Conflict

A History of Insurgence: Every Single Single

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A History of Insurgence: Every Single Single is the essential Conflict album: collecting every song from all ten singles the Crass-affiliated anarcho-punks released between 1981 and 2006, it boils lead singer and provocateur Colin Jerwood and his always-shifting band lineups down to their shouty, sloganeering essence. These 24 songs seethe with righteous indignation, most often expressed in two- to three-minute bursts of hardcore blurt: 1982's "Conflict" should be every bit the hardcore anthem that "Minor Threat" is. However, because Conflict were affiliated with Crass, and through that association to acts like Flux of Pink Indians and the Ex, they're not widely understood even by the wider punk underground. Those other bands took their fight against convention even to the musical orthodoxy of punk, incorporating a wider variety of musical styles with each release; Conflict, by contrast, have basically remained true to the sound of early-'80s hardcore throughout their career. Ironically, this perhaps makes them more accessible to younger generations of punk kids whose concepts of what punk should and should not sound like are, sadly, more circumscribed than the first and second generation of punks might have hoped. So while A History of Insurgence: Every Single Single might be slightly dispiriting to an old-school Crass fan, it actually serves perfectly as an introduction to Conflict for anyone too young to have been there at the time.

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