Cheap Sex

Written in Blood

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On their third album in three years, Cheap Sex deliver pretty much exactly more of the same: high-velocity street punk with leader Mike Virus hoarsely screaming mostly political lyrics over plain but effective three-chord guitar punk. The overall effect is much like the Crass collective stripped of all the weird art tendencies and experimental feints, distilled down to the essence of the earnest side of early hardcore. Topics include heroin abuse (it's bad), traditional marriage (it's bad, too), war (which is so bad that there are several songs about how bad it is, including the anti-funding "Nothing to Gain" and the self-explanatory "War's No Game"), politicians (surprise, they're also the opposite of good) and the other topics endemic to this style of political punk. There's not much to disagree with in Virus' lyrics -- yes, war and heroin are a big no-no, and enforced gender roles can be stultifying if accepted uncritically -- and the music itself is passable but not particularly inspired. So Virus and crew are pretty much left preaching to the punk choir.

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