These guys were seen as a bit of an oddity at the time, too old for punk but still playing the kind of protest music the punks adored. I mean check out the horrible flares on the back cover picture! They also adopted a somewhat unsuccessful image profile dressed as school kids.
The music is however, great! Truly a sound of the times, Robinson tackles many of what he saw as social mis-doings of the late 70’s with whit, humour and energy, formulating a sound driven by a keyboard backbone, superb sparing guitar and off-key vocals.
The players are really on fire during this superb album which alternates between outright screaming protest punk (Up against the wall-released as a single and a real belter) to more almost reggae influenced items such as the fantastic Long hot Summer.
If you lived through this time you will associate the sound and biting lyrics with the grim way life really was in the late 70’s. What the band manages to do so successfully is take this landscape and turn it into a reflecting soundscape of the times.
Best known for his stance on being a gay leader (this was during the time when being gay was certainly not accepted-and still almost illegal) the right-on politics are splattered all over this record but don’t let that put you off! These were political times and Robinson managed to get his hefty slice of political life over to his listeners in a far more intelligent way than most of his contemporaries. You just couldn’t fault the mans integrity.
I dig this out ever few months and it always sounds fresh and interesting. Sits really well along side the Jams early work, the Clash and even