The Lads – Counterculture LP (Contra)

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Just in case the band’s name didn’t make it fairly obvious, the in-your-face album artwork for “Counterculture” rams the message home – these boys play skinhead-oi!, loud and proud. This is meat and gravy, or sausage and chips, washed down with gallons of beer. If you’re looking for fine cuisine and a polished sound then look elsewhere – The Lads wear their style in their hearts and they wear it with pride. One thing is certain, The Lads are angry. Song-titles like “Hate & Anger” or “What Makes Me Sick” speak for themselves, as the lads vent against high society and the mainstream way of life. Bouncing along at shitkicking tempo, the songs are purest streetpunk, undiluted by rock or metal or ska. I am writing this review as the train I am travelling on a train passing through the old mining and industrial towns of northern England and I can feel the desolation of these places echoed in the tunes on Counterculture. The rich get richer as the poor and disenfranchised sink ever further down the foodchain. Desperate times are the reason for this call to arms and when the revolution comes, this will be part of that soundtrack. Tom Chapman

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