10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Punk rockers in mature LP shock!,
This review is from: Moving Targets (Audio CD)
You would have been forgiven, after the punkiness of the early "Don't Dictate" single, for expecting 1978's "Moving Targets" to have been something like a cross between Buzzcocks (Pete Shelley's "Nostalgia" is covered here) and X-Ray Spex (Pauline Murray's voice sometimes sounding uncannily like that of the warrior in Woolworths, Poly Styrene).
Despite being released on nearly unlistenable luminous vinyl, what Penetration actually served up was an adept and surprisingly mature set of songs. Murray and company had the confidence to let slower, reflective passages appear in some of the tracks, such as "Reunion", whilst speedier tracks like "Stone Heroes" conformed a little more closely to the amphetamine pace of the times. The original material is strong and the two covers (the second is Patti Smith's "Freemoney") well executed.
What makes Penetration stand out from the multitude of punk groups that sprang up in 1977 is Murray's distinctive and powerful voice, whilst her lyrics perhaps hint at a vulnerability and introspection that became all too evident in later years.
"Moving Targets" was a fine debut but also a dead end. There are places in which the guitar playing unpleasantly prefigures the "New Wave Of British Heavy Metal", which aspect of Penetration's sound helped ruin the dismally poor second LP, "Coming Up For Air". Unsurprisingly, the group split shortly after it.
At a reduced price this CD reissue is well worth having. The Invisible Girls' material is hard to find but showcases Murray's voice and songwriting even better.