Gold Blade - Rebel Songs

Gold Blade have often been overshadowed by journalist John Robb's unique views on nostalgia TV each week. Morley would relate the event to it's social context and drop in references such as Sartre and Camus, Maconie would recall the time he met some obscure band called "Dog Shit", but you could always rely on John Robb to deliver a succinct and simple slogan spluttered out before nervously laughing. While being called upon to spout opinions on everything from the Spice Girls to the Sex Pistols and McFly through to Metallica, Gold Blade has always been a passionate and ongoing concern. "Rebel Songs" is the bands most cocksure and consistent album since the debut "Home Turf". With a political underbelly crossed with the sort of tunes that made "Strictly Hardcore" and "Black Elvis" so essential.

"Psycho" was the song that kicked off this new era. Already a live favourite it caused a near riot in Russia. The lyrics are as you'd expect from Robb, short and punchy, "The streets are full of sex & violence, the situation seems so vacant. Some times I feel so reckless, sometimes I feel pretty violent". "Black Sheep Radical" looks at Che Guevera, or Cliché Guevera as he's now known. Detached from his context Che has just become another image to front ad campaigns and add that acceptable face of revolution to their products. Everything's that dangerous has to be neutralized.

"Fighting In The Dancehall" and "All We've Got Are Rebel Songs" are the centre piece of the album. On the latter you can't help but think of the Edwyn Collins lyric "too many protest singers, not enough protest songs". After a couple of forgettable tracks in the form of "Stereo Gangster", "Everything Is Porn" they bring the lyrical tour de force of "Cops & Robbers" - "Old Muck Donald had a farm and on this farm he grew some GM crap".

With songs like "The Decline And Fall Of Ancient Rome" and "(War) Not In My Name" Gold Blade have released an album which any self respecting punk fans should own. It may not have the lyrical depth of Asian Dub Foundation or the humour of Chumbawamba, but "Rebel Songs" has got a spirit which is impossible to ignore

Alex McCann

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