Kicker Pure Drivel LP

Driven by totally lethal, near-perfect buzzsaw guitar leads, KICKER’s third LP narrows in a little sonically closer to some of its UK82 anarcho-punk inspiration—CRASS, SUBHUMANS, and just a pinch at times of RUDIMENTARY PENI weirdness—by thinning the recording in the right places, and drawing back to an apropos, basic sturdy drum sound while still giving their inventive bass lines space to meander. Pete the Roadie’s (now even more) gnarled vocals spew and swagger over the top, flopping comedic and ironic missives that retain a distinctly personal feel. While some are sarcastic disbelief about common punk topics like nuclear annihilation, the inanity of mass media, or killers in the news, most are red-card day-to-day things like not being able to sleep, wankers on the bus, and escaping the city. The charm of these ten sarcastic songs is that while they offer no solutions, they do provide relatable camaraderie in shaking your head, raising your fist, and singing along in mirth and outrage as you spill your beer. “Goodnight and Fuck Off,” the quasi-soul hallraker that ends the record, might tip the hand that a member of SCHLONG has joined the band (!). Packaged in a nice gatefold sleeve with colored vinyl, there are fewer catchy hits here than their previous outings, but the ten tracks trade off for far more settled consistency in one of their strongest footings.