Were the Vibrators real punks? Maybe not, but then again, were the Stranglers? Or Eddie and the Hot Rods? Even more to the point, was Steve Jones? Plenty of rock careerists jumped onto the punk/new wave bandwagon in the wake of the Sex Pistols' success (and more than a few folks, like Jones, stumbled into the new movement by accident), but unlike most of them, the Vibrators took to the fast/loud/stripped down thing like ducks to water, and both Knox (aka Ian Carnarchan) and Pat Collier had a genius for writing short, punchy songs with sneering melody lines and gutsy guitar breaks. If the Vibrators were into punk as a musical rather than a sociopolitical movement, it's obvious that they liked the music very much, and on that level their debut album stands the test of time quite well. Pure Mania boasts a bit more polish (and less politics) than many of the albums from punk's first graduating class (such as Damned Damned Damned or The Clash), but if you're looking for a strong, satisfying shot of chugging four-square punk, cue up "Yeah Yeah Yeah," "No Heart," "Petrol," or "Wrecked on You" and you'll be thrown into a gleeful pogo frenzy. Maybe Pure Mania isn't purist's punk, but it's pure rock & roll, and there's nothing wrong with that.
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming