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Pioneers of the British underground,
This review is from: Ptooff! (Audio CD)
Alongside Pink Floyd, the Deviants were perhaps the most significant band of the British underground music scene of the 1960s. The Social Deviants were formed in 1966 by Mick Farren , a young militant who had been influenced by the satire of agit-prop Fugs. Farren was one of the leading counter-culture figures in London, a leading exponent of the White Panther UK, organizer and promoter of alternative nights at the UFO club, journalist and politician.
The Deviants' debut, 'Ptooff' (1967), is a fantasy of adolescent nightmares that achieves a balance between the aesthetic of trash-rock garage bands and social commentary. Farren's breathtaking gags imitate the songs of the 1920s, martial rhythms, odd riffs, falsetto, Zappa-style slapstick and the vomiting hallucinogenic blues such as the Pretty Things' riff-based 'Garbage' and the tribal and technological nightmare, 'Nothing Man'.
'Deviation Street' is the soundtrack of the underground, whilst the anthem 'I'm Coming Home' is a raw piece of proto-punk that predicted British new-wave by a decade. The Deviants sound was as daring as their politicization was complex. The Deviants approach represented a genuine challenge to the British political establishment of the era and their sound was one of the most influential in the entire history of British rock music.