Beat the System

Antisocial Official Hooligan EP

A well-done UK Oi 7″, the third from this band. It’s musically good, great production-wise, but lyrically confused, to say the least. There are good anti-police and anti-government songs, but the pro-violence “Battle-Scarred Skinheads” put a chill down my spine. For those who don’t care.

External Menace Youth of Today EP

Good basic Britpunk. Nothing here is quite up to the high standard set by EXTERNAL MENACE on the Total Anarchy compilation, but “Don’t Conform” has exceptionally heartfelt lead singing, and there’s a great chorus in “Someday.” Worth several spins.

Uproar And the Lord Said “Let There Be!” LP

Fast punk and thrash that’s well-produced and snappy. The guitars sound great here (as they do on most English recordings), and the songs have that little extra something that makes them memorable. A pretty good album from the UK.

Uproar Rebel Youth EP

Reasonably fast Britskunk that sounds a bit too much like GBH for my taste. Still, the title song is particularly hot, with its great sing-along choruses and classy guitar frills; “No War No More” is almost as good. Likable, but not groundbreaking.

V/A Total Anarchy LP

Well, I didn’t know that “total anarchy” was a marketable commodity, but here it is. And the usual show, tedious punk-by-numbers in the grooves exudes the safe, commercialized form of “anarchy” that punk is increasingly coming to represent—all stylized form and no real content, all superficial slogans and no real ideas or action. The only cuts with any punch are the two by Death Sentence (both already released), one by CHAOTIC YOUTH (“Don’t Take Their Shit”), and one by EXTERNAL MENACE (“External Menace”). Otherwise, yecchh! Anyone want some cheap coffee-table anarchy?