1978, Music

Can’t Stand the Rezillos (1978)

This is one of those second wave English punk albums that manages to win you over despite the fact that they are quite late to the party at this point.

Like a less interesting, less unique version of X-Ray Spex, the Rezillos’ relative uniqueness partially rests on their female lead singers (two of them). But unlike X-Ray Spex, there’s no saxophone (on this album, they would add one later); instead there are the boy-girl vocals that X would use and many later indie rock bands would rely on. This alone wouldn’t be enough to make this record notable, of course.

The thing is, these guys have a really strong sense of melody and, moreover, a strong sense of songcraft. It’s pretty clear they revere ’60s pop in addition to the rock and roll they grew up with. There’s a sense of the pop music tradition which is missing or deprecated in some first wave British punk.

The performances are super high energy as well. You’d expect that with this music, but for some reason this particular version of high energy works more on me than, say, the Buzzcocks’ version does. (You could also make a claim that, along with the Buzzcocks, this is the foundation of Pop Punk, for good or ill.)

Pretty great stuff, even if it isn’t original.

8/10

All tracks written and composed by John Callis except where indicated.

  1. “Flying Saucer Attack” – 2:47
  2. “No” – 2:22
  3. “Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in Tonight” (Jeremy Spencer) – 1:53
  4. “Top of the Pops” – 2:55
  5. “2000 A.D.” (Callis, Mysterious) – 2:58
  6. “It Gets Me” (Mysterious) – 2:11
  7. “Can’t Stand My Baby” – 2:22
  8. “Glad All Over” (Dave Clark, Mike Smith) – 2:07
  9. “(My Baby Does) Good Sculptures” – 3:10
  10. “I Like It” (Mitch Murray) – 1:46
  11. “Getting Me Down” – 2:06
  12. “Cold Wars” – 2:54
  13. “Bad Guy Reaction” – 2:15
  • Jo Callis – electric guitars
  • Mysterious (aka William Mysterious) – bass on
  • Angel Paterson – drums
  • Fay Fife – vocals
  • Eugene Reynolds – vocals

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