Oh boy Civilised Society?, that’s a blast from the past and a name that I never thought I’d ever hear, let alone see adorning a record cover, again. Right around the same time that I was discovering, and taking my first tentative steps in, the Hardcore scene, Civilised Society? released their (I think) debut album, Scrap Metal, which was one of the first punk records that I bought. I loved it then and I still love it now, and on the rare occasions that I get the house to myself, I still drop the needle, crank up the volume and do my pitiful best to sing-a-long with it. Oh, and the first Hardcore shirt I ever bought, and owned, was a Civilised Society? one. So, yeah, me and Civilised Society? , we’ve got some history together. And as far as I’m concerned, it’s all good.
Which brings us to this new record from the reformed, reunited, call it what you will Civilised Society? Given how important the band were to me in my formative punk rock years, I put off listening to War in My Head for a couple of days. Every time I went to play it, nerves got the better of me and blind panic made a thousand different scenarios run through my head “What if it isn’t any good? What do I do if it sucks? Will it ruin everything that I think I know, and feel, about Civilised Society? Did I leave the gas on? Have I remembered to lock the car?” Okay, so the last two were due to my middle aged brain raising middle aged concerns and had nothing to do with the record at all, but you get my drift. I was worried (my wife tells me that I should chill the Eef out and no worry about so many things) that Civilised Society? wouldn’t be the band that I remembered them being.
My wife was right. I needn’t , and shouldn’t, have worried. Having slimmed down to a four piece and abandoned their dual vocal attack, Civilised Society? have stepped back into the ring, spitting fire and hurling venom and vitriol and are ready, willing and more than able to take on the world again. With Bev now leading the charge, Civilised Society? have adopted a slightly more metal approach, fusing it with their brand of anarcho powered UKHC to create hard hitting, direct Suicidal Tendencies, Détente and Nausea influenced crossover that’ll floor even the most ardent of Hardcore and Thrash purists alike and leave them begging for more. If the four tracks on War in My Head are any indication of things to come from Civilised Society? , then the world, for a change, has something to look forward to… Tim Cundle