The first rule of Punk is there are no rules and Vice Squad ably illustrate this with ‘Battle of Britain’.
The 13 track album opens with the blistering ‘Ruination’ which cuts through the bullshit of small time promoters and blaggers with consummate swagger and melody while ‘I Dare To Breathe’ is an amphetamine driven anthem to paranoia.‘When You Were 17’ is almost-tender and tells of first tattoos and under age booze whilst the more chilling ‘Ignored To Death’ rails against isolation and homelessness.
The explosive ‘Born In A War’ rages along like a missile ravaging a third world country and warns ‘See how they treat refugees? That’s how they’ll treat you and me’.
Elgar’s ‘Nimrod’ reworked with a pulsating bass synth opens the title track where vocals soar like Spitfires over the crunching de-tuned riff and spit fury over the hypocrisy of putting war memorials before people.
The dystopian ‘Poverty Face’ hits you with the opening line ‘Disinheriting the meek, slyly killing off the weak’ and is counter balanced by the more up beat ‘How The Other Half Lives’.
‘No Evil’ is a relentless attack on the normalisation of the suffering and death of billions of animals for the meat industry.
‘Battle of Britain’ pulls no punches in covering topics from austerity and factory farming to the pernicious influence of the mainstream media – ‘Led by lies lambs to the slaughter, tax exiles say who you vote for’. Brexit, fake patriotism and cognitive dissonance all get a good kicking too.
The penultimate track is the epic ‘You Can’t Fool All Of The People’ which mixes baritone guitar with Celtic rhythms and orchestra climaxing in an epic James Bondesque heavy guitar/orchestral blend and breaks every rule in the Punk Police hand book whilst pleading for unity against a rigged political system.
‘Pulling Teeth’ with it’s ominous riff and hilariously frustrated lyrics ‘Dithering jibbering solid as jam, is it fair I’m both the woman and the man’ closes the album in manic style.