They’ve seriously named their band Spam Javelin? I don’t know whether to applaud them or just give up now. Punk was always intended to be confrontational, a bit controversial or challenging. But Spam Javelin? I’d scoff and say they might as well have called themselves ‘cocks’, but then we’ve got Throbbing Gristle, and what do you do with that?
Part of me can’t help but dig their spunky abrasion, and I’m talking as much about the lyrics as the spiky guitars and shouty pissed off vocals, and they do a decent line in puntastic titles, too – although elsewhere, they’re as subtle as depositing a turd on your manager’s desk on your last day in a job (as evidenced by the likes of ‘Fuck You’, ‘Supertwat’, and ‘You’re a Sanctimonious Prick’).
‘Herd Impunity’ nabs the intro to Joy Division’s Shadowplay’ before going full-tilt punk fury., and the album as a whole is a blitzkrieg of rage. ‘We’re never gonna play in the USA’ Neil Crud (vocals / guitars) barks on ‘God Bless America’, recounting the crux of the press release which details how their US tours have all been scuppered for various reasons, spanning being refused entry to the country, to, of course, a global pandemic. Still, said pandemic has given them plenty to rage about, and they’ve thrown it all into this angry sociopolitical blast of primitive punk vitriol.
‘Joy Division Tool’ is actually a decent post-punk tune, even if it only 49 seconds long. ‘We’ve Made Plans for Nigel’ makes a contemporary response to the XTC classic, while the three instalments of ‘Shit You Don’t Need’ are frenzied attacks on capitalism. It being 2021, punk’s never going to smash the system, but crucning guitars and shouting at least provides a much-needed outlet for frustration and anger and the shitness of everything. Who would have thought that 40 years on from Thatcher, history would repeat , only worse?
The album’s title is a self-effacing acknowledgement of the band’s limitations, but ultimately its primitivism isn’t really all that endearing. While most of the sentiment is solid – assuming you’re not as right-wing, Tory voting tosser – this is so basic it’s hard to really invest in.
‘Three Chords’ is dirty punk played rough and raw that essentially recreates the nihilistic gnarliness of The Anti-Nowhere League, but with additional Joy Division lifts.