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The Punk Rock Anthology

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Album Review

These two CDs crash, bang, and thunder across the Anti-Nowhere League catalog, from the opening snarl of their debut single and the still shell-shocking swagger of the defiant "So What" through to the band's last days as a truly atomic force — and what a journey it is. Not every Oi! band still sounds vibrant today, and a lot of them just seem silly. But the Anti-Nowhere League had a punch and a power that defy the passing of time; excise the occasional lyrical time bomb and there are moments here when you could be listening to any one of the myriad bands that have since formed in their slipstream, not one of which comes even close to the fiery breath of the League at their beastliest. Animal's liner notes carry listeners through the songs, anecdote by anecdote, and they do enhance the listen, at least in as much as they jog a few memories. But this isn't an album for reading through. It's one to crank up as loud as you possibly can and, if anyone complains that it's way too loud, give him a chorus of "So What." That'll shut him up.

Biography

Formed: 1980 in Turnbridge Wells, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Even when judged by the often confrontational standards of U.K. punk, the Anti-Nowhere League were a band committed to offending people. Looking less like a group of bohemian rebels than an especially unsavory biker gang eager to stomp someone (frontman Animal admits to being a former member of outlaw motorcycle clubs), the Anti-Nowhere League made an immediate impact when they burst onto the British rock scene in 1980. They were heroes to hard-boiled U.K. punks, and to nearly everyone else they...
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The Punk Rock Anthology, Anti-Nowhere League
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