Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Crass-Christ The Album

Oh Crass. Where do I start with this record? Basically Crass took the potential that The Sex Pistols had (but wasted) and made the most with it. In my opinion Christ The Album is the definitive document of British Punk. Not Never Mind The Bollocks, not London Calling, not Damned Damned Damned. Crass never signed to a major label, never went on Top Of The Pops, never sold out, never compromised and of course never became famous.

Christ The Album is a 2-disc behemoth clocking in at approximately 90 minutes and includes studio and live tracks. The thing about Crass is that they were so much more than just a Punk band, they were Anarchists, artists and overall rabble rousers. Unlike pretty much all of the first wave of Punk bands Crass were the only group to include avant-garde and philosophical aspects in their work beyond base sloganeering. Crass still matter because they were a political collective who also happened to make some records. They saw the bullshit inherent in the music business and were some of the first ones to call bullshit on the careerist aspirations of many of the groups in the punk scene. There is nothing more liberating than not giving a shit what other people think and Crass used this to the max. They had no ambitions beyond making the music they wanted to make the way they wanted to make it.

I know i'm not really discussing the intricacies of this actual Crass album but trust me it's great as are all the records Crass released up through 1983's Yes Sir I Will. You can't go wrong with any of this stuff. The only problem I have with Crass (and this isn't their fault really) are all terrible "Street Punk" and "Crust Punk" bands that formed in their wake which, instead of carrying on their Anarchist political screeds, just sang about rioting, which without a valid philosophy behind it is just petty crime.

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