Various Artists

Anti-Society (Anarcho-Punk, Vol. 3)

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The third of four volumes drawing upon long out of print singles, discarded demos, and forgotten outtakes to tell the story of Britain's early-'80s anarchist punk scene, Anti-Society rounds up some of the lesser-remembered but nevertheless crucial lights on the scene. Hagar the Womb, Oi Polloi, and the immortally named Thatcher on Acid are probably the best-known names here, but they are by no means the very best. Excellent contributions from the Icons of Filth, Karma Sutra, and Untermensch have a compulsive power that cannot help but remind listeners just how vital this music was, both to its own time and place and, because its sentiments were so universal (and its enemies so all-pervasive), to the modern world. As usual, the music is accompanied by an excellent booklet, detailing the background of each of the featured bands with encyclopedic detail -- indeed, given the anarchist punk scene's absence from any existing rock reference work, this series could easily be acclaimed as among the most crucial documents that punk as a whole has ever been granted.

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