Sham 69, The Ruts, The Clash, Ruts DC, Stiff Little Fingers
May 28, 2021
Chelsea are a famous old name from the 1970’s British punk scene and like many bands from this era, Chelsea have done their best work in the underground by keeping themselves ticking over with a rabid following of punks. This year has Chelsea returning with their latest album ‘Meanwhile Gardens’.
What the listener gets with ‘Meanwhile Gardens’ is an album which oozes with old-school punk authenticity. This is a record which reeks of Special Brew, cigs and sweat, it is ingrained into the grooves and it bleeds the integrity of the socio-political movements of the 70s. ‘Meanwhile Gardens’ bounces along with decent rhythms and catchy pub style sing-a-long lyrics as tracks such as ‘Ladbroke Grove’, ‘Worldwide Domination’ and the ode to the start of the weekend ‘It’s Friday’ having all the hallmarks of Sham 69, The Ruts and even The Clash at the start of their career. However, there isn’t anything here at we haven’t heard before, Gene October may be rough around the edges these days, but it does hold up well; yet the main issue here with ‘Meanwhile Gardens’ is that all the songs do sound very similar, mid-tempo stompers that often need the chorus to distinguish both what song is playing and where we are on the album.
That being said, there is an authenticity here that cannot be bought; this is a band which have been there, got the t-shirt ten times over and whilst it may not be the best punk album you’ll ever hear, it does bring a nice, warm feeling of nostalgia because it’s Friday and there’s some Kestrel Super Strength on the menu.
a nice, warm feeling of nostalgia
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