Distributor/label: Westworld Recordings
Buy Album [URL]: http://www.plastichead.com/item.asp?ex=fitem&target=WW0023CD
Band Website: http://www.chelseapunkband.com/
01. About Time
02. Crazy Train
03. We Don’t Believe You
04. They Don’t Care What You Want
05. Something Wrong In Yer Head
06. Fuck All
07. You’ve Gotta Survive
08. Johnny Has No Respect
09. You Never Listen
11. Saturday Night & Sunday Morning
12. Someone Like You
13. Talk About It
A good back story can sometimes be a band’s best charm, and never has this been more true than with Chelsea, an ageing, reformed “punk” band from London. In August 1976 Gene October (who now works in the recycling department for Brighton and Hove Council) placed an advert in Melody Maker which led to replies from guitarist William Broad, bassist Tony James and drummer John Towe. On October 18th they made their live debut as Chelsea at London’s ICA, but not long after the latter three split, going on to form the much more credible Generation X.
For a band that had a fair legacy, it’s amazing how awful this new LP is. If the pastiche worthy cover art wasn’t a warning sign, surely track titles such as “Crazy Train” and “Fuck All” are. Musically, this is cringeful clash of tired chord structures, mid-life crisis crooning and nostalgic nonsense. This is the punk equivalent to an ageing mother drinking too much Tia Maria and bursting out her old favourites on a karaoke machine in Butlins, which is where this band should really be playing. Obviously it was their old contacts that managed to get them their slot at the 100 Club last June.
Of course, I understand the nostalgia factor; but surely from a fan’s perspective, we’d much rather listen to “Right to Work” on repeat than ever endure any of these thirteen tracks, all of which manage to feel exhaustingly long in just three and a half minutes.
Does this album have a purpose? Of course it does. Let it be an enormous, embarrassing warning beacon to all bands of this era who are contemplating a reformation. Gene October would have been better just sticking to recycling bottles and cardboard, rather than the dregs of his own musical integrity.