Newtown Neurotics: Beggars Can Be Choosers 12"

Radiation Records

$19.50

Reissue of this UK punk band's 1983 LP. A while back Nada Nada Discos reissued Newtown Neurotics' great "Hypocrite" single and that song really knocked me out. I hadn't really listened to the band before (aside from the odd song on a comp), and I played "Hypocrite" over and over... what a track! While there's nothing on this LP that's quite as good as that scorcher, this is a solid blast of rootsy, '77-style punk. It's funny that this was released in 1983, because it bears a remarkable resemblance to various first and second-wave UK punk bands. It would be hard to believe that the Clash weren't the major inspiration here, but I also hear strands of the Boys, Stiff Little Fingers, and many others. In other words, it's energetic, but decidedly poppy. The one big thing that marks it as being from 1983 are the lyrics. They're extremely political in a clear and direct way that I don't think really existed (at least not in punk) before Crass. The lyrics here aren't quite as angry as Crass, but politically/lyrically it has a similar vibe as some of the early Billy Bragg material. I have a huge appetite for this kind of stuff so I'm eating it up like a free lunch, but if your interest in '77-style UK punk isn't as deep as mine I could see this being an insta-file. However, if nothing pleases you more than digging up a new release in this style that you haven't heard before this should definitely be in your collection, and it's certainly going to get a lot of time on my turntable.
Tags: '77&KBD 80s melodic reissues UK