The mid-'90s was a time of tribulation for GBH, having in quick succession been dropped by their label, fired their manager, and seen their drummer deported. Thus, when the German indie label We Bite offered them a deal, the group bit quick. The resulting album refracts much of this turbulence, ferocious in sound and delivery, and echoing with the band's frustration and fury. It's also longer, by four tracks, than their previous sets, a reflection of the extra time they'd been saddled with between full-lengths. And so across 16 numbers, GBH seethe, boil and roil, in an aural exorcism to finally conquer the demons that were dogging their lives. In times like these, even everyday annoyances can become overwhelming, as the raging "Impounded" makes clear, the angriest song ever written about having one's car towed. And the band's bitter mood permeates everything, even the delights of "Tokyo After Dark" quickly sour, with a "Damn Good Time" to be had by none. That latter number is a dire warning about casual sex in the age of AIDS; the making of a child murderer, life in death row, and sleazy politicians also raise their wrath, while life itself is mostly misery. But it's this sheer fury that makes the album so compelling, along with the band's vociferous sound. "We had a great time making this record," they claim in the sleeve notes. Not surprising, having finally been able to put their fury to bed. And although Punk Junkies was released in 1996, it was available only briefly, thus this reissue is welcome, as are the inclusion of three bonus tracks.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jo-Ann Greene