AT A TIME WHEN THE PUNK THING WAS OVERLOADED WITH BANDS TAKING THEMSELVES FAR TOO SERIOUSLY, THE JOLLY CAPTAIN SENSIBLE, THE LUGOSI-ESQUE DAVE VANIAN, THE GRUBBILY ADORABLE RAT SCABIES AND THE SOON TO BE FLICKED, FAR TOO UP HIMSELF BRIAN JAMES, BROUGHT SOME LONG OVERDUE HUMOUR TO THE PROTO PUNK TABLE . . . .
Often cited as the first Pommy punk outfit to release a single with 'New Rose', they were actually beaten to the punk, te he he, by Australia's own 'The Saints', but that is beside this particular point.
In the wake of the moderate success of 'New Rose' and the album "Damned, Damned, Damned" and the disaster of its follow up, "Music for Pleasure", the guys had a spat, broke up and then reformed minus the previously mentioned James, who had been the primary songsmith . . . . dragging ex Saints bassist, Algy Ward, into the Entirely Silly Punk Boys Musical Experience Club while Sensible moved to guitars, they threw together the delightfully more melodic "Machine Gun Etiquette" album and it's from this long player that my choice here, 'Smash it Up' Parts 1 + 2, [out of the 4 on the album], is taken.
The cool urban myth/legend about the song is this . . . . Vanian, Scabies, Sensible and Ward were well aware of the constant shit that the punk bands were copping from the squares and the royalty of the musial mainstream, [soon to be culled and killed off by the same yobs they were bad mouthing], for their so called lack of musical ability and songcraft skills . . . . 'fuck those tossers' the lads said and went about writing their magnum opus that 'Smash it Up' represents, it was a deliberate 'stick it up your arse' to those self same, flare wearing, blow wave blowing, jet plane snorting, filthy rich wankers who had totally lost touch with their audiences and the world in general.
Starting with the beautifully beguiling intro that builds into a riotously raucous, full tilt punk anthem, all the while showcasing a newfound sense of melody and songwriting gained since the departure of Mr Serious, its catchy as syphyllis hooks had 'Smash it Up' slot straight into the charts, it wasn't so much a case of selling out but rather stepping up . . . . so even though the tune may not have convinced the 'legends' gang or the 'popular' musical press of the time, the fact that many of their collective careers were retarded or permanently shut down due to the 'no talent bums' of the punk revolution must've been fucking sweet satisfaction in itself . . . . 'Smash it Up' or die trying, giddy up motherfucker !!!