Formed in 1979 in new town Harlow, The Newtown Neurotics are one of the most under rated but essential punk bands. Kick Out! is a 15 track round up of their first six singles taking in the years 1979 to 1984. The first two singles Hypocrite and When The Oil Runs Out were melodic nuggets released on their own No Wonder label. Both of these singles were written prior to the election of the Thatcher monster. The horror of this event changed what was the non-political writing style of Steve’s lyrics into the other extreme, and so in June 1982 Kick Out The Tories was released on CNT records. Sadly 38 years later, the lyrics are most poignant and needed than ever. The band continued releasing single after single from the painfully personal to the politically pertinent, all done with intelligence and style. Also included is Andy Is A Corporatist / Mindless Version taken from the Son of Oi! compilation. The album comes with a 32 page booklet of archive – photos, reviews, interviews and more and was conceived to be released alongside the Documentary of the same name about the band’s history.
Our take: Kick Out! compiles the first six Newtown Neurotics singles in their entirety (originally released between 1979 and 1984), along with the two tracks they contributed to 1983’s Son of Oi! compilation. Kick Out! is a companion release meant to come out alongside a recently completed documentary film about the Neurotics, but the film’s release was delayed because of COVID-19. Fortunately they decided not to delay the vinyl, as jamming these great tunes is a welcome relief during these turbulent times. While I’d been familiar with tracks like “Living with Unemployment” and “Kick Out the Tories!” for some time, the band first hit me hard when a spate of reissues of their early singles appeared around six years ago. When Brazil’s Nada Nada Discos reissued their first single, “Hypocrite,” in 2014, it stayed on my turntable for a long time and made it onto a mix tape that I played into the ground over the next few years. I still think “Hypocrite” is the Neurotics’ best song (it appears in two versions on Kick Out!, though I prefer the original), but I don’t think there’s a dud on this compilation. Newtown Neurotics’ lyrics have all the simple directness of classic anarcho-punk, but their music is straight up pop, combining the driving, riffy energy of the early Clash with the melodic sensibility of the Ramones (whom they cover twice on this LP). While the lyrics might be a little “heart on sleeve” for some, you can't deny these chaps had a way with a tune, and Kick Out! is earworm after earworm. Lovers of upbeat, catchy ’77 punk (think the Boys, the Lurkers, Eater, or Peter & the Test Tube Babies) should have these tunes in their collection in some form. And, needless to say, I’m eagerly anticipating the documentary.