#1150 Sex Pistols – Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols

Lurid. That’s what this is, in colour scheme, lyrics and sheer noise. It’s hard to think of another band whose own brevity has had such longevity in terms of their impact. Only together for two years, the Sex Pistols left a trail of exploded debris in their wake. Having blown up the cultural norms of what a pop band should look like, sound like and how they should ‘behave’, they ignited a subsequent explosion of creativity for every budding bedroom pop star having been given a permission slip to also ‘do it yourself’.

This is the only album they released whilst actually still together (although they’d partly disintegrated before even getting in the studio) and it’s the only one that matters. But it does matter, even for someone like myself who is not by nature a punk fan. I appreciate the DIY aesthetic and its place in defining and describing the social and cultural landscape from which it was born, but generally I like my music to be either tuneful, lyrically innovative, pushing new boundaries and/or expertly played by someone who knows their way around their instrument. The only instrument really mastered by any of the Sex Pistols was (is) Johnny Lydon’s voice; it’s spit and bile defining their ‘sound’. Without Rotten/Lydon there would be no Sex Pistols. Arguably without Malcolm McClaren’s masterminding in the background either.

They are some classic punk songs here, bursting out of the stereo like a fat globule of spit. In particular Holidays in the Sun, Bodies, Pretty Vacant and of course the ‘hits’, God Save the Queen and Anarchy In the UK, where Rotten convincingly proclaims to be the Antichrist. The opener of this track where he snarls ‘Riiight!’ followed by a devilish cackle is pure theatre. Anger is indeed an energy.

Best Bits: ‘There is no future in England’s dreaming’
Genre: Punk
Like This, Try This: Pogoing your way through a beer-soaked, spittle-flecked mosh pit

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