|No Choice - 'Thru It' (PRB Records)|
|Written by Johnny H|
|Monday, 14 January 2013 04:00|
If one gift I received late last year filled me with the true independent spirit of music then it was this all new twelve track long player from Cardiff political post punkers No Choice. Not so much because it was pressed on lovely heavyweight coloured vinyl by those good people at Punk Rock Bowling but more to do with the fact that I honestly never thought I'd ever get to see this the band's third album 'Thru It' see the light of day.
I'm sure the No Choice guys will be the first to agree when I say that if ever there was a record released through pure self belief and determination then 'Thru It' is that album. But then having about three decades of experience in the music business behind them you might have thought that by now something as simple as just releasing a follow up to 2008's 'Anaesthetize This.... Annihilate That!' might by now be expected to come with just one of two minor setbacks, the least of which quite possibly being the UK's rapid descent into a nation of paranoid greedy self obsessed automatons.
So here we are in 2013 with the band's line up now featuring the 'Anaesthetize' trio of Gagz (vocals), PM (bass) and Mowgli (guitars) along with new drummer Lewis and boy do they sound angry with the world outside their window, and quite rightly so given the apathy they no doubt feel within the world right now, an indifference that perhaps even extends to within their own scene. But it doesn't take a Tory government long (not even a unelected one) to put the fire back in the bellies of those who lived through the Thatcher years, and album opener 'Coalition Blues' is the perfect way to middle finger salute the two and half years of lies we have suffered at the hands of the Omnishambles.
Whilst labelled post punk No Choice also have penchant for a bit of raw NWOBHM style guitar within of their tunes and 'A Formula' and the excellent 'Is This Punk Rock?' both show nods to the likes of early Maiden and Motorhead, but at the totally opposite ends of the musical spectrum tracks like 'These Nights, and 'Thru It' might as easily have fallen off say a Housemartins album or some eighties Red Wedge release. One thing is for sure throughout this record and that is that 'Thru It' captures No Choice at their most creative and spirited, as one listen to the hit single in waiting 'Pirates' will tell you. This is the type of song that Mike Ness would sell his soul a second time to be able to write once again.
Elsewhere the skanking dancehall vibes of 'Rhetoric And Promises' remind me of The Dead Formats recent stab at mainstream success, whilst 'You Don't Need To...' and 'Conclusion and Closure' have more than a whiff of a certain eighties chart topping mod/new wave trio about them especially in the rhythm department.
For all of these diverse and engaging musical points of reference dotted around 'Thru It' though the sound of No Choice ultimately comes down to their intelligent and thought provoking lyrics and the grit and determination with which frontman Gagz delivers the band's messages. It's a sound that you will immediately recognise as being "the real deal" and that is why when I first stumbled across No Choice one drunken night a good few years ago in Abertillery Rock City I immediately felt a connection with the band from the big city of Cardiff. No Choice are ultimately a band that puts their hearts and souls into their music and do it with the minimum amount of bullshit and fuss. In fact by the time you read this review No Choice will have just played what some might call the ideal launch party for 'Thru It'. The event held last Friday in the big city's Moon Club as a free entry show boasted a bill full to bursting with local talent holding it's values core to the true spirit of punk rock. Here in 2013 that is a spirit that is far from broken nevermind how much some people would like it to be.
Now anyone out there in the Überverse with half an ear for a good tune (punk rock or otherwise) get out there and grab your self a copy of 'Thru It' while you still can. It's £7 from Boss Tuneage via the link below.