Asian Dub Foundation

Conscious Party

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Furious, smart, and bolstered by their Rage Against the Machine-it's-okay-to-like tag, Asian Dub Foundation were exterminating complacent rock half a century before Primal Scream decided to teach listeners that vowels were fascist. So this exclusive French release pits ADF in the live arena and sprinkles on some B-sides to remind listeners when Bobby Gillespie and company decided to ditch their Stetson Stones shtick and get with the fists in the air program. Too bad this badly mixed reproduction of the band ripping up the London Astoria doesn't quite do them justice. Guitars sound like birdfeeders, sequencers like Nintendo; only the vocals fire off with any sort of Johnny Rotten anti-elegance. And when they feel the need to spell out their message in between songs, you can just picture the receptive heads making beelines for the bar. Patronizing instead of political, counter-productive instead of heroic. If this is how it's going to be, there's not much else fans can do but band together, demand less patronizing, and -- here it comes -- fight the glower.

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