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The Feeding of the 5000

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Album Review

Perhaps the most uncompromising early British punk record. This is far more interesting for its form than its content: super-brief, incoherent rants over pummeling drums and incomprehensible vocals were made into a hardcore cliché by the early '80s, but were impossibly radical and noisy in 1978. If you're at all left-of-center, you can find a good deal to sympathize with in the lyrics here, which address class warfare, social hypocrisy, organized religion, and punk rock itself with serious venom. It's not without humor at times, either, as on the famous chorus, "Do they owe us a living? Of course they f*cking do!" (A lyric sheet, always an essential item for Crass releases, is provided.) The melodic and textural qualities of the record, not to mention the throat-full-of-vomit vocals, are unrelentingly harsh and monotonous, but with a band such as this, this is exactly the point. The most enduring piece, actually, had relatively little to do with traditional punk rock: on "Asylum," the spoken female voice delivers a vitriolic attack on Christianity over disquieting guitar feedback.

Customer Reviews


There are those who deem Crass as not being a "band" as it were, claiming them to be just a barrage of noise. While future records certainly sound more like a cacophony (a wonderful one at that), this record shows Crass at its simplest. Behind the anger, you can almost hear the innocence and good nature in the recording, as this was before they were thrust out into the limelight as "leaders" of the Anarcho movement. The songs are straight-forward, as well as the music. Other albums may be too intense for the new listener at first, so this is the perfect and intended album for Crass to give you their mission statement. I'm writing this review from my personal collection. I don't know if iTunes has censored anything, and I certainly hope not. This is essential for anyone with the audacity to call themselves a punk.


One of the best works of art. An inspiration for thousands of people. One of the greatest bands of all time, beautiful deep lyrics put everything in black and white. I love this whole album. No band will come close to the impact they made. I'm 34 heard it at 14 and it still feels and means the same thing to me. Glad they're in iTunes now, (yes they are that good)

so happy

that these are now available on iTunes - my sister threw all my vinyl out and now I can resurrect her annoyance by compiling further and the near completion of my Crass collection.


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 seriously,...
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