Crass (1978) The Feeding of the 5000 (LP)


The Feeding of the 5000

Recommended ****

Released December 1978 (UK only)

Anyone who wants to understand punk, or a lesson about what went wrong, needs to give this set a listen.  The cover is one of the greatest sleeves in rock-and-roll history, but one needs to go beyond that, put the record on the turntable and crank it high enough to tick off the neighbors.  While some of the band’s other material might interest a variety of listeners, on this debut they march through both sides with a single direction, the rhythm a mix of R&B and military marching, stomping everything in sight with the sound of punk rock.

While most early punk was simply R&B, even more so than most of the rock stylings of the mid 70s, some punk bands were clearly offering something new, Suicide in the States for example, and this outfit in the UK.  If you can’t recognize the R&B core of those two bands, you’re not really listening, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t breaking open something that had rarely seen the light of day.  In order to understand something, you have to break it open.

A lot of punks on politics can get annoying and sound self-righteous, let the politics get in the way of not just the music but the message as well.  Meanwhile, Crass mixed everything into one thing, dropped punk into a batch of battery acid and dissolved it down to its core.

This album is about as punk as it gets.  Not that a sound has to be pure punk to sound good, but Crass deserves credit for recognizing something and something wrong, and getting down to the gritty core of it.

— winch (author of…


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