Album Appreciation: Retaliation by The Chisel

Back in July last year I came across the debut EP by London-based punk outfit, The Chisel. As you can read here, I was absolutely blown away by it… and the final track on there, Chisel Boys, has become something of an anthem for me over the last 18 months or so… with me belting it out both when I need to let out some frustration, or as a feel-good song. Another couple of EPs have emerged since then, which have only served to burnish my impression of this cracking band… a highlIght for me being a cover of The Business’s ’Harry May’ on the ‘Enough Said’ EP.

So it was with some excitement that I noticed that the band have recently released a full-length LP which I couldn’t wait to hear. Now, as you can see from the other music I write about here, this is far from being a punk blog… so while my musical roots are definitely there it’s not a scene that I particularly follow. There is something about The Chisel, though, that seems to connect with me… to take me back to the punk 82/ Oi!/ hardcore scenes of yore… but also sounds new and fresh to my ears. Maybe it is the sheer energy and passion of this band which are so compelling… but they hit me really hard… and this record has hit me hard too.

Right from the kick off with ’Unlawful Execution’ you are booted into a world of anger, deprivation, defiance and class oppression which doesn’t let up for half an hour… before you emerge with the folk salve of ‘Will I Ever See You Again’ at the end. In between are a series of tracks of which each is an anthem in its own right… and all of which are just devastating in their harsh- and heaviness… stand-outs for me so far being ’Common As Muck’, ’Crocket’, ’Shit Life Syndrome’ and ‘Sit and Say Nothing’; and it’s great to see ‘Come See Me’ and ’Not The Only One’ from a previous EP release… but really there’s not a duff track here, with enough variety to have this on repeat without having to reach for the off button… if you like pummelling yourself that is.

So while it’s late in the year, you can expect this album to appear in my end of year ’essential’ list… not as a token punk album, but as genuinely one of the best things I have heard this year… in fact one of the most impactful things I’ve listened to for a while… It’s an absolutely fantastic listen so give your ears a good clean out… hear the music and take in the message… the world isn’t ok.. it’s full of absolute shit, but with The Chisel on your side it seems somehow more manageable.



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