Fatal Blow – Generals & Soldiers (Mad Butcher Records)

Generals & Soldiers is the second full length release from the South Wales Skinhead trio Fatal Blow and it’s a bit of a departure from their first album, Victimised. While there’s still an underlying loyalty to their SHARP roots the band have branched out both lyrically and musically. Coming off like the bastard son of the Pistols, opening track Tent City Reality addresses the issue of homelessness before the band launch into an almost Agnostic Front style ode to Terrace Culture on the title track. It’s a lot more polished and professional sounding than the band’s debut, and while the Oppressed influence/origins of the band are still detectable it’s definitely more eclectic in its influences – Rich Man’s War could easily grace any Stiff Little Fingers release for example.

Fatal Blow haven’t completely moved away from their roots though, and on Proud Boys, Proud of What? the band lash out at the Hipster Alt-Right before attacking self-serving hypocrite politicians on Party Political Bullshit. Returning to their lyrical roots on the bouncy Last Skinhead in Town the band give a musical nod to Mid-west legends Zero Boys’ Living in The ‘80s. Bass player Nidge Down’s steps up to the mic on the catchy, Ska tinged Skinhead Time Bomb just to mix things up a little. Despite the similar title there’s not a hint of the Hard Skin’s sarcasm on Still Hate Thatcher or closing track What Have We Got – both of which see the band return musically and lyrically to their roots. For added value the CD also contains the bands Live In Manchester album which reprises most of the Victimised tracks along with a few Oppressed covers for good measure. Ian Pickens

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