with a marching drum sort of sound, before having a loud and dirty Punk Rock riff enter. This is a long piece (for this album anyway) at over eight minutes long. This is a slow burner sort of piece but is an excellent listen regardless. The riffs throughout this song are very catchy. There is a simple guitar solo here to paint the picture of the song here. Noticeably, this song has a Reggae feel to it, which is interesting. The music here is quite odd, especially for this album. A very good song to listen to, and worth the length of time listening to it. The outro is very manic. Good tune.
Alternative Ulster comes next, which has some rather emotional sounding guitar riffs, before launching into a catchy song that is really good. It is a more song-like piece here and just sounds really excellent. Railing against authoritarianism, Stiff Little Fingers do well here. Not bad for a hit single.
Last on this album is Closed Groove, which begins with a strange sort of groove to it. It is a rather odd tune, with chanted vocals here to fit the song. It is a weird piece all right. This is a really weird piece of music. It builds up towards the end in a frenzy of passion and frenzy. It ends with a phone ringing, which is also weird.
This is a decent album, and despite being somewhat odd musically, it has plenty of room to shine as a recording. It is difficult to make sense of it musically, yet its loud guitars, screaming and sometimes intricate music is pleasing. A good album to hear, although perhaps short of being a great album. Great to hear something different regardless.