Various Artists

Cease & Resist: Sonic Subversion & Anarcho Punk In The Uk 1979-1986

Optimo Music • 2023

Singer Frances Solokov is 44 years old and a mother of two when she releases her first single. Too old for the music business? Her band Poison Girls couldn’t care less about such norms. Together with Crass, they radicalise a generation, inspire anarchism and pacifism. From 1981, the bands fund the Wapping Autonomy Centre in London. Far away from commerce, punk thrives there. Young people form bands on the toilet, experiment with synthesisers and create collages on tape. 

40 years on, »Cease & Resist: Sonic Subversion & Anarcho Punk In The Uk 1979-1986« offers an insight into this highly creative environment. The compilation features punk and music on the raw edges of punk: noise, industrial and electro-punk. This makes it all the more exciting to see the diversity within the scene. Poems and EBM beats form an integral part of many of the songs. Among the most interesting contributions are the experimental collages by Anny Anxiety, Andy T and Alternative TV. They would not be produced in the same way today. Laptops offer better ways of manipulating sound. The composition therefore requires a certain receptiveness to historical charm. If you do, you are in for a real treat. Hagar the Womb, Zounds and, last but not least, the Poison Girls sound unabatedly impetuous. Completely remastered, they shine in new splendour. Sadly, the issues of that time are still relevant today: Repression, sexism and the threat of nuclear extinction.