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Punk Singles Collection

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Album Review

There was a time when the Destructors seemed more familiar to techno crowds than the hardcore aficionados who were the group's natural audience. That, of course, was due to the phenomenal success of the Prodigy, whose live guitarist during 1996-1997, Graham "Gizz" Butt, seemingly arrived out of nowhere — but back in the early '80s he was a member of the Destructors. The band had a long and convoluted history, but this compilation avoids any pitfalls by neglecting to include a biography, discography, or even some pertinent dates. But never mind — it's the music that matters, and here are the group's five EPs and their limited-edition "Electronic Church" single (a free giveaway with the fanzine Trees and Flowers). Released in rapid succession between June 1982 and December 1983, the records duly captured the Destructors' sense of urgency, a play-fast-before-the-world-implodes feeling that was heightened by their obsessions with wars past and present, guns, bombs, and weapons of mass destruction. But it wasn't just the "Police State" the Destructors were taking on — "Dachau" is a razor-edged retort to the Sex Pistols' "Holidays in the Sun," while "Khmer Rouge Boogie" was their postcard reply to the Dead Kennedys' "Holiday in Cambodia." "Jailbait" takes on the likes of Roman Polanski, and "Religion," well, religion (obviously). Initially, the Destructors' music was a bit fumbling and more than a tad generic, but they were fast learners, and you can hear their proficiency improving by quite incredible leaps and bounds across this set. Before long, the Destructors sounded as sharp as their barbed lyrics. More was to come soon, including the group's Exercise the Demons of Youth album, which Captain Oi has also reissued.

Punk Singles Collection, Destructors
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