Following the critical acclaim heaped upon the band for their first two albums and their support spots with such luminaries as Fucked Up and METZ, Stevenage anarcho-punk quartet Bad Breeding now unleash upon society ‘Exiled’, a blistering third album comprised of 12 tracks about the band’s anger at the austerity-ridden state of the UK today.
The album kicks off with the breakneck two-minute title track before launching into the bass-heavy ‘Repossession’. The crescendo that concludes ‘Raking Through the Screed’ segues neatly into ‘Clear Blue Water’, the pace of which never lets up and the title of which is possibly a reference to the phrase used by Michael Portillo for the policy direction he wanted the Conservative Party to espouse in the late 90s.
‘Whose Cause?’, the album’s lead single, is equally angry and abrasive and is accompanied by a disturbing video featuring footage of assassination and riots. ‘Theatre of Work’ slows things down considerably, introducing some trumpets and saxophones that recall ‘Fun House’-era Stooges into the mix. ‘C.S.A.M’ is like a kick in the shins after the jazziness that has preceded it. Especially impressive is the way it speeds to a sudden halt rather than winding down.
‘Breaking Wheel’ begins as one of the album’s few mid-tempo songs before going full pelt from around the 1:50 mark. ‘Brave New Church’ offers yet more breakneck-paced, D-beat influenced punk. The horns return on ‘A Rag Hung Between Two Trees’, ushering in a slightly slower, more plodding pace. Following a brief interlude, the album concludes with the urgent seven-minute closer ‘Tortured Reality’. After an exhausting 32 minutes, you’ll feel like you need a cup of tea and a rest.
With ‘Exiled’, Bad Breeding have created a ‘See Nothing Hear Nothing Say Nothing’ for the late 2010s that manages to evoke the horrors of day-to-day life as it is lived for so many inhabitants of present-day Britain, just as that album encapsulated the everyday fears of nuclear apocalypse that were so prevalent in the early 1980s. This is the album IDLES would make if they weren’t worried about getting deselected from 6 Music playlists. It’s terrifying stuff at times but is never less than stimulating, and if fans of Discharge, Uniform, and USA Nails haven’t already checked these guys out, they’d be well advised to do so.
The band tour the UK in late July. Dates are as follows:
July 21st – Crofter’s Rights, Bristol.|
July 22nd – The Polar Bear, Hull.
July 23rd – Temple of Boom, Leeds.
July 24th – The Moon, Cardiff.
July 25th – Electrowerkz, London. Tags: Bad Breeding, anarcho-punk, hardcore punk.
[…] years on from their best album to date, ‘Exiled’, Stevenage’s Bad Breeding have announced their return with ‘Human Capital’, the blistering […]
[…] (2017). They then went on to outdo the quality of both records with their excellent third album, ‘Exiled’ (2019), although they struggled to recreate the ferocity of that LP’s songs in a live environment. […]