No song better encapsulates the contradictory emotions at the core of the British soul than "In My Street". Within, Chris Pope's subtle pen exposed these contradictions at a stroke, up- ending a typical English street to show the squirming fears and hates wriggling underneath its pretty green facade.
What begins as a universal whinge on suburban shallowness, all feigned politeness and limited vision, transforms into a Stepford house of horror. For below this facile neighborhood lives jealousy, bitterness, and seething hatred, bursting forth in the shout of "We're all potential suicides living in my street!"
Singer/guitarist Billy Hassett delivers the lyrics with just the right blend of dis-ingenuous nonchalantness and vehemence. The music also splits the difference between gleefully riffed out pop-punk and more aggressive stylings.
Here The Chords drew a straight line between punk's fury and their own, but unlike the short and sharp cries of their elder brethren, Pope created jagged visages of everyday life that exposes the flesh behind the naked fury. This classic single was released in October, 1980, and reverberated around the punk/mod scene, eventually just squeaking in to the Top 50.