Thatcher on Acid


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Glad to see this one again. It seems almost dead and buried now, sadly, but "agitpop" was once a genre, of bands (predominantly English, but here too) that combined post-punk rock in the spirit of Killing Joke, U.K. Decay, Theater of Hate, Banshees, and Gang of Four with scathing sociopolitical awareness. Maybe it went bye-bye with Thatcher's fall and Reagan's retirement, but to borrow a Dead Kennedys lyric, post-punk "kids today sit on their ass" (there are exceptions in other genres, such as Ani DiFranco and Consolidated). Frank came at the tail end of the movement, in 1990, after most of the above bands (and the Jam, Neurotics, and Redskins) had disbanded, but it still packed the same wallop, as had this U.K. band's previous Moondance EP in 1986 and Curdled in 1987. TOA uses the occasional samples of media speech pasted into a variety of styles, from harsh, whirring amps and drums stuff to wistful acoustic rock ("Put It In," "Slumber"), and always, the social commentary is paramount and on target. Sample lyric: "Blindly we watch the people dream as the whore bravely models her scars on TV transfixed to the screen/We the clientele slouch at home gloating over favorites/Paying for the privilege, this is the scene, this is the market/Where is the pimp that started it all?" Four bonus tracks from the Yo-Yo Man EP on K Records, too. (P.O. Box 460402, S.F., CA 94146-0402)

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