Release Date: May 20, 2013
Record label: Overground
“STILL FIGHTING THE PUNK ROCK WAR,” proclaims the Goldblade website in block capitals. Like Japanese soldiers, hiding out in the jungle with straggly hair and a broken radio, they refuse to believe the fighting can possibly be over. Except that the punk rock war was won. It rarely filled stadiums, but its DIY ethos and lack of pretension damaged and infiltrated pop and rock alike.
Sixteen years on from their riotous debut, Home Turf, veteran Manchester punk-rock- soul brotherhood Goldblade are still proudly fighting their self-styled punk war, slugging away in the trenches while newly evolved genres gain ground on the sonic battlefield. Global unrest and the deepening recession that’s taken hold since their last long-player (2008’s Mutiny, on Captain Oi!) provide the components for their latest rebellious grenade The Terror Of Modern Life, but can it detonate with the kind of far-reaching fury that makes a difference in these precarious times? It’s unlikely, for while Goldblade remain an incendiary live act, they’re loose cannons on record. Sure, the best of John Robb’s anti-corporate tirades (the money market-dissing We’re All In It Together, the self-explanatory The World Is Fucked Up Nowadays) hit the spot, and there’s some irresistibly beefy, bass-heavy hardcore gumbo to wolf down, such as Someone Stole My Brain, but ultimately, there’s nothing here of the same anthemic calibre as Who Was The Killa? or Psycho to go stark raving radio rental over.
Such is the prolific nature of John Robb – that’ll be journalist, writer, biographer, talking head and broadcaster amongst his many guises – that it’s easy to forget that he’s also a musician. Not that he’s been slouching, of course. The reunion of Blackpool Peel faves The Membranes has seen him stretch his time and efforts into seemingly more hours and minutes than there are in the day but it’s here, with Goldblade’s most destructive detonation to date, that he and his crepe-soled compatriots burn with a righteous intensity that’s not been seen before.