Crass – Yes Sir, I Will / Penis Envy / Ten Notes On A Summer’s Day / Christ, The Album – One Little Indian Records

The second instalment in this series of newly remastered albums by Crass covers the period from 1981 through the bands final curtain call in 1984, by way of the last album to bear the name Crass in 86. Penis Envy says a whole lot more than the title suggests over blistering guitars, thumping drums and twanging basslines, and yet has an open musicality to it that set them far apart from their supposed contemporaries of the Punk era. Featuring the vocals of Eve Libertine and Joy De Vivre its message speaks for itself, remaining entirely relevant to today. And what is also revealed is the sonic depth which is teased out by the freeform exploration of sounds employed by the group on tracks like What The Fuck? Their fourth album Christ, The Album is an amalgamation of live recordings, new music and experimental fragments, again fuelling the progression of music even adding horns and strings along with just about thing else into the mix. Opening the box containing the vinyl, artwork and accompanying booklet of words and thoughts feels like your tampering with a long lost historical manuscript – which in ways you are – and that moment in itself is worth the price of nostalgic admission alone. Next is Yes Sir, I Will released in 1983 it combined the anger of previous years alongside the uncharacteristically quiet melodies of Anarchy’s Just Another Word and was originally realised as one continuous piece of sound, albeit a tense, unsettling rendition hitting you full force. In ways proving to be their most uncomfortable, hard-hitting work. By contrast is the final title, Ten Notes on a Summer’s Day which was released in 1986 and again transformed expectations of how the band will sound with another assault on the senses via words and music, although this time with a looser, more improvised feel. No one else sounding quite like them. A bygone era? You can listen again now.

Out now

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