Fridge Too Far [Bonus Tracks]

by: G.B.H.

Captain Oi's disc-by-disc anthology of the complete works of GBH reaches the late '80s, and the oft-misunderstood A Fridge Too Far. Interviewed for the accompanying booklet, vocalist Colin Abrahall concedes "A Fridge Too Far was our difficult fifth album. We were well and truly on the rock and roll treadmill of 'write, record, tour...then do it all over again'." But the 12 tracks that made up the finished LP showed no sign of exhaustion. A Fridge Too Far stands proud as the most abrasive and energetic album GBH had mustered since City Baby's Revenge, six years earlier, as their exposure to the U.S. hardcore scene exploded across their own musical tastes, to create one of the purest British hardcore albums of the age. Recommended in its original form, then, A Fridge Too Far is rendered even more powerful by the Captain Oi reissue, as three bonus tracks delve into the clutch of period rarities that were last sighted on the Japanese Cruel and Unusual odds-and-sods compilation (and also the Punk as Fuck!! EP). All three are covers -- recorded during 1987, the Rezillos' growling "No" and the Lurkers "I'm on Heat" were both cut wholly in the "classic" GBH mode, scything guitars and rebel yell backing vocals included. But the real jewel is the final cut, a cover of Alex Harvey's "Last of the Teenage Idols," restructured from SAHB's neo-glam doo wop prototype, to emerge a blur of buzzsaw adrenalin. Recorded in 1989, shortly after the release of A Fridge Too Far, it's a terrific performance, and certainly ranks among the finest Harvey covers out there. It also proves that, no matter how far their musical influences now spread, at heart GBH remained the same great band they'd always been. They were just ten years older. [The 2006 reissue contains three bonus tracks.] ~ Dave Thompson

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