Tuesday, 13 June 2017

The Pop Group - "The Boys Whose Head Exploded (live 1979-80)" (Freaks R Us FREAK20LP) 2016

File under Post-Punk.
This is post-punk with zero per cent progressive content, thirty-three and a third funk and soul.A sprinkling of free Jazz and Dub,you name it, its in there.Which I guess is a definition of 'Post-punk' after it was released from the straitjacket of its rocky predecessor.
The preachy nature of the Pop Groups manifesto like lyrics tends to get on ones proverbial tits, and the dance-ability irks somewhat as a nod towards the commerciality they allegedly detested.
Then, the cherry on the top, they go and reform as slightly rotund middle-aged blokes, to earn some dough.....ironically they still play "We Are All Prostitutes" but now in the style of a Haircut One Hundred tribute band.
What we have here are ten live cuts from 1979 to 1980, all of which verge on the cusp of total chaos.
Bruce Smith (the drummer), has the particular distinction of playing in two of the worst reformed groups from this specific epoch; namely The Pop Group, and PiL. They both should take a leaf out of This Heats book of how to do things;starting with make good music , and then call themselves 'This Is Not.... The Pop Group'.In the case of PiL, they should have used the prefix 'This Is Not...' from about 1982.


We Are All Prostitutes (Live Milan 1980)
Justice (Live Cologne 1980)
How Much Longer (Live Cologne 1980)
Blind Faith (Live Sheffield 1979)
Forces Of Oppression (Live Cologne 1980)
There Are No Spectators (Live Cologne 1980)
Feed The Hungry (Live Cologne 1980)
Rob A Bank (Live Milan 1980)
Shake The Foundations (Live Cologne 1980)
73 Shadow Street (Live Helsinki 1980)


Vaykorus said...


Anonymous said...

i beg to differ! the reformed pop group are as awesome and demented as they ever were... see my 2015 review: http://internationaltimes.it/magnificently-angry/


Jonny Zchivago said...

aka the Poop Groop.

rev.b said...

I don’t know anon. I’ve not seen them live, so my perspective is limited to what I’ve heard of their releases, old and new, and seen of the revived band’s live shows on YT. The original Pop Group’s music came from people in young adulthood and to my ears had an ability to scratch to the truth of whatever issue they sung about with a kind of hysterical rage the revived PG simply doesn’t posses. The current PG, is okay, I still agree with their outlook and I’m glad they’re active again. Their message is needed now more than ever, but the music simply doesn’t have the intense reactive rage it had 35 years ago. Today they sound closer to typical commercial dance music. Before, they were what I wished pop music was. Now, they’re merely what pop music is. Haircut 100’s not a misplaced analogy.

Steve D said...

nice one. what the fuck happened w/ these folks-the recent shit is just that!

Jonny Zchivago said...

I had to recheck to see if the recent stuff was as bad as I remember,so I listened to 'Citizen Zombie'...and it really is terrible. I dunno what record Anon was reviewing? Maybe someone slipped a copy of 'Y' in the Citizen Zombie sleeve?...it really does sound like Haircut 100 with mark stewart on vocals, with tiresome obvious politics replacing the lovey-dovey lyrics.....the poop groop indeed......they are all prostitutes.

Jumping Jack Backslash said...

Didn't Anon review a concert, not an album? I don't think "Citizen Zombie" is a terrible album.. but I dont think it breathes the old spirit, and "Honeymoon.. " is worse. I dont know why they called Dennis Bovell, it seems he didnt do just nothing.

Mark Stewart says “Taste is a Form of Censorship” - I asked several times (on the Freaks-Blog, on PledgeMusic, on bandcamp) what he exactly wants to say. But my comment was never published or censored away, or they just didn't answer. So I think this is a lame excuse for "If you dont like the new album, something must be wrong with you". Sorry, Mark, this is a total arbitrary statement, because you can use it anywhere.

I wonder what Mark Stewart would say to rip offs like this:

Jonny Zchivago said...

Well, i'm speechless!....'Taste is a form of censorship'????....Taste is also a form of opinion, and Mr Stewart is rather too full of those.
The new albums are shite, and that is my right, to say something's shite. Anything else definitely IS censorship.
I accept their right to reform and release new music, why don't they accept the right to say its SHITE!?.....i'm sure they wouldn't mind if I said it was very good?

Jumping Jack Backslash said...

I've got the interview here:

As you can see, there is just one moderated comment (says nothing). My other critical comments were erased in a hurry, no justification given. Also on the freaksrus.net site.

You re right with "the boys whose waistlines expanded" -lol. They call themselves "legendary", haha. What does success do to the minds of musicians?

Jonny Zchivago said...

Indeed....the same thing happens in all walks of life to the Human ego.
There's a reason why a president of the USA is only allowed two terms.....you get the Hitler syndrome. A person starts to think they are some kind of god when you are flushed with success and/or power.
Another reason why groups should just pack it all in after about five years max.....i'd prefer it if they broke up after one,maybe two albums...the second being posthumous of course.
Saying that, i'm a big fan of second albums....especially 'Punk' second albums.
Well, i'll try and leave some critical comment on that interview, but i don't want them coming after me so i'll use a pseudonym. I've already had Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, and Apple Records on my case.
After all....I am not a prostitute am i?

Jumping Jack Backslash said...

haha, sure.. or animal. Because we all are. According to Pop Group and Diagram Brothers

Ingo said...

Anyone have a download link to the dvd/video footage?