Like any angelic upstarts record this is not just music. It’s a reflection of society and a request for those not happy to do something about it. Musically it’s sing along mid tempo punk rock but the upstarts are still trying to smash the system. Or, failing that, those that espouse right wing beliefs.
“Tories tories tories (out out out)” is the perfect start for an angelic upstarts record. Since 1977 they have been championing the cause of the 99%. These are the people that are concerned where the money comes from to pay the bills. The people who do the manufacturing. So why wouldn’t this start with a rallying cry. Mensi has never been afraid to let people know where he stands and with a song called “until Palestine is free” let there be no doubt whose camp angelic upstarts are in. ‘Palestine’ sees a slightly poppier vein alongside “man of straw.”
“Like father like son” however speeds things up again. The guitar licks away with a catchy riff and you can sing along at the top of your voice to the line ‘You’re full of shit’. There’s an anger and aggression to the upstarts that times doesn’t sit easy with me but that’s what happens when you wear your heart on your microphone. On “Don’t give an inch” we hear the sound from punk 1979 working with lyrics pleading with people to stand up for what they believe in. It makes me think of the time the wild hearted outsiderfrom this blog went to see the upstarts in London. ‘Wildie’ stands up for what he believes in and wears clothes that he likes. He has no punk uniform or hairstyle. On the night as he was dancing along with his hand up In the air mensi thought he was giving a nazi salute. The upstarts singer was readying himself to get the would be nazi onto the stage when fellow Irish punk and current Hooligan guitarist Lenny explained it was all an innocent mistake. Neither man was going to give an inch and there could well have been trouble. This was not unusual for an upstarts gig as people followed them looking for a fight. And the band were ready to fight for their beliefs. It would seem like little has changed, except the age profile.
“Take it apart” is a basic plea to get out and fight for your future. “It’s in your hands to change it…but you’re too distracted posting on your Facebook”. It’s a proclamation for the future after a past that has promised much but delivered too little. “Obscenity” deals with highly opinionated people whose comments have little grounding in humanity. With a sing along chorus of “you’re an arsehole”. “Reptile rule” dissects the monarchy, with a ode against rule Brittania which is the land of ”reptile rule”. This one even features a small guitar solo before the sing along chorus.
“Streets of st Pauli” is dedicated to the one football team the punks can all support. Of course being an Irish man football to me is different to uk comrades as we can hop and catch the ball. Our soccer is their football and the same in Germany. St Pauli are the team of the people not only in their home town of Hamburg but all through Europe and beyond. They are the working class team for the working class game. It seems that the football of today is a far cry from the pastime of the working class it once was but when st Pauli play it’s a party for the working class and all those anti fascists that are associated with them. The upstarts celebrate this. Sometimes it seems like civilization has come a long way. Over then past 100 years people life expectancy has risen and society has become more equal. We still have a long way to go and as long as people want to hunt foxes as a sport we still have along distance to cover. Give the fox a gun says we should turn the tide and let the fox do the hunting against that class that rule.
Boss Tuneage have teamed up with Canadian Streetpunk label Insurgence Records for this release, and here’s to many more collaborations