By Jordan Mooney.
One of the many fine albums sent to us recently by Stu Taylor at STP Records is a…horrors! A compilation?! Well, let’s have a look…
The uninitiated’s opinion of ‘Punk’ is, these days, rather heavily outdated. The idea of blokes in T-shirts making a lot of anarchic noise and shouting into microphones against a backdrop of crunching guitars is a unique genre that just isn’t in favour any more. As new talent rolls in, these old ideals are replaced by newer sub-genres, mixes and causes – that are mostly wonderful, of course…
But sometimes you want a simpler taste of things. Exactly the sort of Punk that was filling bars twenty five, thirty years ago. Sometimes you want to see some blokes just tearing everything a new one.
And, frankly, for us, the younger generation…
Well, it means something. To us it’s nostalgia of an era many of us never truly experienced. It’s an important piece of history. It’s fun to listen to. It’s exciting, and it’s that stubborn capacity of anarchic traditionalism that keeps Punk rock alive to even the youngest fans and wildest assortment of sub-genres.
This is partially the reason I got so damned excited when Stu Taylor, of the most beauteous STP Records, sent me a ‘care package’ of four releases…
And one of them was Twenty Five Years of Punk Rock – The Best of 4PM.
4 Past Midnight have lived through punk at its highest points and have seen the genre change into some incredibly creative and fun variations…and some absolute crocks simultaneously. Throughout, their brand of traditional Punk-values straight from Glasgow’s streets has been constant.
And it’s so bloody satisfying.
It’s not stuff trying to function on its complexity – although they don’t lack technical skill – Some of the guitars are damned impressive! – It’s more trying to represent a very genuine, open, shouting curriculum vitae of the group’s past and present. Rather than showing a group constantly changing and modernising to fit trends (no remixes here, chaps), it’s here to show a constant stream of Punk that doesn’t flinch in the face of adversity and isn’t afraid of a punch-up outside a pub in Soho.
It’s blunt, it’s thuggy and it’s peppered with leather, tartan and mohicans throughout with a complete shamelessness. If an old lady saw this sound embodied, walking down the street, she’d probably cross to the other side of the road.
It’s definitely not a graceful, elegant release. It’s punk. Proper punk. The punk that embodies punk’s true existence.
It’s old fashioned – perhaps even a little archaic to younger audiences (excepting contributions such as Partypolitical Bullshit …one of the most consistently relevant songs ever composed.) But if you want to see a real building block of what’s kept the genre going so long, look no further. This is undiluted, unneutered and unrestricted. Something that STP Records specialise in. And proof of a perfect partnership!
I’m not an expert in the group – in fact this is the first time I’ve really sat down and listened to their music. But what 4 Past Midnight have provided is set to be a very worthy and well respected part of the Wall’s library.
It’s funny. It’s rough around the edges. By the time it’s Four Minutes past one it’ll probably be throwing up into the bins behind a Chinese takeaway.
It doesn’t try to romanticise and it doesn’t try to glamorise. And comes off way better for it, too. These are Glasgow blokes – most of my family is from up there and they’re a good laugh. The album stands as a sort of rowdy testament.
If you’re a punk, you’ll love this album. If you want to get started on punk? Start here. Go to the origins. Right to the core. And if it works for you…? Well, the newer stuff is more than accessible in comparison.
Enjoy it, ladies and gents. It’s a rare commodity and deserves your valuation!
The Best of 4PM can be purchased now on the STP Records Shop…for eight pounds, it’s an absolute steal. Two discs, fifty two tracks?! Why not!