Saturday, 24 October 2015

Year by year: 1978


For all my unhealthy relationship with Magazine’s Real Life (part love, part obsession), I haven’t heard it in years. I don’t want to be surprised or, worse, underwhelmed. I know it will get back to me eventually, but right now it’s so much easier to keep playing The Adverts’ 1978 debut and forget all about the existential genius of Howard Devoto.

And why the hell not? This could well be my favourite punk album – or whatever it is that I consider ‘punk’. It’s clever, catchy, intense, and while you may stop separating one song from another at some point – you knew you were in it from the start. 

The opening blast is particularly good. “One Chord Wonders” followed by “Bored Teenagers” followed by “New Church” is punk Nirvana of anger, excitement, confusion. You can’t really fault a record with songs like “Gary Gilmore’s Eyes” or the closing “Great British Mistake”. It’s a shame TV Smith’s solo career has never done it for me – but this album and Cast of Thousands are absolute stone-cold classics.