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Acid Attack: Suburbia's Dream 12"

Acid Attack: Suburbia's Dream 12"

Tags: · 80s · hardcore · oi! · recommended · reissues · spo-default · spo-disabled · UK · UK82
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Hailing from Portsmouth, UK, Acid Attack formed in late 1980, went through numerous line up changes and split up by the end of 1984, releasing just the cassette album “Sulphuric”, and contributing one track to the Sane Records 1984 compilation LP “On the Street”. In terms of era, they fit into what is now known as the UK82 punk scene but their sound is not so easy to categorize. They were neither Oi or hardcore punk; they were aiming beyond such restricting labels. They mainly gigged locally,
aside from one headline slot in South Wales, but their name spread far and wide thanks to word of mouth, sales of Sulphuric (aided greatly by the practice of smearing postage stamps with soap in order to reuse them) and interviews in many of the punk fanzines of the time. Sulphuric also received a short but favorable review in the music paper Sounds, who noted that “Acid Attack are a spirited punk band with sufficient ideas and energy to lift them above the morass of thrash-and-screech merchants”.

This LP collects the “Sulfuric” cassette, Suburbia’s Dream from the “On the Street” compilation LP, and four previously unreleased songs. Also included is a 16-page full-color booklet containing original photos, artwork, flyers, and band history. Limited to 500 copies, black vinyl only.

Our take: Reissue of the entire recorded works from this UK82 band out of Portsmouth, UK on the always-reliable Radio Raheem label. As the label’s description indicates, simply referring to Acid Attack as a UK82 band glosses over much of what’s interesting about them. They may well have been trying to emulate bands like GBH, Vice Squad, or the Exploited, but if that was the case they missed the mark by quite a bit, albeit in a very interesting way. Acid Attack never quite reach the full-on thrash tempo of songs like the Exploited’s “Dead Cities,” and that combined with the extremely loose playing gives the band a vibe more like any number of extremely homespun vintage anarcho demos. As Jeff pointed out to me, the bassist and guitarist are quite frequently out of tune and out of time with one another… they also occupy pretty radically different tonal ranges, with the bass very muffled and low-sounding and the guitar super bright and right up front in the mix. It probably sounds like I’m ragging on the band, but something kind of magical emerges from the looseness of the playing, and personally I find the much rougher tracks on the first part of the record a lot more interesting than tracks like “Animal Sound” that are a little more together musically. As is usually the case with Radio Raheem, this reissue features elaborate packaging, including a lengthy full-color booklet and some of the coolest cover artwork I’ve seen in a long time, so even if you buy this and find out that your appreciation of semi-inept UK82 punk doesn’t run quite as deep as you thought it did at least it’ll look super cool when you flip past it in your stacks.