What do you get if you take elements of ESG, The Clash, Shronk, Noam Chomsky and growing up in Broken Britain? Austerity. Now I don’t mean the austerity that David Cameron ushered in but the punk trio from Brighton. After a few singles and radio sessions, their debut album is finally here. ‘Anarcho Punk Dance Party’ is a fun album that packs a huge lyrical punch. It shows that BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson was right when he played their music and invited them in for a session.
Album opener ‘Aaaaaarrrrrghhh’ has a Patti Smith ‘Babelogue’ vibe to it. As the guitars squeal, fuzz and are generally abused in the background, Thomas Vincent discusses out current political times in stream of consciousness diatribe. What it does is tell us exactly what we are in for. If you were expecting a poppy/boppy punk album you might be disappointed.
Everything about Austerity is DIY. They run their own labels, Every Man His Own Football and Spies in the Wires, release music on limited runs of cassettes and make their own videos. The three songs that sum this up on Anarcho Punk Dance Party are ‘Nice Guy’, ‘Rinse and Repeat’ and ‘Lambrini Anarchist’. ‘Nice Guy’ tackles toxic masculinity and the #metoo movement. Lyrics like “You felt entitled it’s not your fault. She was beautiful, she didn’t say no exactly. If we frame it right you were too right” and “No you’re not a rapist mate, You tell yourself that” are barked at us over a searing backing track. ‘Rinse and Repeat’ opens with the line “Like my product I made it just for you. Everyone else too. Especially for you” before the simple, but effective, chorus “Buy something. Feel better. Do it again”.
Like a lot of Austerity they don’t mess about getting to the crux of their songs. As you can tell this is a snide and sardonic attack on capitalism. It feels like a modern take on Bis’ classic ‘This Is Fake DIY’. The ultimate joke is that Austerity want you to buy their music and they literally have made it just for you. Album closer ‘Lambrini Anarchist’ opens with a peel of feedback and distortion then screams that it doesn’t matter if you are classed a “Champagne Socialist, Prosecco Communist, Lambrini anarchist, It’s all the fucking same” as it’s all part of the same problem.
But sadly Austerity are a sign of these times, when the poor/lower classes are being suffocated by the higher reaches of society all in the name of progress, but actually it’s just about money and power. What ‘Anarcho Punk Dance Party’ does best is trying to show the hypocrisy in the system but also giving you something to lose yourself in and dance to. The majority of the album works and the songs don’t just sound like slogans you can sing along to when pissed. The only real downside is that after the initial burst of “YES this is bollocks let’s change it” there aren’t really any solutions other than being nicer to each other and not voting for certain political parties. But as they say buy something feel better, and buying this will definitely make you feel better!
Anarcho Punk Dance Party is out now on Every Man His Own Football/Hidden Backwater.