Power For Passion - File Under: Power Pop 1978-85

This 15 song collection of unheard bands from the days of yore, flows like set cement and has all the appeal of having ones ears stapled repeatedly whilst reciting the collective works of Plato in its original tongue. In short, it's bad, very, very bad. There's a reason that the 'Artistes'; and I use the term loosely on this particular offering are unheard of, and that simply is, they're all to man 'mediocre beyond the comprehension of most'. Imagine the blandest dish you've ever sampled and multiply that by a thousand, add a stench that could gag a tramp and you're still some way short of fully appreciating how mundane an experience this is. It's difficult, nay; impossible, to be objective to material that has dated so badly. First off, the title is a lie. This is not, by any stretch of the imagination, 'Power Pop'; it is garage rock at its poorest.

The highlights are few and far between and are indeed only highlights due to the lack of real quality. 'Small Talk' by 'The Reducers' is catchy, tolerably fair and seems to sparkle with a fresh sheen when followed by 'Stratford Survivors', 'Now I know'. Stamped with mid-80's production, strangled vocals and unnecessary, as well as thoroughly depressing, flute snippets, this shambolic and truly awful composition should not grace any record. Ramones-light, 'The Nips' and their bearable, 'Take Me Down', renews hope, with its simplistic, no frills, quasi-punk stylings. The bass cuts through well, the vocals are balanced and the guitars, though low in the mix, seem to buzz along nicely; again, not so much a highlight as a reprieve. We then slip into a lull, where the 'Matcheads' and many other bands starting with 'THE', ply us with 2-minute throwaway punk. Of these, only 'The Reactors' and 'The Reducers', stand up to any degree of scrutiny. 'Black Plastic Shoes' and 'The Dispossessed', both represent manic mixes of bass driven, catchy punk that gets the feet a-tapping. But like an English 'summer', the sunshine never lasts and the rain and clouds begin to gather. The rain, in this instance being 'The Silencers' and their deeply profound study into social interactions between men and women; 'Boyfriends/Girlfriends' and the clouds being 'Butch Minds The Baby' and 'Natural Cause', which is like The Cure, but without the craft, talent and intellect. At this point I was praying for either a power cut, or power surge that would somehow corrupt the CD and render it impossible to review!

*There is no God!!!! Relax, it'll soon be over. Just grit your teeth and stick with it. You can always stick some 'Goo Goo Dolls' or 'Rachel Stamp' on after this and start the healing process* and we're back in the room; 'TV Meals', 'Who's Courting Who' is another journey through the sewer of mediocrity and the god-awful keyboard makes this a wholly unpleasant experience. The true highlight comes in the shape of 'The Foreign Objects', their catchy and musically interesting, 'Plan 9', had to be repeated in order to validate it's credentials, but it really is THAT good in comparison! 'The Headaches' and the title track to the compilation, 'Power For Passion' is Ramones-light and infinitely forgettable. And finally, 'Dennis Most', 'Life Can be A Cruel Gig', doesn't fit in well, but as a closer, I've heard worse. Overall this is a fragmented and poor offering, which fails to draw the listener in and is bereft of anything that could be realistically labeled as a 'classic', or 'inspiration'. It's like a 40 minute train journey where you don't progress further than the end of the platform before you come to a halt, the coffee is cold and lacking punch and the sandwiches are overpriced, limp and lacking depth. If that's your idea of a fun, then you'll probably find something on here you like, I just prefer my coffee strong and my sandwiches stacked.

by Rev G.

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