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Reason Why?

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Album Review

After the unjust failure of the keyboard-heavy Still From The Heart, EMI dropped the Angelic Upstarts, leaving them on their own to try to win back their punk audience. When Anagram released this, their fifth studio album, in 1983, the band's core audience approached it with caution. Fortunately, there was no need for them to worry, because the boys had sacked the keyboards and turned up their guitars again. While not exactly the savage punk lads of old, the music still had fire and passion, but the edges had been smoothed over. Better yet, vocalist Mensi and guitarist Mond's songwriting had matured, leaving the Upstarts sounding positively poppy! "Woman In Disguise" is perfect pop, perhaps the best single the band has ever released. "Solidarity"'s bed of acoustic guitars is a nice and mellow change of pace, and avoids being too sappy for the punk kids. Though the band still remained slightly thuggish, this was certainly an album filled with some well-written pop melodies, including "Waiting Hating," "Nobody Was Saved," and "As The Passion." A pleasant surprise pops up near the beginning of the album when Starjets/Adventures' vocalist Terry Sharpe guests, and handles the lead vocals on the reggae groove of "Reason Why." Certainly not the album that the hardcore punks were waiting for, but everybody needs to change as they get older, and punk bands are no different. Thankfully, Anagram has added nine bonus tracks, including B-sides and live material. ~ Steve "Spaz" Schnee, Rovi


Formed: 1977 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

Genre: Alternative

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

Formed in South Shields, England in 1977, the Angelic Upstarts was one of the period's most politically charged and thought-provoking groups; though technically a skinhead band, their records attacked the racism and fascism so prevalent throughout the skinhead community, and while also technically a punk unit, their music quickly evolved beyond the movement's limited scope. The Angelic Upstarts were led by the rather nasal vocalist Mensi (born Thomas Mensforth), whose impoverished childhood became...
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Reason Why?, Angelic Upstarts
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