Antisect - The Rising Of The Lights

Kev Rowland, Antisect - The Rising Of The Lights

Arguably, Antisect were one of the most influential bands to emerge from the anarcho-punk scene of the early ‘80s. With records such as their 1983 debut album ‘In Darkness There Is No Choice’, it showed them taking a subtly inventive step forward from their first efforts as a more straight ahead hardcore punk band. But, their last official release, 1985’s “Out From The Void” EP, brought a more metallic edge to their sound and hinted at heavier and darker things to come. However, by 1987, it was all over, and the band was no more. But, in 2011, founding member and guitarist Pete Lyons instigated a full-blown Antisect reunion featuring members of early incarnations of the band and new drummer, Joe Burwood, and they hit the road. Now the band is back with their first album in 34 years, with Pete and Joe Burwood now joined by bassist John Bryson, an esteemed former member from the “Out From The Void” days. So, the question must be, is there room for anarcho-punk in 2017?

This is way more polished than anything that was coming out from the band more than 30 years ago. The vocals are rough, raw and distorted, but if there was a different singing style then one may well think that this is straight forward heavy metal, as the band aren’t as angry and furious as they once were. It has been very well produced, but to my ears I believe that it has been over produced, with all the rough edges carefully sanded back. But they were the best bits, a bit like the gribbles with fish and chips, the batter that had come away from the fish when it was put in the hot oil. There is a real sense that the heart and soul of the band is still there, and that in the live environment it will be hot and sweaty, but this album falls between different stools, and hints of what might have been, which is different to the end result. But, given that no-one ever expected another album from the band we ought to be grateful for small mercies – maybe next time they’ll just go into the studio, plug in, and record live, or at least don’t let themselves to be quite so sanitised.

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