Saturday, 26 March 2016

Newtown Neurotics - Beggars Can Be Choosers (Punk UK 1983)

Size: Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

The Newtown Neurotics (later just The Neurotics) are an English punk rock/post-punk group formed in 1979. They are noted for their openly political music.

As The Newtown Neurotics, the band began their career playing punk heavily indebted stylistically to The Clash and The Ramones. They released a series of singles from 1979 - later collected on the album 45 Revolutions per Minute - and debut album Beggars Can Be Choosers in 1983. Over the course of the 1980s, the band dropped the "Newtown" from its name and simply became The Neurotics; along with the name change came a stylistic broadening, including slower tempos and horn arrangements. They released several albums on noted UK postpunk label Jungle Records. 

Lead singer and guitarist Steve Drewett took openly socialist stances in his lyrics throughout the course of the band's career and currently displays an anarcho-syndicalist sticker on his guitar. When the bassist, Colin Dredd, contracted pleurisy, he left the band; Mac (Travis Cut /The Pharaohs /The Skabilly Rebels) was brought in to play bass for some farewell shows (at which the band's entire catalogue was played), and the band called it quits in October 1988. Drewett went on to form an Afropunk band called The Indestructible Beat, which disbanded in 1995. Steve Drewett plays occasional solo gigs.

The band reformed as The Newtown Neurotics for reunion shows in London and Brighton leading up to Blackpool's 2006 Wasted and 2008 Rebellion punk festivals, their biggest British audiences to date. A new rhythm section of David Walsh (Drums) and Adam Smith (Bass) (Both from Harlow Newtown) have been backing Steve Drewett since 2007, including an appearance in the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool for the 2009 Rebellion Festival. In 2010 Steve Drewett made his first US appearance, playing at The Big Takeover magazine's 30th Anniversary festival.

In 2015 Simon Lomond rejoined the band for a string of dates including a performance at the Rebellion Festival. Original bassist, Colin Dredd (Masters) died on 19 May 2015.

This courageous trio from Harlow, Essex, has a great lesson to teach groups: how to infuse a striking mixture of sociopolitical awareness, brains, and down-to-earth, super-intelligent heart (on the sleeve, big time) into modern music. This is post-punk rock & roll with fun, energized appeal, with well-played ensemble work and a string of zippy, kinetic chord changes. 

One can dance, think, feel, and most of all be inspired to action by listening to such music, and leader Steve Drewett was one of the unsung giants of early-'80s indie Britain. Long before the amateurish riot-grrrl movement, big guy Drewett attacked sexism, gender roles, and domestic violence (from "No Respect": "No man is a 'whore' he invented the name/No man is a 'slut' he feels no shame." From "Agony": "When was the last time you saw a man cry on TV?"). 

Elsewhere, the remake of the Members' great 1978 single "Solitary Confinement" with Drewett's new words as "Living With Unemployment" might be the high watermark for '80s socialist-tinged, slice-of-life protest songs; it's heartfelt and real. And the competent punk-reggae of "Newtown People" is a scathing condemnation of their little town's bland, suffocating myopia. 

Albums like this make listeners proud instead of sickened to be a rock fan. [There are only 1,250 copies pressed of the Dojo reissue of the Neurotics' first LP, originally issued by Razor U.K. in 1983. But 1,250 is better than nothing.

01. Wake Up  05:34
02. The Mess  04:15
03. Get Up And Fight  03:25
04. No Respect  02:36
05. Agony  04:16
06. Newtown People  04:380
07. Does Anyone Know Where The March Is?  2:46
08. Life In Their Hands  02:58
09. My Death  03:19
10. Living With Unemployment  05:11

Bonus Tracks
11. Blitzkrieg Bop  02:07
12. Fools  02:52
13. When I Need You  02:48

1. Newtown
2. Newtown
3. Newtown


Doug said...

Thanks Chris.Excellent album.

steve in toronto said...

yay oh my god. thank you!!! love these guys!!

steve in toronto

Anonymous said...

Thanx a lot!

Anonymous said...

Broken link.