Buy it on the strenght of the Adverts,
This review is from: Crossing the Red Sea (the Ultimate Edition) (Audio CD)
The Adverts were part of the full frontal pronged attack, throwing a hand grenade or two into the 70's morass flares of blandness. Gary Gilmore the subject of Mailer's Executioners Song wanted to donate his eyes to science after his death sentence. Following a murder spree Gary was caught, charged and then executed, the return of the death penalty signaling to his killers "Let's do it"...
TV Smith imagines living through Gary's eyes having had a donation after his death. This was the bread and wine of the late 70's chart material. Subject matter previously taboo was now vitalised and young people wanted to rock it. Peggy Sue and Honky Tonk Woman this ain't. It was a highpoint, no idea what they sing about now, but it's not wearing a killers eyes.
TV Smith was not cooooool with the press. They wore big badges, safety pins and non descript clothing. They obviously did not have the power to persuade. The press by the way composed of all the real sell outs panting to get into the mainstream, Burchell, Maconie, Morley, Bushell were all the culprits, weasels with a will to power. As soon as they reached the cultural shores of the land marked sellout, then they flopped on.
The poor Adverts were pilloried by the fools who lauded the prance of the poseur. Eventually they birthed synth pap, not the innovations of the Cabs, TG and SPK but a real lapse into slush; the 80's. The monster the Adverts spawned, spewed into Discharge, GBH on the one and Business, 4 skins and the other glue bag garbage.
Introduced by older punks to the singl,e I luckily didn't have the baggage of the music press to dictate my taste. Everything at the time schmecht gut, and my gaze drifted from David Bowie to the shock of the new.
Smiths insights were way beyond anything rock raised itself onto his shoulders. There was no "Time to be 21." The music was chopped out as "one Chord Wonders"
TV loaded his self perception with heavy dollops of humour, hitched to a patterned brand of cynicism. I remember him banging out 1 Chord Wonders to pogoing adolescents at Cambridge Corn Exchange, feeing the sonic energy bringing the culturally dead alive. This album is heaped, for me at least, with heavy doses of post traumatic joy, through rediscovering the past; PTJRP; a violent physical vibrant time brought to you by the masons of change; The Adverts.
What you get is a punk band who worked on the template to herald change rather than depression. If only they had kept their nerve but the amounts of speed snorted to release the energy resulted in the second album being a car crash of an event.
The Adverts helped lifted the UK out of torpour, poking a stick in the eye of moral conformity. Whilst Gaye became a social worker, TV keeps the spirit alive, just waiting for the right time to tick away before it all comes back in a burning milk bottle.