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Album Review

Smack together the crash, bang, and wallop of '60s garage punk with the spit and fury of the '70s safety-pinned variety, and you've got one hell of a band. Mash together their back catalog and you've got one storming set. Which precisely describes the Stabilisers' Wanna Do the Wild Plastic Brane Love Thing?, which is not to be confused with the band's Acid Jazz release of the same title. Seven songs were pulled off the original 17-track album, but obviously this Plastic Brane is a bit more of a best-of compilation, for it also bundles on two numbers from their debut Last Chance Saloon set (with "S**t List" retitled as "The List Thing"), a cut off their Evil Picnic 7" EP, and two previously unreleased numbers for fans. It's a jolly raucous ride, as the Stabilisers careen through garage punk with the emphasis on the punk, blast into old-school (tipping a hat to the likes of the Buzzcocks, the Rezillos, and the Heartbreakers along the way), and even rampage into post-punk. It all feels wonderfully shambolic, with the energy and immediacy of the songs hitting listeners like a sucker punch. Many of the numbers are themed around girl grief, although once in a while the Stabilisers find their soulmate or grab a night of pure pleasure. Then again, considering that lyrically they have the emotional age of a 14-year-old, their difficulties are understandable. But forget the silly singalong lyrics, which are merely window dressing for the group's musical assaults. Whether knocking out melodic punk like "My Latest Obsession," bashing up the Velvet Underground on "Belinda," walloping out the lethal Heartbreakers-esque "Born to Kiss Arse," or stomping across the infectiously angular title track, the band is unstoppable. Punk at its most exhilarating, kicking butt like they were born to do, the Stabilisers rule OK.


Formed: London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Fueled by the garage band sound of the '60s and the punk attitude of the late '70s, London foursome the Stabilisers began life as a trio. Jon Bott, Francis Braithwaite, and Simon Corbey had been gigging around London to a cult following when Allan Crockford of Billy Childish's band Thee Headcoats offered his services as an extra guitarist. The gigs got bigger and Crockford ended up going from hired gun to full-time member. In 2004 they released the album Last Chance Saloon on the Italian label Skipping...
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Wanna Do the Wild Plastic Brane Love Thing?, The Stabilisers
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