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Christ the Album

Crass

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Album Review

Released with unplanned irony as the Falklands War raged — an event that would provide grist for the band's eventual masterwork, Yes Sir I Will — Christ, another two-album half-studio/half-live set like Stations of the Crass, once again aims to take no prisoners. Ratcheting up the continued "leave no stone unturned" lyrical approach that characterized the group from the start, Crass again sounds like the group's about to explode in eight million directions. Ignorant takes over the lead vocal role again, his rough ramalama bitterly leading the charge against the loathed Thatcher government and the society that allowed it to come into power. Libertine, here appearing as Peeve Libido, adds backing vocals while De Vivre takes the lead on "Birth Control" and "Sentiment." Free's guitar work roars along with the usual vim, as does the Pete Wright aka Sybil Right/Rimbaud rhythm section, while continual spiking of the musical punch via production or sonic collages, or even almost power pop catchiness at points, prevents things from being one note. "Reality Whitewash" even has a swelling string and brass combination to propel it along. Mock and real found-sound bites, from official statements to slams at Crass itself, pepper the studio side as bridges between songs or concurrently running elements of the tunes themselves. While hints had always been present in earlier songs, Crass collectively starts wearing their hearts on their sleeves even more than before; "I Know There Is Love" is another all-encompassing rejection of societal roles in favor of a real, untainted feeling, at once impolite and passionate. The live material, recorded at a June 1981 show, is interspersed with a variety of material from other sources, including more found-sound/media snippets and, in an interesting nod to the past, two cuts from the group's very first time in a studio.

Customer Reviews

Art

Very few records can qualify as art. This is one of them. Crass can honestly create a landscape through their sound. The use of their trademark military drum-patterns, squealing guitar and sitar, and jazz basslines, added in with tape collages and other synthesizers is an intense experience. I think to truly enjoy Christ is to be calm and just focus on the music. Don't be casual about it or you might miss something. It can evoke all emotions; be it anger, sadness, happiness, desperation and hope. If that's not art, then what is?

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This is England.

Biography

Formed: 1977 in England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s

The brittlest and most hard-line radical of the first wave of British punk bands, Crass issued a blitz of records that were ruthless in both their unrelenting sociopolitical screeds and their amelodic crash of noise. The horrors of war, the arbitrary nature of legal justice, sexism, media imagery, organized religion, the flaws of the punk movement itself — all were subjected to harsh critique. Like few other rock bands before or since, Crass took rock-as-agent-of-social-and-political-change...
Full Bio