The Deviants

Disposable

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Plenty of psychedelic groups of the late '60s embraced a sunny outlook of peace, flowers, and consciousness expansion, but some took a harder line on upending the straight society they sought to replace, and like their spiritual brethren the MC5, the Deviants (under the first-among-equals leadership of writer Mick Farren) saw their music as a vehicle for a Total Assault On The Culture. The only trouble with this was the Deviants' ideas were often a lot more exciting than their music, and while they created a sonic approximation of the rage and defiance behind the Freak Culture on their debut album, Ptooff!, their second LP, Disposable, lacks focus or direction and sounds like the work of addled would-be revolutionaries who aren't sure jut what they're fighting against this morning. Farren has claimed that he and his bandmates were flying on speed during most of the recording of Disposable, but there isn't much energy (artificial or otherwise) in these performances, and many of the tunes collapse into meandering jams performed by musicians who lack the chops or focus to make them into anything more. There are a few exceptions -- a wacky mutation of "Surfing Bird" and "Wipe Out" called "Pappa-Oo-Mao-Mao," the defiant "Slum Lord," and "Somewhere to Go," the only extended jam on the LP that manages to actually find a groove and move. But "Normality Jam" feels at least twice as long as its 4:24 running time, "Let's Loot the Supermarket" appears to have been recorded by people who lack the ambition to put on their shoes, let alone liberate needed supplies, and short tracks like "Sparrows and Wires" and "Sidney B. Goode" play like comic sketches without punch lines. Disposable is fascinating as a document of the U.K.'s anarchist hippie scene and where it went both right and wrong, but as entertainment, you're a lot better off listening to Ptooff!. Or looting a supermarket.

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