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15.10.11

The Skuzzies - 'The Skuzzies' (easy action) 4.5/5

London punks The Skuzzies, have been around for a few years now. Formed in a Deptford squat and making their live debut in 2004 supporting the Babyshambles at their notorious 'Battle Of Astoria' gig they have over the past seven years been building a solid reputation for themselves with some seriously dedicated road work and their critically acclaimed 2008 release of the 'Dissatisfied ep'. Now we have at last a full length album.

Now this lot are often pigeon-holed along with the current wave of pop-punk outfits that are the latest big trend at the moment (The Subways, Kiria etc); and I think this is a little unfair, for as good as The Subways and their ilk are, The Skuzzies are no mere band of pop-punk wannabes.

This is obvious from the moment you stick the CD into the player and the opener Hungry As A Hound  stalks snarling from the speakers. Make no bones about it, the sound that hits you is pure punk in the style of The Ruts, The Pigs and The Starjets. It may have a commercial edge to it, but it is still an angry glue bag full of attitude that has a distinctively 1977 sneer and stagger about it. And whilst in other places the Skuzzies do explore other areas of sonic entertainment, there are tracks like More Than This, Dissatisfied, Shotgun Romance and Rich Girls studded through out the album to keep reminding you exactly what the bands core mission statement is.

Even when The Skuzzies are wandering a little away from the more noticeable old school punk influences they still maintain the attitude and and keep true to the punk ethos. Brompton Cocktail sounds a little bit Velvet Underground, The Unknown Principle with its dark semi spoken vocal and lyrics like 'If blood is bondage then what is love, turn around throw a bomb and smash it down' hints at work of CRASS, Are You Sleeping has the spectre of The Boomtown Rats and The Clash about it; whilst album closer On the Corner (with a guest appearance from ex-Babyshambles main man Pete Doherty) is a great SKA influenced rock out that still maintains the spirit of 77 in its Special Brew fueled anarchic backbeat.

All this makes for a great album, one of the best punk albums of the last few years In my opinion and one that will do The Skuzzies or their steadily growing solid rep as being one of the most talented bands in the UK at the moment no harm at all. Very Highly Recommended.

For Fans Of... The Clash, The Subways, Kiria, CRASS, The Adverts, Bambi killers The Pigs etc...

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