Dead Ringer / Candlelight
Formed in Bristol, UK in 1979, it took anarchist hardcore punks Chaos UK a full three years to enter a recording studio. But when they finally did cross that barrier, there was no turning back. They did two singles and this eponymous debut album in 1982 and, with a couple of line-up changes, they have kept putting out albums ever since, save some short years off during the late ’80s. This album has never been available in the US, and you’d be pretty lucky to dig out a copy anywhere else, so it’s a good thing that Dead Ringer Records has decided to re-release it.
Reminiscent of Black Flag and Social Distortion, Chaos UK differ from their American counterparts not only geographically but also by being noticeably influenced by the then-current British post-punk scene. The influence from Joy Division and Killing Joke is certainly present on songs like “The End is Nigh” and “Victimised.” Elsewhere, this is better characterized as aggressive, political hardcore punk coming directly from the streets; sometimes brutal (“Fashion Change,” “Leech”), sometimes humorous (“Farmyard Boogie”) and sometimes downright creepy (“Mentally Insane”).
This CD reissue adds eleven bonus tracks to the album’s original eleven songs. The more confrontational single version of “Victimised” is the standout among these bonuses, alongside explorative, punishing numbers like “Four Minute Warning” and “Hypocrite,” all of which display an uncharacteristically upbeat call-to-arms attitude.
Candlelight Records: http://www.candlelightrecords.co.uk/