The history of Chelsea spans almost 40 years, and during that time members of Generation X, Buzzcocks, the Alarm and other more famous Brit bands have wandered onto the stage with singer Gene October. To expect that this album would be forward-looking would have been foolish. But I certainly didn't expect such a solid roots punk primer, either.
This is something of a "greatest lineups" effort, allowing members from different eras to write together for the first time (or at least the first time in a long time). That might be the reason these songs have a vitality that is usually missing from retread reunions. Or maybe the secret is that these guys are having a hell of a lot of fun.
While interesting as an artifact, the simple truth is that this album is a complete blast. It's not fresh, and the revolution ended a long time ago. Gene and the boys found a pocket of joy, and they managed to commit it to tape (figuratively speaking, of course).
I have no idea how the kids will take this one. Mine like it, but they have an unusually wide musical education. My guess is that old farts like me will turn this up to 11, and the young guys in beards will start screaming, "Turn that racket down!" There's really only one appropriate response to that sort of codswallop, of course:
"Two fingers straight up atcha, motherfucker!"
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