Perhaps the most uncompromising early British punk record. This is far more interesting for its form than its content: super-brief, incoherent rants over pummeling drums and incomprehensible vocals were made into a hardcore cliché by the early '80s, but were impossibly radical and noisy in 1978. If you're at all left-of-center, you can find a good deal to sympathize with in the lyrics here, which address class warfare, social hypocrisy, organized religion, and punk rock itself with serious venom. It's not without humor at times, either, as on the famous chorus, "Do they owe us a living? Of course they f*cking do!" (A lyric sheet, always an essential item for Crass
releases, is provided.) The melodic and textural qualities of the record, not to mention the throat-full-of-vomit vocals, are unrelentingly harsh and monotonous, but with a band such as this, this is exactly the point. The most enduring piece, actually, had relatively little to do with traditional punk rock: on "Asylum," the spoken female voice delivers a vitriolic attack on Christianity over disquieting guitar feedback.