Punk Can Take It

by: U.K. Subs

Named after the Julien Temple-directed documentary on this long-running class-of-1977 U.K. punk band, U.K. Subs' Punk Can Take It is a mishmash compilation of demos and live tracks covering the group's initial 1979-1982 incarnation. For all but the most die-hard fans, this period was the band's career pinnacle, with the combination of guitarist Nicky Garratt and singer Charlie Harper coming across almost like a yobbish U.K. version of Joey and Johnny, right down to the Ramones-style blur of songs like "Confrontation Street." This was only one side of the group, though, as shown by the nervy new wave of the martial "Divide 8 x 5" and the almost Joy Division-like post-punk atmospherics of "Sensitive Boys." Punk Can Take It is strictly for the fans, though; the fidelity of these demos and live tracks is on the iffy side, and the polished studio versions of the songs are invariably better. For fans, however, hearing these early and rougher takes can be illuminating and enjoyable. ~ Stewart Mason

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