Chelsea

Mis­sion Im­pos­si­ble

Classic Rock - - The Hard Stuff Albums - Johnny sharp

Punk vet­er­ans re­turn

Last year’s reis­sue of their early stu­dio sin­gles re­minded us of just what a vi­tal force Chelsea were in the early Lon­don punk scene, and even though they never made top billing, front­man Gene Oc­to­ber has kept fight­ing the good fight ever since.

This, their eleventh stu­dio al­bum, once again fea­tur­ing

Right To Work-era gui­tarist

James Steven­son, comes two years af­ter Satur­day Night Sun­day Morn­ing, and all the req­ui­site el­e­ments are once again present and cor­rect: ur­gent, chug­ging gui­tar, fist-pump­ing cho­ruses and some in­fec­tious hooks.

Yet there’s just that ex­tra ragged edge miss­ing. Oc­to­ber’s voice, as it ages, has an un­seemly tinge of Clive Dunn about it, while the grow­ing-old­dis­grace­fully lyrics don’t al­ways make sense (‘Life is just a game of poker, I’ll just spin the wheel and land on black’), to the point where there’s just a slight sense that the band are es­sen­tially just go­ing through the mo­tions. Pretty en­ter­tain­ing mo­tions, at times, but mo­tions none­the­less.

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