Second Generation Punk – extract from Rock Routes – a Book on Rock Music by Opher Goodwin

Second Generation Punk

Many of the original Punk Bands had split up (as with the Sex Pistols), become commercial (as with Adam Ant), or absorbed new styles (as with the Clash – reggae & Hard Rock). It left a gap that needed to be filled. Many people claimed that Punk was dead. They were rudely silenced by a second and even more aggressive, vulgar and violent generation of Punk Bands. These include bands such as Gang of Four, Discharge, Penetration, G.B.H, UK Subs, Exploited, Anti-Pasti, Anti-Nowhere League, Professionals, Peter & the Test-tube Babies, and Cockney Rejects.
The Gang of Four are the most interesting. They fused a number of styles into their hard hitting sound. The bass and strident guitars were not standard Punk. There were lots of styles. The lyrics were very developed and thought provoking. They focussed on social issues.
Another important post-punk punk band was the Fall. Championed by John Peel with Mark E Smith on vocals and featuring heavy repetitive guitar riffs over which Mark sings, and recites his lyrics. Mark’s influences were Captain Beefheart and the Velvet Underground. John Peel claimed them as his favourite band. Their output has been, through thirty studio albums, of a consistently high standard despite huge numbers of personnel changes. Mark claimed it would always be the Fall even if it was just him and his grandma on bongos.
Many of these bands set out to be more provocative, uncompromising and nihilistic than the first generation had been. They were vying with each other to be more outrageous. It was extremely unlikely that any of them would receive any media coverage but they were able to flourish in both live performance and a level of record sales and built up large cult followings.
In the battle for extreme vulgarity it is possible that the Anti Nowhere League won with their version of ‘So What’ but that is open to conjecture.
These new bands revitalised the Punk image as the epitome of rebellion with their multicoloured Mohicans, studded dog collars, ammunition belts, bog chains and a new level of snarling aggression.

Artist Stand out Tracks

Gang of Four Anthrax
I love a man in a uniform
At home he’s a tourist
Return the gift
Paralysed
A hole in the wallet
The history of the world
To Hell with poverty
Capital (it fails us now)
We live as we dream (alone)
Not great men
The Fall Rebellious jukebox
Industrial estate
An older lover
How I wrote elastic man
C.R.E.E.P
Slates, slags etc
Hip priest
Who makes the Nazis?
Mr Pharmacist
F-olding money
The theme from Sparta FC
50 year old man
Anti Nowhere League So what
Streets of London
GBH City baby attacked by rats
Sick boy
War dogs
Leather bristles studs and acne
UK Subs C.I.D
Stranglehold
Tomorrows girls
Discharge Why?
Visions of war
Hear nothing see nothing say nothing
Protest and survive
Penetration Don’t dictate
Firing squad
Life’s a gamble
Exploited Punk’s not dead
I believe in anarchy
Army life
UK 82
U.S.A
Let’s start a war (Said Maggie one day)
Professionals Just another dream
1-2-3
Join the professionals

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