Don’cha just love it when a record sounds elegant, tasteful and charming straight off the bat? If you answered ‘yes’, better swivel on those smartly-soled heels and walk away – this is not the record for you.
Personality Cult’s debut LP is short, sassy, snappy, snotty and bursting with razorwire hooks that’ll leave you bleeding but delirious, head spinning from the frantic glory on display. This is powerpop-punk as it was always meant to sound – a nod to the Buzzcocks’ wonky melodicism, a punch in the ribs of Steve Adamyk’s hi-velocity brilliance, a perfectly-aimed loogie in the drink of the Marked Men’s enduring pop timelessness… We are all in the gutter, but some of us brought tunes for dancing and pogo-ing around the record player, so let’s get to it.
Brazen is just one of the many winners here, combining gut-shakingly punchy drums with a nailbomb attack of taut guitars and the catchiest chorus this side of Pete Shelley. Heart Attack follows suit – easily the best punk single of 1977, right here and now and brand new for you in 2018.
One of the most overdone descriptions of the genre’s simplicity is the word ‘dumb’ – well, Personality Cult are on hand to show that smarts ain’t no bad thing. On Fashionably Late you can hear traces of the Coneheads’ Devo-lved weirdness as well as the effortless pop genius that propels the rest of the album – so why am I singling out individual cuts when the whole is all this good? They’re all winners – give ‘em all a medal.
Basically, if this is a cult, I’ll cheerfully take my robe and hand over my life savings right fucking now.