year zero

Album Review:Live @ The Roundhouse London 2008 - X-Ray Spex

You'd think that now more than ever, on the cusp of a right-wing return to power and increasing dissatisfaction, with high unemployment an growing poverty, punk would be an inspiring force.

Sadly this live set from X-Ray Spex only succeeds to underline why punk had to die. Featuring their set from London's the Roundhouse last year (which itself covered every song bar-one from their only album) on CD and DVD it's a retrospective that may well appeal to the original fans but is unlikely to win over anyone who wasn't there the first time.

The problem with punk music was, for all it's noise and bravado, it was little more than rock 'n' roll played badly. And this live album only serves to reinforce that - its mixture of shouted vocals and brass at first feel fresh yet several tracks in it becomes apparent that this is all X-Ray Spex had or have.

Johnny Rotten recently appeared in the Observer's Music Monthly magazine and he mentioned how much he respects X-Ray Spex. BlackPlastic can't help but feel there are some considerably more worthwhile musical heroes people should be celebrating, but then again maybe we just aren't taking enough mescaline.

BP x

Out now on Year Zero, available on CD+DVD from [affiliate links].