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24 April 2009

Alternative TV - 'The Image Has Cracked' (Deptford Test Company)

Source: Ross.

One of the all-time great albums I'd say, for it opens with 'Alternatives', probably the most gestalt side 1 track 1 of the punk era. Making their arguments, armed with Situationism Xeroxes and jagged biros, the 'movement' is intellectualised --- or is it just wryly shown to be another simulacra? Then the rock kicks in and the three-chord truth is taken to extremes, with a certain shifting riff making itself felt on almost every song. Mark Perry shows his roots in the back cover with Zappa, Forever Changes, Everybody Knows This is Nowhere and my favorite - Van Dyke Parks' Clang of the Yankee Reaper. The jammier rock parts, especially on side 2, actually anticipate stuff like Bitch Magnet and Tar, though maybe this is just coincidence. The kids should have all been singing 'Action Time Vision' in the streets instead of whatever Sham 69's latest single was. I thought the guy from Psychic TV was on this record but I think he joined for Vibing up the Senile Man, an LP I thought that I owned but apparently don't.

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