- by Rob Taylor Rating:9 Release Date:2016-06-17 Label: Suicide Squeeze
Seems every punk rocker these days looks like an extra from a Pavement music video, and every folk artist looks like a punk rocker with a beard, but thankfully VHS, in spite of looking wholesome enough to invite home to mom, play some skin peeling punk music that goes some way to restoring faith in a genre whose sorry carcass has almost been completely stripped of any worthwhile morsel.
Well, fuck me if VHS have delivered what 2016 hasn’t yet been able to, which is a short sharp torrent of guitar abuse and bass drum that reverberates through the floorboards and up through your gonads. There are scores of teenagers out there singing into karaoke machines hoping to be the next fucking Adele, when they should be locked away in their bedrooms brooding and angst ridden about the unfairness of the world and how Gen Xers like me have stripped them of any potential investment wealth. Here’s your soundtrack kids !
Well, while I was locked away in my bedroom as a teenager listening to the Dead Kennedys I felt a kind of false vindication from the ill-tempered racket pouring from my overloaded speakers. Gift of Life by VHS (Violent Human System) should be a pretty soul destroying journey through physical and mental pain, but like all good punk music the catharsis is in the way it barks, sputters, screams and complains it's way through the social issues. Nothing like appropriately expressing, rather than suppressing anger, and that was the thing that made punk so effective. Through the medium of music all that internal angst could be blasted out of you.
In a world where resentful young men drive lorries through crowds of innocent revellers, be grateful that art can deliver the anger in a productive way.