Review by Robert Baker
‘This Is War’ shows how over twenty years of holding the pointy end of the safety pin that represents punks core founding principles has only served to intensify the level of vitriol and energy Goldblade grip it with, with this, their latest album release and thirteen track titan The Terror Of Modern Life.
Founded by ex-Membranes vocalist John Robb in 1995 and currently backed-up by Pete ‘Gorgeous’ Byrchmore, Keith Curtis, Rob Haynes, and Andy Taylor, Goldblade are true punk in the sense of the Dead Kennedys, Blag Flag, and Bad Religion; bands you couldn’t imagine posing on stage with guy-liner and guile and record-label-designated levels of angst and attitude. Honest bands that take what injustices and inequality they see in the world around them and reflect it back onto their audience with all the ugliness writ big and uncompromising feel of hard truths being discussed – at volume.
For a band whose career seems to be an unending tour punctuated by album releases and occasional line-up changes, the sheer balls-to-the-wall intensity and uncluttered performance of the legendary Manchester band is as solid and sure as it ever was, happily devoid of homogenisation of a music industry more concerned with their bottom-line than their artists works that neuter an otherwise honest and roof-raising raucous affair.
‘Psycho Takes A Holiday’ and ‘We’re All In It Together’ are slices of classic English angry-noise and riffs, songs that preach as much as they protest with their social and political intoning with words used as riffs that hook you in and land you on the frontlines of the song.
‘Serious Business’ brings the ska roots of punk to the fore with its laid back bounce and Marley-esque vocals that you feel as much as you hear, echoes the mood of the early eighties unrest England found itself succumbing to as uncomfortable truths were being faced, whilst ‘Sick/Tired’ and following track ‘They Kiss Like Humans, Act Like Machines’ reinforces how Goldblade are capable of re-creating the mood that inspired the punk movement to take up guitars and break down some walls all those years ago with intense heart-pounding rides of aural anger that assault any awaiting audience with its musical melee.
Title – and final – track ‘The Terror Of Modern Life’ is an eight minute epic of unease and disquieting feelings of uncomfortable inner reflection; seemingly more concept than complete composition, it bestrides the album with its pointed references and beseeching vocals, musically stripping you down before building you back up into a punk power house of emotion and opinion and the adrenalin rush to do something about it.
Fans of the bands debut album Home Turf will be pleased to find the musical voice of Goldblade hasn’t quavered or faltered in its uncompromising stance of being a band forever in high gear on this latest release. If anything, The Terror Of Modern Life adds a turbo-boost button to their dashboard whilst slashing the passenger seat-belts and replacing the air-bags with party poppers and streamers; unrelenting, uncompromising, and undoubtedly the mark of a band at the zenith of their capabilities and creativity.
9 out of 10
- This Is War!
- Psycho Takes A Holiday
- The Shamen Are Coming
- Serious Business
- We’re All In It Together
- Someone Stole My Brain
- My Mind Is Like An Atom Bomb
- Sick / Tired
- They Kiss Like Humans, Act Like Machines
- The World Is Fucked Up Nowadays
- Hey You! Elastic Face
- The Terror Of Modern Life