It's Time to See Who's Who

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As far as songs go, this is Conflict's best record. There are eight or nine great tunes here, all masterpieces. Unlike many of their records, the tunes don't all run together into one long screed (this would be Conflict's Fresh Fruit for Rotten Vegetables). The band was young and not hugely popular yet and so their songs were less cynical and more vivacious. No other Conflict lineup ever sounded this tight, with the bassist, guitarist, and drummer playing off each other like the punk equivalent of a jazz trio. From the opening instrumental, "Young Parasites," to the final tune, "Crazy Governments," the band shifts from humor to grave politics to raging punk rock to beats you could dance to. It should be noted that there was almost no humor at all on any future Conflict records. These songs would always remain an important part of Conflict's set and they later updated "The Guilt and the Glory" with a version featuring a woman giving a speech about Western imperialism and world starvation, rather than Colin singing. "No Island of Dreams" is a great tune with some fantastic guitar work, while "Meat Means Murder" is one of their first and best pro-vegetarian tunes, with many more to come. 1982 was pretty early to be singing about that sort of thing within the punk scene. For anyone interested in British punk rock who wants to hear a record that rates up there with the Clash's and Crass' best, get yourself a copy of It's Time to See Who's Who.

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