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Under the Radar

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Album Review

New Vibrators albums don't come along too often — this is their first since 2002's Energize, and their first, too, since frontman Knox returned from a four-year lay-off. But with Nigel Bennett and the rhythm section of Eddie Hedges and Pat Collier joining him, it's business as usual for one of the longest-lived of all original U.K. punk bands, kicking off with the punchy buzzsaw of "DNA Robot," and driving on through 13 more slabs of classic Vibes volatility. There's something so reassuring about it as well — other survivors from their era may have retained their original sound, but the Vibrators are one of the few who have kept it fresh. Still lacing their punch with humor, still packing the flamboyant minimalism that was their most dramatic calling card, the Vibrators have also hung onto that innate sense of melody that made "Baby Baby" such a blessing all those years ago. And so "We're the Dead," "Darkest Before Dawn," "Nightmare Town," and "The Altar at Midnight" lead a pack that slips effortlessly in alongside the best of the band's past output, and there's only one thing here for you to disagree with. The album closes with a song called "Everything I Do Is Wrong." But it isn't. Everything's right.


Formed: 1976

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of punk rock's longest running bands, the Vibrators emerged from the UK punk scene in 1976 and quickly found themselves sharing the stage with such notable acts as the Sex Pistols. Their initial releases were minor hits in England, and the band was able to weather frequent lineup changes, which started with bassist Pat Collier's exit in 1977, until 1980 when the band called it quits. But, as with most UK punk acts, reformation was in the cards. The original lineup came back together in 1982 and...
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Under the Radar, The Vibrators
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