REF028LP / Compilation / Black vinyl edition / 200 copies / Spain / LP
Second Empire Justice, Blitz’s abrupt lurch into whooshing pansified post-punk, alienated their skinhead fanbase overnight, sounded dated on arrival, and was quickly disowned by the band themselves. But it’s enjoyed an afterlife as a cult classic and today is a touchstone for Diat, Chain of Flowers and half a dozen other punks-on-wave. At its best I think it gets closer to fusing punk with the bright, brittle mittel-European sound-world of Low and Neu! 75 than Joy Division ever did (this is not an assertion I am willing to defend in a court of law), and let’s face it, the grey raincoat vanguard would’ve never allowed themselves to countenance melodies this rousing or guitar leads this fabulously overblown. Despite a 2013 reissue from Desire, it remains a pain in the arse to get hold of, so for now this comp from Vomitopunk - a scrapbook of contemporaneous singles plus the SEJ version of ‘Into The Daylight’ and a clutch of tracks from their gothier, clunkier ’89 swansong Killing Dream – is most welcome. It’s full of holes and it isn’t going to win any prizes for presentation, but f**k me if it isn’t a joy to listen to. Edition of 200.