GBH

Great Britain Hardcore? No! Grievous Bodily Harm? Wrong Again! Gooey Bitch Horse.
*special introductory paragraph!
*Leather, Bristles, No Survivors And Sick Boys.
*City Baby Attacked By Rats
*City Baby's Revenge
*Race Against Time: The Complete Clay Recordings
*Oh No! It's GBH Again EP
*Midnight Madness And Beyond...
*No Need To Panic!
*Wot A Bargin' EP
*A Fridge Too Far
*From Here To Reality
*Live In Japan
*Church Of The Truly Warped
*Punk Junkies
*Ha-Ha
*Cruel & Unusual
*Perfume And Piss

As I mentioned in my COC reviews, I was introduced to GBH by a tape I borrowed from Kiron Cheema in high school. Half of City Baby Attacked By Rats was located anonymously at the end of COC's Animosity and my mind was blown. Splattered against the driver side window. When I got out of the hospital, I hunted it down and then bought all their albums. Turns out that most of the others suck pretty severely. It's hardcore punk rock. Sometimes slower midtempo punk rock. Sometimes metallic punk rock. All you really need to know is that there are some Mohawks in the band. As a result, they are a British punk rock band.


Leather, Bristles, No Survivors And Sick Boys. - Clay/Combat 1982.
Rating = 9

This is a collection of early singles and EPs, and already they've Got The Knack! Which isn't to say they sound like The Knack. They don't at all. I guess I kind of blew that one.

At this point in my career, G.B.H. went by "Charged G.B.H.," although even their later albums can be Charged at most chain stores. They had a very bright, shiny, welcoming guitar tone - very buzzy and fuzzy and orange and copper and filled with light (some might say TOO much light - I don't doubt that this high-end bassless effect has given a headache to at least one or two musical fans). And the singer guy (who sounds about as Oi! as John Stamos) sings every song in one note, yet somehow makes it seem like he's creating melody! This is because the one note IS an actual note - he's not speaking like Lou Reed or some other worthless dinky wrinkled pretentious old fuck like that; he actually IS singing that one note.

And what a note it are! The only deviation from this note is "Am I Dead Yet?," which gives the listener a bit of insight into why he may have decided to stick to a solitary note in all the other songs. Not that he's a bad singer - it's just that this kind of music doesn't need a whole lot of notes. The appeal lies in the "boom-chick, boom-chick" punk rock (not as fast as hardcore, but like twice the speed of the Ramones - half-notes instead of quarter-notes or some crap? You're a drummer - you tell me.), which is just FILLED with catchy as hell three-chord riffs, not to mention more energy than a cowboy waving his neutered penis at an Indian squaw.

Lyrically, they enjoy predictable anti-war, anti-police messaging, but they don't wade around in a bottomless creek of seriousness - they also like to winge about seXXX, painting humorous photogs of guys who screw their dead mothers, adore fat women and lust after schoolgirls (I would know nothing of 2 of these 3 vices). A couple of the songs sound just like the others but without being catchy at all ("Lycanthropy," for example features a worthless metallic riff and stupid lyrics about werewolves, probably in an attempt to win the band Gary Busey's role in Stephen King's Academy-Award-Winning Silver Bullet film). But enough about this album that isn't City Baby Attacked By Rats.

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* City Baby Attacked By Rats - Combat/Clay 1982. *
Rating = 10

One of my favorite albums of all time. It's just like the stuff on the last album, just without ANY downtime. Every song on here is high speed and high catchy. Once I put it on, I can't take it off until about halfway through the final song ("Bellend Bop" is catchy as hell, but it's also way too damn long at like five minutes). It's everything the Ramones excelled at, just sped up faster and without Joey Ramone's vocal lessons. Some of the songs even feature weirdass drum/guitar rhythms ("Passenger On The Menu") and excellently head-bashing drum breaks (the title track). With the fuzzed, muzzed distorted guitar tones just as screamingly chorusingly loud and ringing as before. How's about them applets?

Lyrically, they continue in the same part-political/part-humorous vein, singing songs about sluts and guys who want to make love to said whores and guys who lust after schoolgirls - ah gah gah! "Sick Boy" is on here! That was on the last one! Ah gah gah!

But when I say "ah gah gah," am I protesting? Or am I laughing in a Popeye-esque manner? Only my paleontologist will ever know for sure.

Why don't you own this album yet, you frig? How willst thee ever understand my love for high-speed punk rock if you haven't heard "Time Bomb"? Or endless energy-thon "Bellend Bop," whose title is a euphemism for making sex occur? Or anxious "Passenger On The Menu," with its incessant rat-a-TAT rat-a-TAT drum-and-guitar beat? My eyes are filled with the distorted wonder of a band that fills every single punk song on this album with the finest, most energetic two- and three-chord sequences a band of Britoners could pen without the stench of their disgusting, crooked, rotting teeth making them vomit all over the notepaper. Angry - exuberant - cathartic - mean - aggressive - silly - fast - loud - RULES! Hell, even my fiance loves it, often singing to our puppy, "Henry Henry - Attacked By Rats!" See, Henry loves chasing rats and, what with us being in New Yawk, New Yawk and all, this is not necessarily a rare experience. Hence the enormous hit dance single, "Henry Henry - Attacked By Rats!" by Britney Spears.

Reader Comments

sandlwillis@aol.com
Yeah, you're right - City Baby Attacked By Rats is a classic punk LP. But you may not have heard the double CD package called 'The Clay Recordings 81-84' - 30 tracks, including all the greats (Sick Boy, No Survivors, Give Me Fire, Generals, City Baby parts 1 & 2, Big Women etc). If you own this, basically you don't need to own anything else by the band.

catalan@tepic.megared.net.mx (Ernesto Catalan)
"City Baby Attacked By Rats" is also one of my all time favorite punk/hardcore albums. It featured a very decent production (evry instrumente is loud and clear, yet at the same time, it's not squeaky clean). The songs are probably the catchiest tunes the band ever penned in their entire career. Their brand of hardcore was THE format of hardcore to follow here in Mexico, to the point of becoming nauseating. Anyway, I think GBH belongs to to the musical class of fellow brits The Exploited and Discharge. While not as dead searious nor metallic as Discharge nor as campy as The Exploited, GBH managed to carve a niche all their own. The pure rawness of songs like, "The Prayer of The Realist", "Maniac", "Sick Boy", "Slut", "Gunned Downed" and the awesome title track will have you pogoing all day. If you ever attempt to buy this album, just take into notice one thing: apparently I bought a "re-issue", back in 1999, that featured 4 or 6 bonus tracks (from their "Leather, Bristles, Studs" compilation album), but the sound of the album appears to have been remixed. The snare drum sounds way up in the mix and with a kind of annoying tin sound. And the Bass guitar is completely erased during the mid section of "The Prayer Of The Realist". It seems somebody complained and the album was once more reissued with the original mix (thank god!). I plan to get that one and you should too!!!

princess_vachtangov@yahoo.com
It's so stupid when people label you based on what they think you will always like. Like when people call you "that punk rock guy". A guy whose vast record collection runs the gamut from Van Halen to Axl Rose? Is that fair? A man’s complex affections and sympathies cannot be expressed by a single narrow definition, even if he does automatically give a ten to every record that answers that definition. It's like these "Recommended for you" videos that YouTube puts up as if a stupid machine could understand my complex affections. For example, what is the first video it proposes I should watch? "Monkey shaking his dong". Way to go, youtube, you summed up my entire being by some weird zoophilic perversion! But look just a little further, and something entirely different is revealed: Video 2. “Monkey looking at his dong”. Video 3. “Monkey rubbing his dong”. Jesus Christ. I just looked for "monkey dong" ONCE! I just wanted to know what it looks like! Now I’m going to get monkey dong videos force-fed for the rest of my life?!?

Oh well, forget that. What I wanted to say is that this is just an average punk record and it shouldn't get a 10. Actually, the only thing that makes it stand out is that two of the songs are ripped off from the Byrds’ I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better (most punk records have 6 or 7). How would Dave Clark feel if he’d find out that his beatiful song has been retitled “Slut”? For that matter, how would Dave Clark feel to find out that he was in the Byrds? But being a crippled war veteran, I can’t be expected to backspace and correct that. Just like John McCain can’t be expected to correct “I am a maverick” to what he originally wanted to type, “I am a moron”.

(Hmm, weird how when you’re listening to exciting music (not GBH), the things you write don’t seem to make any sense at all. Is that what it feels like being drunk?)

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City Baby's Revenge - Relativity 1983.
Rating = 8

Because the GBH album "City Baby's Revenge" is so goddamn boring, I, Mark's fiance, have decided to write a review of the Burt's Bees(TM) product "Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme" instead. This will give Mark a much-needed hiatus from the high-pressure record review business and allow him to rest, recollect, and write better and more insightful reviews for you about the album "Oh No! It's GBH Again" (which is probably titled that because "Revenge" sucks so fucking much. And hey, that's hard to say considering "City Baby Attacked By Rats" is one of my favorite songs, almost as magical in my mind as the self-written and unrecorded "Who's my HenBenBenBenBen," which is about the dog that belongs to Mark and me.

But enough - I forge on into the review of "Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme." I was purchasing olive oil soap, Suave antibacterial soap, Colgate Total "Fresh Stripe" toothpaste, and Reach brand toothbrushes at the local Ricky's NYC store (highly recommended for their collection of unusual hair and skin products!), when I spotted the Creme at the checkout counter. The packaging is simply adorable: peach, red, and yellow with an illustration of lemons on the lid. I smelled it; it seemed agreeable; I purchased. Yet when I brought it home and massaged it into my ravaged cuticles (which suffer greatly from cleaning dog piss out of the bathtub because we're too cheap to put our dog in daycare), the Creme did not live up to expectations. The scent, once applied, was too close to the cloyingly false lemon smell of Pledge dusting spray. The texture of the Creme - too gritty. The moisturizing properties were practically nonexistent. The hand-feel starts out greasy, but quickly wears off leaving your cuticles feeling drier than before. Overall, this Creme is a disappointment, not worthy of your $3.99 (New York City retail price). Don't bother.

Hey, this is Mark again! Even though my fiance was kind enough to handle that last record for me because I'm feeling really sick and dizzy, I feel that I should probably say at least SOMETHING about it, since I don't hate it nearly as much as she does. See, apparently tiring of the awesome high-speed pogo wall of guitars that made the first album so incredible, they decided to try slower songs (midtempo) with more bass presence and an increase in lead guitar work, which unfortunately means that the punk rock guitarist basically demonstrates over and over again that he has learned a few basic scales since they recorded the last album. They're still extremely talented writers of riff rock though, and when they stick to the high-speed stuff that they're so amazing at ("Diplomatic Immunity," "See The Man Run" and precious few little times else), the songs are a total S'more. When they don't, they still generally hit the mark with neat emotional-sounding punk-metal pieces like "Womb With A View" and "Pins And Needles," which succeed almost solely because the chord sequences are repeated so damn many times, you have plenty of time to grow mesmerized by them. My fiance is pissed at me for writing so much about the album after she was so nice as to review "Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme" for me, so I'm gonna wrap this up by pointing towards the final track is a possible reason why they decided to slow down: it's a novelty song about smoking marijuana.

Reader Comments

nanja_monja@hotmail.fr
Are executives stupid enough to call a product "Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme"? It just doesn't sound right.

Gary Robinson
I just want to say that this is my favourite GBH album – so there! Ha ha. Now what was that cuticle cream again…..?

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Race Against Time: The Complete Clay Recordings - Sanctuary 2007
Rating = 8

"How could a band craft so many great songs out of so few chords?"

That's a question that many have asked about Yes over the years, but today I'd like to apply it to Britain's own G.B.H. Look at what this three-disc box set includes, along with my 1-10 rating of each one:

(NOTE: The first three releases also comprise the 9-worthy Leather, Bristles, No Survivors & Sick Boys LP)
Leather, Bristles, Studs & Acne EP - 8
"No Survivors" single - 9
"Sick Boy" single - 9
City Baby Attacked By Rats - 10
"Give Me Fire" single - 7
"Catch 23" single - 9
No Survivors: Live - 7
City Baby's Revenge - 8
Do What You Do EP - 5

The first eight grades are indicative of the high calibre of GBH's punk rock output during the first Reagan administration, and the final grade forecasts the garbage they would be writing for the next 15 years. Good job, Clay Records - you got rid of them just in time! Never again would GBH make music this visceral, exciting and hooky. Sweet goodness, so HOOKY! Check out these hooks:

(from "Passenger On The Menu"): "Got no choice - lost, alone/Eat the flesh, spit out the bones the bones the bones the bones the bones bones bones bones bones/SPIT OUT THE BONES!"

(from "Generals"): "We need you!/We need you!/We need you - to die for her"

(from "Necrophilia"): "No remorse!/Screw the corpse"

(from "Time Bomb"): "We got a time bomb!/We got a time bomb!/We got a time bomb!/Five-four-three-two-one-BOOM!"

(from "The Prayer Of A Realist"): "My God!/Your God!/Whose God?/There is no God!"

(from "Race Against Time"): "GO!"

(from...well...) "City baby! City baby! City baby!/ATTACKED BY RATS!"

See? If you've ever heard any of these songs, you're singing along with me right now. If you haven't, now's no time like the present! The tempos are speedy; the guitars are thick, orange, blanketing and loud; the vocals are human and welcoming; and the chord sequences are godlike -- even when they're only playing two chords!

I apologize for all the exclamation points, but I love these songs more than an egg loves a bird. City Baby Attacked By Rats has been one of my absolute favorite albums ever since I first encountered its first half recorded anonymously at the end of a friend's Corrosion of Conformity tape dub. "Who the hell is this great band at the end of the tape?" I asked. "I've no idea," she responded, sending me on the whirlwind months-long chase of a goose (this was in pre-Internet 1989) until one day I picked up an album at Eat More Records, scanned the track listing, and recognized such refrains as "Time Bomb," "Sick Boy," "Maniac" and "I Am The Hunted." "Eureka!" I exclaimed, impressing the other customers with my working knowledge of Greek. For some reason I didn't buy it though. Then it went out of print for 18 years.

Luckily another friend owned the cassette, so I made a dub, later lucked upon a used CD copy and so on - but now it's finally back in print, so you can buy it at a reasonable price and experience the same gust of cheerful punk rock wind that hits my body with every single listen to this very day! (except "Boston Babies," which isn't a very good song).

Not only that, but you also get all the early singles and their 'mature' second album, City Baby's Revenge. This album took a while to grow on me because it's not a non-stop adrenaline rush like its predecessor. Instead, the band experiments with slower tempos, punk-metal guitar lines, a wider variety of melodic emotion, and additional unexpected influences -- most notably in the honest-to-goodness BLUES PUNKER "Vietnamese Blues." City Baby's still doesn't blow the socks off my dick like City Baby, but it's a very strong punk-metal record, with guitar riffs ranking up there with the best of Government Issue.

After that, you may just want to turn the CD off. Do What You Do finds the band sinking into the mire of awful pop-punk and macho hard rock that would define their sound for the next two decades, and the live album was a mistake borne in Hell-land. How do you ruin 7 songs from the world's greatest album and another 7 from pre-Revenge singles? Why, by setting your guitar volume at 2, of course! Yes, it's certainly a treat to hear the bassist, drummer and singer of GBH running through their typical 1982 set list, but somehow... there's something missing....

Oh, I know what it is! The dominant and defining instrument of every single GBH song!

Also, although "I Am The Hunted" only contains two notes, Colin sings them both flat for the entire duration of the song. However, as an added bonus, they play "Alcohol" without the vocal modulation effects that I didn't mention before, but could have, as they were present in the original version.

The bottom line is that you'd have to be a coastal surgeon billionbutt to not buy this box set.

I know other people's dreams are boring, but this one was bloody so let me tell you about it. Last night I dreamt that I bought two t-shirts from one store, then went into another store. I didn't buy anything at the second store, but the fat hippie owner was afraid that my t-shirts would set off his alarm when I left, so he asked if he could cut off the tags. I agreed, and he proceeded to work on one of the tags with a razor blade, pushing the blade with his right hand and cutting towards his left thumb. As the dream progressed, he accidentally slammed the blade into his thumb over and over and over again, slicing huge lines and bloody chunks out of it as he tried to cut the tags off my t-shirts. By the time he gave them back to me, they were soaked in his lifesfluid. At one point, I even dream-shouted, "Cut AWAY from your hand!" but he wouldn't listen. And that's the moral of this review: buy this 3-disc set and listen.

Otherwise your thumb will end up a gory mess of veins and urine, you fuckin coastal surgeon billionbutt.

Best,
James D. McCormick
Majority Stockholder, The Phrase 'Coastal Surgeon Billionbutt'

P.S. If there are any movie producers out there, I have a great idea for a new film. There's this medical doctor working in a clinic by the ocean, see. And one day his anus begins ejecting 15K solid gold! I call it Co

- OUT OF PAPER -

Reader Comments

Jeffery Hoelscher
I haven't read this whole review. The beer makes it hard to concentrate for that long. But I have two things to say which likely aren't addressed in the latter half of the spew anyway. 1. It isn't 'We need you to die for her' it's 'Britain needs you...'. I might be wrong since I haven't listened to the record for over 20 years but I've got a knack for remembering useless information and it's written on the record sleeve (if I remember correctly) so there. 2. You may have but I don't think you have mentioned Colin's great two notes at one time vocals. This is something I can only do in the morning and no one wants to hear it then.

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Oh No! It's GBH Again EP - Combat 1984.
Rating = 4

It only has four songs. And three of them kinda suck. Collections of rank weak pop metal riffs that seem confused and disorderly, like the band is flopping around in a pot-induced haze trying to find something that works with as little effort as possible. Plus the mix is shit, with the drums overly reverbed and extra-loud like the worst of mid-80s independent punk-metal (Painted Willie, later TSOL, etc). The final song "Company Of Wolves" is a KICKASS punk rock tune though and should be played at wakes and baby showers to pep things up.

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Midnight Madness And Beyond... - Combat Core 1986.
Rating = 5

They start the record by reaffirming their love for HARD music (a song called "The Whole World's Gone Limpwristed"), but then follow it up with a bunch of midtempo two-chord songs, and a few high-speed punkers with riffs so non-existent, you'll be tempted to call Ghostbusters to help you find them and weed them out. Ghostbusters II might also be contacted. It's one thing to play simple hardcore tunes - you're playing so fast, they kind of have to be simple. But to just play simple little A-E combinations at half-speed just sounds like lack of songwriting talent. Not to mention the fact that the mix is crap (all the high-end stuff smashes into the drums, and there's this huge reverby annoying din covering the whole record) and every song has a guitar solo. Bland punk-metal, go your way! I'm tired of everybody telling me what to do! And all these lyrics are about stupid horror movie themes, like the Misfits but without very many good riffs! This is not something that should be occurring!!! Why in the name of Large Marge and Bill The Ukeauriear Giiiiiiih

My fish has had it with your ding-dong. Which reminds me - how did GBH go from ruling to sucking so quickly? I mean, the only band member they've ever replaced is the drummer. I just don't get it. There are definitely some catchy, awesome punk riffs on here ("Chance For Living," "How Come"), but just as often, they're plodding away at some boringass shit riff ("Blood," "The Seed Of Madness") at like half a mile an hour and piling on so many layers of crapass production that you feel like you're listening to the record on your school gymnasium's P.A.

This was pretty funny. I pooped in my pants at work today. I thought it was just a toot, but it turned out to be the squirts. Luckily I was in the bathroom at the time, so I could just laugh really hard, rip them off my body and throw them away, secure in the knowledge that nobody in the world will ever know about it.

Hey! Wait a minute!!!!

Reader Comments

leon_brewer@hotmail.com
midnight madness and beyound is my favorite GBH rechord and I loved blood and seed of madness and many others that mace it I think their best so fuckyou asssuckers

josephhiles@gmail.com
I enjoy reading your reviews but you must be one of those bitter failed musician types to go out of your way to talk crap about a band's entire 20 years worth of work. Especially a band that's been sticking to their guns outside of the mainstream despite changes in trends and things like that. GBH is a fast catchy punk band. This album doesn't sound metal. I like metal but this is catchy punk rock. It might have a slight metal feel because bands like Motorhead and Slayer have been influenced by this style of punk and incorporate it into their sound (Slayer even covered Sick Boy). Anyway this album even has a fun Rocky Erickson/Cramps style horror song. Its all in good fun and a great album. I recomend it to anyone who like the Ramones, Sex Pistols, The Damned, The Stooges, or anything like that. Great stuff. Quit hating.

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No Need To Panic! - Rough Justice 1987.
Rating = 3

More like No Need To Buy It!, if you ask me! Everything I said about the last album goes double for this one - sure, there's energy there but the chord sequences are SOOOOOOOO boring and forgettable, and the verse/chorus/middle part combinations seem like they were just thrown together in a drunken fit of stupidity. NOTHING goes together. Terrible production, boring songs and the singer is SINGING again. He probably did that on the last album too, but I forgot to listen for that.

My pal Christian and I used to point to the godawful pop-punk-metal song "Makin' Whips" as proof of the hideous, worthless ranks to which this formerly great punk rock band had sunk by 1987. It's on this album and it still sounds like Elvis Hitler or some piece of shit band like that. There are a few tiny moments of joy on here - basically a couple of silly soundbites, a few hard rock parts on side two and the fast, intense part of "Gunning For The President" (which, of course, goes away almost immediately). Howe'e'e'e'e'e'e'e'e'e'e'e'eq, I in all my finite wisdom tooth cannot come up with a single reason why anybody would like this album for any reason at all. Unless you're a Crimp Shrine fan, of course. Or you like that pop punk shim on Lookout Records. I'm not putting you down for liking it. I just don't understand. Please explain! There's a huge audience here waiting for you to explain why you like this record, and you're letting everybody down! Why must you be such a Fie?

Reader Comments

andreastokes@primus.ca
I think this album is fun. But those fuckin stupid soundbites slow it down. I hope they reissue the album minus the bites.

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Wot A Bargin' EP - Rough Justice 1988
Rating = 6

With GBH WOT A BARGIN, the UK's favorite punk-metal band again tried to THROW A BIG BANG, but once more proved themselves nothing but a GANG WORTH A BIB. Har har! But enough of my Anagram Record Reviews.

Oh okay, one more. METALLICA ST. ANGER = AMERICA'S LEGAL TNT or MA! RECTAL GENITALS! Har har! But enough of my Anagram Record Reviews. If it's REAL Anagram Record Reviews you're after, please visit Warm Voices Rearranged for your Daily Dose of the Clap-worthy anagram record reviews!

Now back to my raison d'etre -- Palindrome Record Reviews! GBH's WOT A BARGIN EP? PENI! GRAB A TOW! S'HBG!

The fact that I derive a considerable amount of enjoyment from two of these tracks (high-speed note-riffin' punk-metal "No One Cares" and cool Brats in Batallionsy hard rocker "Tipuki Thunder") makes me fear that I may have pulled a boner when I gave all these mid-period albums such low grades a decade ago. Urgh. Or maybe this one seems better because it has two great songs out of only four, rather than out of 10 or 12? Who knows; all I can tell you is that they kick some smart-riffed butt. Good ambition on the part of the guitar player! As for the other two tracks, "Infected" is jolly enough but seems kinda haphazardly pieced together, and "Checkin' Out" is the kind of corny 'Tuff Rock' punk-metal that my mind associates with all GBH records of this period. Am I wrong? Do you know? I sold all the surrounding albums years ago! Woe is me!

(Woe isn't really me.)

One thing must be said though, even if I already said it elsewhere on this page: as the band's instrumental skills progressed, Colin's vocals did not. And this is part of the reason that a lot of the band's more developed and metallic material sounds so awkward; he just says everything, as if the band were still blasting anthemic hardcore behind him.

Now back to my raison d'etre -- Marxist Record Reviews! GBH'S WOT A BARGIN EP IS SPELLED WRONG LIKE THE PROLETARIAT.

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A Fridge Too Far - Rough Justice 1989.
Rating = 4

The owners of poor punk-metal have returned with another collection of stupid cock rock riffs and abominably overused, stupid punk rock riffs. The mix is much better (no reverb!), but the songs aren't. But they do a cover of "Needle In A Haystack"! Why the heck would a British punk-metal band decide to cover "Needle In A Haystack"? That's just silly. And, because they didn't write it, it's one of the highlights of the album.

I've had the flu for four days now. Sometimes I wonder if I'm giving GBH such bad reviews because my sickness is affecting my feelings towards EVERYTHING. But then I listen a bit closer and realize they suck.

Reader Comments

andreastokes@primus.ca
I think this album is the best album since City babys revenge. The drumming is fast and clear. I will give pass the axe a 10.

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From Here To Reality - Restless 1990.
Rating = 6

Heavier and more thrashy than the earlier stuff, which gives some of the songs a cool "jigga-jigga-jigga" guitar thing, but all they've really done is move from mixing bad punk with `80s metal to mixing bad punk with `90s metal. There's some nice bass accentuation on here too, and the riffs seem a lot less stupid than they do on most of their albums. Boring? Sure. But at least they don't sound like a bunch of fifth-graders trying to make a "kickass" heavy metal album like they did before (and after!).

On shorps, this is the best album they've made since City Baby's Revenge and that's a sad, sad thing indeed.

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Live In Japan - Creative Man 1994
Rating = 5

When Colin Abrahall told me he was throwing a wing-ding in Japan to celebrate his whopping new platter From Here To Reality, I was flabbergasted. "What gets into you, Colin?" I complained. "Whenever you throw a wing-ding, you go along fine for just so long and then for no reason at all you throw an ing-bing. I'll be a dirty so-and-so if I can make you out!"

"Why, you dumb mug - I oughta drill ya right now," he responded angrily. "You know these blasted bangtails have got me behind the eight-ball. I'm on the nut!"

"Whoa, whoa! Put down the bean-shooter," I implored. "I got no kick with you holding a wing-ding. It's just that your last few platters have been lousy with... well, just lousy."

"You lookin' for a case of lead poisoning, lug?" he retorted. "Keep it up and I'll kiss you right in the kisser."

I grabbed my mud-pipe and mesca muggles, and the next thing you know we're in Japan with some Nip nance asking us to nibble one. Colin pasted the patsy, pooping the punk like a pug puffing a pro skirt. "That fella was a wrong number," he concluded. "I hope he likes his wooden kimono."

Next thing you know the trouble boys showed up with their torpedoes, so Colin tightened the screws on the torcher and cranked into five songs from Leather, Bristles, No Survivors And Sick Boys, four from From Here To Reality, two each from City Baby Attacked By Rats, City Baby's Revenge and A Fridge Too Far, one from Midnight Madness & Beyond, and the "Give Me Fire" a-side.

After the fat lady sang, I cornered Colin. "Maybe I'm tooting the wrong ringer here, but why were the drums and vocals so loud that they completely drowned out the guitar and bass? It was almost impossible to hear how the songs are actually supposed to sound! The energy was great and you nailed a handful of classic punkers, but your newer songs -- even removed from their metallic studio production -- still aren't very catchy, and your lazy vocals and bad sound totally killed some fan favorites like 'I Am The Hunted' and 'City Baby's Revenge'."

"SHUT YOUR YAP AND CLOSE YOUR HEAD!" Colin finally exploded. "Take a powder, take the air and take it on the heel and toe! You hear me? You're taking the bounce!"

"What are you, snowed? Are you out on the roof? Have you gone over the edge with the Rams?" I wondered. "Here, have a smell from the barrel and relax."

"Alright," he acquiesced. "But don't make me blip you off, blow you down, bop you, bump you off, chill you off, croak you, cut you down, fill you with daylight, fog you, knock you off, pop you, rub you out or zotz you. I don't want the bulls and buttons with buzzers to bag me in bracelets in the Big House Bing with a bit."

"Say, wanna pitch the woo?" I added.

"Sure, I skate around plenty," he responded, pulling his dick out and throwing it across the room.

- Excerpt, The Big Penis (1939) by Raymond Chandler

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Church Of The Truly Warped - Futurist 1993.
Rating = 5

These last few albums have all shared a similar weird feel to them, and I think I've finally figured out what it is. Ever since A Fridge Too Far, GBH has been using lots of key changes and even tempo changes in their songs in what I assume is an attempt to prove that they're a "smart" punk-metal band. But nobody must have told the singer because, whenever the music changes keys and tempos, he DOESN'T. So it sounds like everything is creepily out-of-tune and wackily out-of-speed and unfollowable. Otherwise, the stuff I said about the last record goes for this one too - a mix of generic punk and `90s thrash metal. A few of the songs are great, but most are so utterly lacking in melodic sense, you want to send the band members back to Musical School to re-earn their diplomas. I can't believe I bought every GBH album. Time to sell `em on ebay!

Reader Comments

andreastokes@primus.ca
The title of this album sounds like was thought up by a ten year old. This album sucks royal shit.

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Punk Junkies - Triple X 1997.
Rating = 4

More like Metal Petals, if you. well, heh heh, YOU know. These guys try way too hard to be a metal band, with stupid riffs that involve the guitar chord going up and down one fret in an evil manner and way too many thrash-like drum breaks. There are a couple of great punk tunes on here ("Lowering The Standard" and "Cryin On The Hard Shoulder") and it's nice to see the asshole narrator from "Slut" getting his comeuppance in "Damn Good Time" (the girl gives him AIDS), but too much of this is just bad, bad, bad, bad pussy metal. Is there really an audience for this stuff? Who are they? And why is their musical taste so bad?

Reader Comments

Dusty Just Dusty
This is GBH toying with metal at their best. The obligatory hey I can do Prindle too interlude goes like this: don't listen to Mark, because he likes Yes, that means if you don't necessarily like Yes as much as, say, Tull, there's a good chance you'd like Punk Junkies a whole lot. It's so good it's almost legit double chain bass drum reinforced speed metal. Certainly surpasses it's main rival Exploited's "Beat the Bastards" (the two get jumbled in because the fans mostly like both bands' albums). It has two fantastic tunes Break the Chains & Don't Drag Me Back standing back to back, absolute classics they are. There are other good songs but these two are as good as anything ever recorded ever. The filler songs are good as far as filler goes. The arrangements are very good. The production certainly is quite good. Love this record. There seems to be some kind of a stupid dead end feud between Mark the reviewer and Colin the singer. What's up with that? Can't we all just... get along!"

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Ha-Ha - Go-Kart 2002.
Rating = 5

G.iB.by H.aynes is back with a new album, and this time the brothers G.iB.b (H.a!) are playing punker rock again like in olden times. Not metal, but punky rock with bar chords and speedy beats all ready to mosh to like a big bald guy with suspenders who's an asshole. It's not particularly compelling upon repeated listenings but, by dumping the weak metallic overtones and stripping their music down to only the punk essentials (the same style that made City Baby Attacked By Rats one of the greatest punk rock albums of all time), they've recaptured -- if not the intensity of City Baby Attacked By Fats (Domino) -- then at least the fun-time speedy amateurish good-times that the Ramones created for the world way back in 1976 or earlier.

Seventeen songs may be a bit of overkill too -- does "Flyin' High" add anything to the pantheon of rock and pole? It's "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" sped up, and it's about riding a damn airplane! And don't even ASK me to name the other 55 billion songs that have used the same chord sequence, both before and after the Ramones solidified it as the least interesting "hook" in The Hook Book (by Steve Vai, who is the King of Hooks and writes them endlessly, in an attempt to bring back that great Beach Boys sound of '65). But that's a small price to pay for finally getting to hear GBH play punk again - EVEN THOUGH IT'S NOT VERY GOOD, IT'S THEIR BEST SINCE CITY BABY'S REVENGE! YOU CAN PRINT THAT UP AND USE IT ON THE REISSUE!!!! Ooo - use this one too - IT'S EVEN BETTER THAN "NO NEED TO PANIC"!!!! AND BELIEVE YOU ME - "NO NEED TO PANIC" IS A REAL PIECE OF SHIT!!!!. If you know what punk rock is and you know what it sounds like when it's slickly recorded and all the mistakes are cleaned up, that's what this sounds like. But a few of the riffs are the kind that make you hit the "pause" button and say, "Honey, shut your fat ass for a change, I'm trying to hear this great song. And fix my dinner. Whore."

So after the divorce when you finally have the CD to yourself in a tent in the backyard, it will be IMPOSSIBLE to separate the ears of you from the guitars of "The Unexpected" (PUNKY! ANGRY! QUESTIONING!), "The Desire Of Poverty" (a SAD song! Even the chords are SAD!), "The Power Of One" (MORBID VERSE! CATCHY REFRAIN!) and many others that perhaps bring nothing new to punk rock, but certainly create a more hopping good time than those modern-day angry hardcore bands like Saddlebag and that one I can't think of the name of.

I made up the band "Saddlebag." But if they DID exist, FUCK would they stink!!!! Stink???? HELL! SHIT!!!!

Lyrically, they cover the grounds of playing in an aging punk rock band, warn against alcoholism, drug abuse, spousal abuse and just plain laziness (I LOVE this, btw. I never thought of GBH as a "message" band, but they're good messages and they make them well). "Superhighway Robbery," however, is as embarrassing an Internet song as anybody has done - Rush, Jethro Tull, Bad Religion - old people REALLY need to stay away from this topic. They come across as Kooky Old Morons fiddling with the VCR!

Reader Comments

CraigLeelannee@aol.com
GBH is better than you say

Go to hell

TRANSMUTATIONAL1@aol.com
listen to "the clay years" it's sort of a greatest hits type of thing and in my opinion, there's not a bad song on it.

Absolutspnkmstr@aol.com
GBH kicks ass. They've probably accomplished more than you ever will. You suck. The song Lycanthropy is a poem and it kicks ass. lf you're gonna make a whole page reviewing one band, than why talk shit?

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Cruel & Unusual - Idol 2004
Rating = 5

My friend Colin Abrahall has rounded up the troops for ANOTHER classic album! No he hasn't. This is a compilation encompassing the Punk As Fuck EP (1987 recordings of a Rezillos and a Lurkers cover plus a 1989 cover of a Sensational Alex Harvey Band song), the Punk Rock Ambulance EP (featuring two awesome mean punkers and a ripoff of the DK's "Police Truck") and four live tracks. Oh hell! You kow those EPs I mentioned? They were both split EPs with "BillyClub"! No wonder you didn't buy them! "Billyclum" buckin' suck! Have you heard them? It's just a policeman beating people over the head for half an hour. All their records are like that. Can you believe it? Some of my best friend Colin's live vocals are a bit rough (especially "Time Bomb"), but the band really rips out the punk threads on this release, instead of playing that heavy metal nonsense they did from 1985 through 2000. That asshole super across the way fuckin' yelled at me this morning because I let Henry The Dog (The Greatest Dog In History) pee on his fuckin' trash bags on the sidewalk. THEY WERE FUCKING TRASH BAGS!!! FILLED WITH HUMAN SHIT AND DIAPERS!!! AND THE PIECE OF SHIT BASTARD BITCHED AT ME!!! Why can't people differentiate between "that which matters" (ie genocide, murder, DEATH) and that which DOESN'T MATTER A FUCKING BIT (ie dog peeing on trash)????

Colin Abrahall doesn't accept that he became a metalhead in the 80s. But he DID!!! And their 80s albums SUCKED TURNKEY! It's just so totally bizarre to me that a band with so many unlistenable albums nevertheless put out - AND I'M BEING QUITE HONEST - one of the absolute greatest records ever recorded. City Baby Attacked By Rats is a PHENOMENAL record. I could listen to it every single day for the rest of my short, dead life and still enjoy it. So what in Christ happened AFTER that? Why did they record so many bad songs? Let's not quibble. The important thing is that this disgustingly short record (27 minutes, 10 songs) is mediocre. It's punk rock, it's got some covers and it's just okay. Lymon! Sprite made it up - I ask all day and there's no real fruit called Lymon. Frankie invented it. But he died in a car crash in 1048. Also, genocide in East Timor, Rwanda and Bosnia. Remember? I don't. But I read a book to remind me. And am I crazy or is Lynddie England ass ugly? She's PREGNANT by that mustache guy! Which means he found her ATTRACTIVE! Christ! I had sex tonight. I'm married, so don't tell my wife. Even though she was there, and had my carpo in her blopnig at the time. I believe in made-up innuendo. Here's some innuendo for the word "asshole": Ckwwwotjegdldlgjbndksssllreialwoefnnggellteuibbdfwltuuhghireslsslrieaipwwoeiyltlbnhidsateleltldlaibhbhslalereigjjdaleiarej

I decree that you start using it at school tomorrow! School is SHIT. Drop out. I DID, and I'm a MILLIONAIRE!

It's alright that I lie to little kids, right? They stopped reading there. You and I as adults both know that I graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Harvardly Yale in 19476.

Could you do something about assholes and corporate pricks? I have to deal with them constantly. People whose jobs ARE their identity. Because they have no hobbies, no sense of self and think the most important thing in the world is to be successful in their career. Actors are particularly bad about this. Did you ever notice - pay attention to this - did you ever notice how you honestly don't give a flying fuck about ANY celebrity UNTIL the media convinces you that they're worth thinking about? Example: Ben Affleck is a bad actor. Jennifer Lopez is a bad actress. So why did people give a shit whether or not they were getting married? I'll tell you why - because People, Entertainment Tonight and Us Weekly needed to keep their circulation up and justify their existence. Just because you see something in a magazine or on TV News doesn't mean it's worth your time. The Hives aren't. The White Stripes aren't. This is all entertainment bullshit. I implore you to read about genocides and murders and injustice - that's what matters. Thanks!

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Perfume And Piss - Hellcat 2010
Rating = 4

Good? Bah Humbug!
Generic Bland Horseshit
Gets Boring Hastily
Gack! Blech! Hurl!
Godawful Boneheaded Happypunk
Grossly Botched, Hellcat!
Gigantically, Blatantly Horrible
Ghastly, Beastly, Hideous
Guitarwork Blows Heavily
Gripping Basswork? Hardly!
Great Big Headache
Gargantuan Bummer, AbraHall!
Garbage-pushing Bottom-of-the-barrel Has-been!
Go Back to Hardcore!
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Good Boy, Henry!

Reader Comments

Colin Abrahall of GBH fame
UP TO YOUR USUAL JOURNALISTIC STANDARD I SEE.

HERE'S ANOTHER ONE

GRAVELY BITTER HACK

BIG LOVE

COLIN
X

kylewarn@cableone.net
Garbonzo Bean Hell

Also, I like how Colin Abrahall always types in capital letters. It makes me imagine him narrating it in his singing/shouting voice.

Add your hilarious "G.B.H." gag?


Buy your GBH rock and roll CDs at this link at which I'm pointing with this sentence.


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