Anti-Nowhere League - Camden Underworld (30/10/2009)

Ayisha Khan | Monday, 02 November 2009

Anti-Nowhere League - Camden Underworld (30/10/2009)

Anti-Nowhere League (they prefer ANWL to ANL of course), having not outgrown their armless leather jackets, were back for some traditional English jam roly-poly street punk. Having appeared at live shows and festivals over the last few years in the face of many member changes and record label problems, their ability to recreate has been fairly impressive.

Following the 2007 album release, The Road To Rampton, ANWL's putrid stench is still fresh. It's typical Oi!-smothered, choking fumigation: anthems and chants, repeated chorus lines, and boring bass, all of which will drive the more acute of ear into the ground. With surreal monster rock, they entertained with classics 'We're The League', the infectious 'Streets Of London' (Ralph McTell cover), and 'So What'.

ANWL attributed disastrously to Joe Strummer in 'Dead Heroes' and fed Elvis LSD in 'Fuck Around The Clock' (a bit of trashy fun). However, they were firmly reigned against rock 'n' roll's rhythmic predictability in 'Can't Stand Rock 'n' Roll'; energising string-tight guitar tendons which clashed with Animal's vocal savagery. New song, 'Skulls And Bones', was endangered with communal hand-claps, but featured good fretboard slides by Johnny Skullknuckles.

They wound down for lazy number, 'Woman', when Animal declared, "Don't feel aggressive anymore. Had it kicked out of me". Staccato 'I Hate...People' sounds familiarly like 'God Save The Queen'. And 'My God's Bigger Than Your God' that a Reagan Youth rip-off? Still, it's the same tired message: "religion stinks".  If you like folk rock, bleached in punk and set on metallic spin dry, this is the band for you.

Rating: 3/5