GBH – Punk Singles 1981 – 1984 (Westworld Reissue)

GBH – Punk Singles 1981 – 1984 (Westworld Reissue)

Punk as fuck and twice as ugly, this is the sound of 1982...

By my reckoning this is the fourth time this compilation has surfaced, but who cares?

If you’ve heard of GBH but never heard their music this is the perfect place to start, as the band were undoubtedly at the height of their powers during the three years they spent on the Stoke-on-Trent based label Clay Records.

The band’s debut 7”, No Survivors, was the eighth release by the label, and all three tracks are present and correct here; The insanely catchy title track, showcasing guitarist Jock’s frantic strumming style, drummer Wilf’s firm grasp on the concept of what would become known as d-beat and the strangely appealing bark of vocalist Colin kicks things off on that original disc, supported by the frantic Self Destruct and, pleasingly (though somewhat surprisingly for a release coming out in 206) the slightly off-colour ‘delights’ of Big Women.

The style doesn’t really vary throughout, although songs do get longer and slightly less punky towards the end of the compilation; However it’s pretty hard to argue with the quality of GBH’s early releases – they’re arguably the most consistent of all the bands to come out of the early eighties ‘street punk’ boom – and any compilation that kicks off with a quintet as strong as Race Against Time, Knife Edge, Lycanthropy, Necrophilia and State Executioner has to be worth a place in anyone’s punk collection, even if the pointless 12” ‘concrete’ mix of Do What You Do does make an unwelcome appearance at album’s end, proving that even impressionable young punks fancied themselves as dancefloor hopefuls comparable with Frankie Goes to Hollywood et al.

Pretty much untouchable as a collection, if you don’t already own these tracks you need to change that situation as soon as is humanly possible.

Michael Stronge
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