Punk at its most pristinely putrid. Conceived in an age when the streets resounded with upstart snotnoses screaming about smashing the system, then sucking up to the major labels regardless, the Snivelling Shits reduced every cliché of the era to as few chords as possible, then spattered them with a stupidity that would have been rank if it wasn't so magnificent. The band released just one single during its lifetime, coupling the self-explanatory "Terminal Stupid" with "I Can't Come," an iconoclastic mantra of amphetamine-induced sexual dysfunction; a third track, "Isgodaman," then appeared pseudonymously on a now-rare Beggars Banquet label compilation. Rumors that more material existed, however, constantly abounded, before being borne out by I Can't Come In, a Shits anthology comprising all three oldies, six unheard slabs of similar psychosis, and finally a clutch of demos. And every legend that had ever built up around the Snivelling Shits' brutal absurdity was revealed as an understatement. The sound quality is not always perfect, although the warble and distortion quickly becomes as much a part of the appeal as the songs. And what songs they are. "Crossroads," in which Lou Reed's "Waiting for the Man" is translated to a suburban English living room, jonesing for a favorite soap opera, sets the lighthearted scene that dominates the proceedings: "I Wanna Be Your Biro," doing dreadful things to a rent-a-punk quickstep; "Et Moi et Moi et Moi," treating the French language with utmost disrespect; and "Bring Me Head of Yukio Mishima," bemoaning the singer's inability to become a Samurai warrior, are brittle buzz saws that capture the lumpenproletariat appeal of early British punk better than any of their better-remembered peers, although the pedophiliac nightmare of "Only 13" proves that even the Snivelling Shits had their own private fears. Finally, the Snivelling Shits' role in the larger history of punk is revealed by the inclusion of the Damned's "There Ain't No Sanity Claus," co-written by lead Shit Giovanni Dadomo and included here in an unreleased demo version that features his vocals instead of Dave Vanian's. The result is...well, you can probably guess what it sounds like.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Thompson
feat: The Damned