GBH has always been an underdog of sorts. Which, if you think
about it, is probably best for a punk rock band; it’s hard to rail against the
world when you’re on top of it.
Around since ’78, they certainly never got the amount of ink
devoted to fellow UK
rockers like The Clash, the Sex Pistols and The Damned, but their music was
just as influential among certain bands in the Mohawked set. The guys in Rancid
have long sworn allegiance to the street punks, and the skate rats in high
school had the band’s logo stenciled on their book covers, right next to the
Dead Kennedys and Jody Foster’s Army logos. And yet you can toss a balled up
Blink 182 t-shirt into any Hot Topic in Suburbia and hit a kid who has no idea
these guys even exist.
Perfume and Piss, their latest, will likely not change their underrated
status, but the album is still every bit as angry and brilliant as the stuff they
were churning out in the ‘80s. Filled with distorted power chords, chant-worthy
choruses and spit-out lyrics about alienation and fighting the status quo, GBH
still knows how to channel that surly teenager. There are almost too many
standout tracks to mention, but “Ballads,” their fuck off to other bands and
“San Jose Wind,” a tribute to Joe Strummer, may be among the best tracks the
band has ever recorded.
Thirty years running and still not getting the respect they
deserve. That’s punk rock for you.
Standout Tracks: “Kids
Get Down,” “San Jose Wind,” “Ballads” JOHN B. MOORE