Sealed Records re-issue the 1985 Alternative’s album If They Treat You Like Shit – Act Like Manure originally released on Corpus Christi Records. Recorded at Southern Studios and Co-produced by Pete Wright from Crass and featuring Annie Anxiety and Pete Wright on backing vocals. The album is full of provocative protest songs with intelligent lyrics, effective use of samples, melodic tunes and dual female / male vocals. It’s urgent, passionate and memorable. A must own release from that classic mid 80’s UK anarcho punk era. Remastered from the original tapes.
Our take: Sealed Records reissues another 80s UK anarcho gem, this time the 1984 album from Scottish punks Alternative, originally released on the Crass Records sub-label Corpus Christi. I was familiar with Alternative’s In Nomine Patri single on Crass Records, but I’d never heard If They Treat You Like Shit until this reissue, so I didn’t know what to expect. On one hand, If They Treat You Like Shit is a pretty on-the-nose anarcho / peace punk album, but even so it’s quite diverse, taking in the stylistic breadth of that movement, from Crass / Flux-style ranting and chanting, to more adventurous post-punky tracks, to more melodic songs that remind me of Zounds. Of these, it’s the hookier numbers that stand out on the first couple of listens, particularly “Now I Realize,” but I’m glad it’s all here… Alternative is excellent at all these styles, and the album’s powerful recording helps everything to land with the impact you want. If They Treat You Like Shit is long and dense, so it might take a couple listens before it gets its hooks in, but the wealth of material, none of which feels redundant or extraneous, will keep it on your turntable for a good long while. I imagine this record’s rarity (I can’t recall ever seeing a copy of the original pressing) has kept its profile low until now, but thanks to Sealed Records this gem can get the attention it deserves.