If they are really lucky, angry young men lose nothing of their edge as time moves on and so it proves for the guys in Huddersfield based band shambolic. The band have been going strong for over 20 years with the same line up, the same punk energy and biting observation. Their 2018 released album is the high octane World Torn Apart.
Idles have caught the mood of the current anger and injustice in society wonderfully well with their agitprop style, but of course they are only the latest in the tradition of proud people using their music to share a message. World Torn Apart is an incredibly consistently album of no frills early 80’s style punk and energy in spades, and with a view of the world to share. There is a risk that such an album might sound a bit samey, but these shambolic guys (Jonathan Wakefield – Guitar, Pete Dukes – Bass & Vocals, Matt Washington – Drums, Richard Heeley – Vocals & Guitar) have produced an album of different paces and emphasis which keeps it all lively.
Track Collateral Damage has a vocal which spookily reminds me of Simon Le Bon and Duran Duran if only they ever had a bit of fire in their belly. The song is a sardonic story of bombing in the world and the West’s involvement in it. Stones is one of my personal favourites with a brooding guitar riff, a soaring chorus and a song about the heavy weight of expectation. Summer Time is a jaunty and rather sarcastic tale about how we all like to drink in the sun, and how sartorial elegance goes out of the window. Gotta Buy A Gun is a nice piece of anger fest about how frustrating school can be. I kind of get a vibe for the wonderful 70’s band The Sensational Alex Harvey Band.
I have huge respect for a band with such a love for music that they can plug away with the same line up for a couple of decades, still keen to share their message and to vent a steady stream of focused and incisive anger into the world.
I’m gutted that I missed seeing shambolic at the charitable Marsh Fest recently (I live but a stroll from the venue) as on this showing I have no doubt they are a good fun band live. I have an inkling they might be hanging around a while so I will be looking out for some shambolic moments.
You can grab the album on bandcamp and elsewhere.