Church of the Truly Warped

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Two years on from the supercharged From Here to Reality, and briefly bolstered by the arrival of Agnostic Front drummer Joe Montanaro, G.B.H.'s seventh album sees the band ease back on the hardcore clutch a little, to produce an album that positively overflows with melodic anthems and searing guitar lines. Closer in intent, then, to the mid-'80s Midnight Madness & Beyond and No Need to Panic, but without those albums' directionless deliberation, Church of the Truly Warped packs some of G.B.H.'s most memorable tunes in years -- and some of their most biting lyrics. "Not Enough Hate," "Leather Coffin," and "Where the Wild Things Are" rank among G.B.H.'s finest creations yet -- which really isn't something you'd expect to say about an early-'80s Oi! band, still kicking it out in the 1990s. The title track, meanwhile, merges with Abrahall's occasionally Stiv Bators-like vocals to reincarnate the Lords of the New Church with almost spooky precision. Of course, it's still all a long way from the days when rats chowed down on city babies, but so were G.B.H. and their audience. Church of the Truly Warped, on the other hand, was exactly what they both deserved. Another excellent album.

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