Bad Breeding - Human Capital

Bad Breeding – Human Capital

Bad Breeding‘s particular brand of anarcho-punk is one that, when delivered by others, can seem a little over the top or, worse, devoid of anything remotely memorable. Thankfully BB peddle their fearsome, raw material in a manner closer to the likes of Crass than any of the mere charlatans of the genre, and that lifts them high above the shoulders of any artists who can be categorised such. It’s an acquired taste but perseverance is very much a virtue here.

Human Capital is relentless from the off. Aggressive, almost indecipherable lyrics with a left-leaning socio-political bent, it’s actually something of a relief when the slower title track kicks in halfway through the album. It’s perhaps a path that the band should consider following a little further, giving off Killing Joke type vibes for a change rather than, say, The Exploited. ‘Nostalgia Trip‘ after all is a dead ringer for ‘Dead Cities‘ (in a good way), at least at the outset.

Not that this is a criticism of the band in any way. Just that the aural assault up until that title track feels rather like a chainsaw attack, buzzing, frenetic guitars all over the place and Chris Dodd’s razor blade vocals going forehead to forehead with anyone he doesn’t like the look of. But that’s fine because those people are probably Tories. I think I’d rather sit back and watch with a big bag of popcorn than break up the fight.

Within the record comes a lengthy essay on the state of 2020s Britain. Jake Farrell notes that “we are marooned on our islands of self-obsession by cultural forces that emphasise our differences, keeping us apart and suspicious of each other. It feels as though in recent years, especially during the immediate onslaught of austerity following the 2008 financial crisis, that the idea of community itself was under attack.”

He has a point. The last six years have felt like a barrage of divide and conquer tactics from the right. No wonder Bad Breeding sound so angry. They are very much on the more sympathetic side of society though, despite their gnarly nature, as these lyrics from opener ‘Community‘ illustrates:

Hollow landlords suffocate / starve and ruin in the name of value / Emaciated on the 14th floor / building for a brighter future / Spoon, debt and lifeless sheets / Forming debt in lines to eat / What is left of your own dignity / teeth dragged across the brick of survival.”

Human Capital is packed to the brim with astute ideology, though granted it’s often tricky to decipher. But that’s why it demands to be played LOUD. Join them. Don’t let the bastards win.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.