The Business

No Mercy for You

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Age and anger make for uncomfortable bedfellows; as the year's pass, fury turns to cynicism, while potent polemics sag into bitter diatribes. By rights, the Business should have been snuffed out long ago, or become a mere parody of their former selves, the punk equivalent of the token chirpy cockney of every WWII film. ("Ohmigod, the Nazis killed Eddie!" "Those bastards!!") Yet after all this time, the group still look at the world with the same bright eyes and bushy tails as they did back in 1980. Somewhere along the road, the Business picked up the mantle dropped by Sham 69, brushed it off, made some alterations, and stormed along undaunted; all ripping, riffing hardcore, fist in the air, boots to the bum, and lungs shouting out the anthemic choruses. The rise of the new school has merely buffed their edges, the melodies are now a bit stronger, the hooks more barbed, but the basic attitude remains unchanged. The group still have the capacity to be outraged by events happening around them, and, although many of their themes are provincial, "Guinness Boys" and "Gangland" both dissect working class and, more specifically, East End life, they definitely have a universal appeal. "Belmarsh" may refer to a specific prison and "Anarchy in the Streets" responds to a London riot, but the settings could equally be a Turkish jail and the leafy avenues of Seattle. "Ghetto Life," with its message of pride, is equally pertinent around the world. The working class battles on with dignity, intelligence, and flashes of wit. And while the title track is pretty pessimistic, "Oi the Poet" is their true manifesto. "I may have nothing, but I shine twice as bright as you," is a message that gives the underclass everywhere a sense of purpose and hope.

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