EXHUMED: F.U.2 'Punk Rock'

posted Wednesday Sep 14th, 2016

Punk Rock by FU2 (also known as Depressions or The First FU2 Album), has seen some half-dozen odd versions since its initial release in 1977. A decade separated from his work with the Downliners Sect, Terry Clemson (aka Terry Gibson) had been doing some studio work and propositioned friend and—with Don Craine— Sect co-founder member Keith Grant to attempt a worthwhile punk LP on the sly together, and with Grant agreeing they set out to pen this clutch of tunes—with the writers of the album remaining the cause of much speculation for decades until they finally let the cat out. To provide a bit of session scratch to their pals, they invited along Craine and Paul Tiller to contribute, but as some have later posited, the word from the Sect camp was this was never intended as their “punk album”.

Though, Clemson re-joined the lineup shortly after these recordings with album opener and standout “Playin’ My Guitar” and “Out of School “—both it and album track “You Don’t Love Me” contained here are killer, near NY Dolls-soundalikes—carrying over to the Sect’s 1979 LP Showbiz, not too dissimilar in sound from this LP does make things a bit circumspect. Whatever the case, this album of amplified pub rock sits shoulder-to- shoulder with the UK Subs’ material where Charlie Harper let his R&B roots show, as well as the pub-rock pound of the early Count Bishops lineup featuring Mike Spenser on vocals and general vibe of the Chiswick Records roster. Sometimes “fake punk” is the best punk, and whether you’re taking the first plunge, or revisiting this album, stellar sound sourced from the original master tapes makes this a worthwhile purchase. Though, it’s downright insultory these days there’s a U2 tribute making the rounds under this same name, bring the scales back to balance and pick this up.