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Crass - Stations of the Crass (Cover Artwork)

Crass

Crass: Stations of the CrassStations of the Crass (1979)
Southern/Crass

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


Contributed by: BSDBSD
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Right now, it seems that the old British hardcore scene is being overlooked in favor of that of the Americans', and while Crass are hardly straight hardcore, they certainly did create a ruckus that would influence most first-wave hardcore bands. They laid down the beliefs and fury of most all hardco.
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Right now, it seems that the old British hardcore scene is being overlooked in favor of that of the Americans', and while Crass are hardly straight hardcore, they certainly did create a ruckus that would influence most first-wave hardcore bands. They laid down the beliefs and fury of most all hardcore bands to follow them.

Strange to think that at one time to be a "hardcore" punk meant you probably believed in the furthest left politics possible. Which makes sense, looking at what you'd be listening to. Sure, the DC and Boston scenes fostered some really shitty skinhead scenes, but everywhere else defiance was in there air, if not the music. Bands like The Dead Kennedys and DOA hardly endorsed the system. Black Flag never bothered to write strictly political albums, but they definitely made their thoughts of authority clear with songs like "Police Story", "Spray Paint", and "Damaged" Even the Circle Jerks, a party band, had "Paid Vacation".

Which brings us to Crass. As far as politics "leaning" one way or the other, they were off the map. Their form of music makes other bands of the same era seem structured.

Steve Ignorant, lead vocalist, delivers in a thick cockney accent, going everywhere with his voice from mumbling to John Lennon inspired primal screaming. His lyrics are yet to be matched by any hardcore band, ever. They have a certain foresight, they know that punk is a phase, but they also realize that it can be a valuable tool for self-expression. He sometimes trades off with Joy de Vivre and bassist Pete Wright.

Originally formed after hearing "Anarchy in the UK", Crass naturally have an anti-sell out agenda, though the primary target seems to be the Clash. Thusly starts "White Punks on Dope"; "They said that we were trash, well the name is Crass, not Clash". "System" starts off with a riff mocking "Guns On the Roof".

The guitars and bass play perfectly together, the former providing a sea of static noise for the latter to sift in. The drums utilize a snare, playing ironically militaristic beats to anti-establishment rants.

It's funny hearing people talk about how the Refused revolutionized hardcore with 1999's "the Shape of Punk to Come". Crass had almalgated abbrasive punk with dance, electronica, and radio sampling twenty years before. The difference being, the Refused offered oblique, silly anti-capitalist lyrics that likened themselves more to Rage Against the Machine than Karl Marx, whereas Crass were more than just little kids trying to make a stand.

While definitely not the only proto-hardcore band to exist in the time frame predating the 80's, Crass were definitely the most influential.

Like them or not, they proved how much of a difference one band can make with minimal talent.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Crass - The Feeding of the 5000Crass - Christ: The AlbumThe Germs - M.I.A.: The Complete AnthologyAdolescents - AdolescentsCrass - Yes Sir, I WillThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Faith / Void - Faith/Void/FaithJawbreaker - Dear YouNOFX - The DeclineTragedy - Tragedy

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
tittytwisterbudy (March 24, 2007)

whoever wrote this review has so many facts about the band wrong. steve ignorant didnt write all the songs on this album and didnt even write most of them. in fact the two most important and controversial (and usually regarded as best) songs were written by penny rimbaud (the band's drummer). he also fails to mention that eve libertine is one of the other lead singers that provides vocals on this record. and finally saying that crass is a "proto-hardcore band" is completely inaccurate as 1. Crass is the originator of the 'anarcho-punk' genre of music and doesnt belong in that retarded categorization that the reviewer gave 2. how could crass be a proto-hardcore band if hardcore was around before crass existed??? hardcore started in 1976 with the formation of black flag idiot. on top of all this the reviewer says that crass has "minimal talent." by saying this he or she shows how ignorant they really are because while Phil Free and N.A.Palmer were relatively inexperienced in guitar playing, the other members in the band were extremely talented and skilled at their positions in the band. this was only added to by the fact that eve libertine, joy De Vivre, penny rimbaud, pete wright and steve ignorant were all unbelievable lyricists. sorry but this reviewer, 'BSD', is retarded and needs to do his research before writing such a naive and inaccurate review.

fugazifreak (March 4, 2007)

good band not great

Anonymous (January 5, 2006)

My favorite album ever, followed closely by conflict's "the house that man built". Dirt's releases were also great, but nothing can come close to Stations.

feeeding5000 (November 20, 2005)

Favorite band. I find myself listening to this more than "Feeding" now, but I think this album, like "Christ", is a little on the long side.

Anonymous (July 14, 2004)

i use to like crass in 5th grade now i just find them shitty

Anonymous (May 31, 2004)

I really enjoy their music.

Anonymous (May 29, 2004)

BSD,

great fucking review, Crass is great.

Anonymous (May 28, 2004)

My message wasn't that Refused (Dennis calls them THE Refused in a lot of interviews) are worse than Crass, it was that Refused weren't the first to integrate different types of music with hardcore/punk. Hell, I bought the EP and Demo comps for 20 bucks a piece on import before they were re-released in America. No way in hell do I hate them.

Anonymous (May 28, 2004)

Crass is not my favorite band, but they are good. One thing I do not understand is why so many people are making to sound bad to like refused and the crass at once. It doesnt make you more or less "punk" (by the way im sick of people claiming how punk they are. Does the inegrity of a person does not matter still?). Two good bands worthy of respect.

lushj (May 27, 2004)

I think I'm the only person in my generation of punks who never really appreciated this band. Besides "Do They Owe Us A Living" (done better by The Business anyway), none of their songs appeal to me musically. I have the singles comp too, but it's gathering dust.

Intellectually, I know they influenced thousands, and were an important entry point for far-left/anarchist politics. They're also unmistakable and completely original. You can hear 5 seconds of a Crass tune and KNOW it's Crass immediately. What other bands from the late 70s/early 80s are still unique sounding after all these years of punks rewriting the same old punk styles? Wire? Television? Slits?
Crass is like James Joyce- important, influencial, and unreadable. Well, Crass is pretty unlistenable (to me). So thumbs up to them, their place in musical and cultural history is assured.

Anonymous (May 27, 2004)

I have no choice but to say, "blah" to any band that can possibly take potshots at The Clash.

BSD (May 27, 2004)

Wow, way to try to show off your Crass knowledge worse than me.

I think I said that they were diehard anarchists in my review, that's why they were dissapointed when they found out how little the Pistols knew or cared about anarchy.

About their music: Just because I like their music, I must not really like them? What the hell? They weren't musicians, I think I made that clear. I also like a lot of noise-rock that followed Crass, as well as minimalist artsy stuff. Quit being an elitist for the sake of it.

And to the kid complaining about Crass and crust kids: I doubt you'll be ever to count even one fashionable fake Crass fan for every five fashionable fake Refused fans.

Anonymous (May 27, 2004)

The thing a lot of people forget is that punk was meant to be challenging. If that means making the music itself almost unlistenable, so be it. Sadly, this also means that a lot of kids will miss out on hearing any message Crass had in their agenda. But at the same time it weeds out the "die hard' punks vs. the mindless thugs who got into punk for the wrong reasons. As far as Refused getting a bunch of accolades, what's wrong with that? Lots of things have been done before, but you have to look at it in the context of where the state of punk is at the time. When the "Shape of Punk to Come" came out, most punk was Fat Wreck type of stuff and flaccid pop punk with not much to say. That's why it's considered a milestone. Crass never quite blew me away when I picked them up in '91, but it did make me think about a few things.

Anonymous (May 27, 2004)

man, this sucks like sooo bad! Yellowcard would kick these guy's ass! yeah bro!

Anonymous (May 27, 2004)

good album, Emo no punk, Crass is

Anonymous (May 27, 2004)

Honestly, this reviewer must have just gotten into the band. This is probably one of their weaker releases AND he left out/was misinformed on a lot of information.

The band didn't come out of the people hearing Anarchy in the UK...they all lived in an anarchist commune in Europe...sure, the song may have led to them wanting to use music to push their message, but their ideals were strongly in place.

Steve Ignorant was a "singer." The drummer, Penny Rimbaud, wrote all the lyrics for songs and the bassist wrote most of the music. The bassist was the only musician in the group. I love the raw anger and message of the band, but there is little to be gathered musically from this all.

Of course, they never hid from this, as they stated in Yes Sir I Will: "we didn't expect to find ourselves playing this part, we were concerned with ideas, not rock and roll, but we can't avoid that arena, it's become a part of us even if we don't understand it."

Thanks kids!

Anonymous (May 27, 2004)

"Ever heard of the Refused? Every christcore sXe mini-frat boy with trendy lanky hair and sideburns, who wears his sister's jeans has got to post on his Xanga that he's listening to them all of the time.

I can make grosse and inaccurate generalizations about a bands' audience, too!"

I have heard of refused, and they're overrated too. I'm just saying that people who listen to shitty music in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks.

I also think my generalization was apt. At least in my experience. All the Crusty kids in my town have crass patches. Most of them haven't actually listened to crass. It's the same way with bands like doom, Aus Rotten, the Crucifucks, and Nausea.

BSD (May 26, 2004)

They have very talented musicians, and yes the change ups are cool, but I guess not being impressed by some sludgy metal guitars doing tricks means I don't get it. For the record, my favorite thing about them is their drummer.

Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

When people talk about The Shape of Punk to Come they usually don't talk about the lyrics or the electronic flourishes, it's the meat of the songs. The riffs, tone, and emotion of the album are why it is considered to be a cornerstone of modern punk/hardcore and honestly I feel that it's influence is just beginning.

However, who can deny the line:

"Rather be forgotten,
than remembered for giving in."

Whoever says that Refused is over-rated just doesn't get it.

TheOneTrueBill (May 26, 2004)

I've never been able to get into Crass.

Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

I like it though the live tracks suck, but still a great album

Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

Clash is better!!

Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

I got this album 'bout 2 years ago. It has a handful of great songs, but the rest were skippable. Not that life changing for me.

notfeelingcreative (May 26, 2004)

The first Crass album, I bought and probably tied with "Crist the Album" for my favorite one.

Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

Crass absolutely sucks. Leave it to BSD to review all the shittiest records ever made and give them insanely high ratings.

Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

ah crass, always wore black, never got paid.... and amazing lyrics.... IMO, of all the bands that i have heard over my 26 years they are the ones that are truly different... they only solidified my discontent for the pistols, however the clash is too good. and i never had a jean jaket with patches... i just listen to their tunes and read the lyrics...

RondoMondo (May 25, 2004)

White Punks On Hope makes me want to touch myself.

Crass is great. Music doesn't have to have a great amount of talent, it just has to sound good and have a meaning. And these guys accomplish both.

gladimnotemo (May 25, 2004)

Mind you, Crass wasn't a solid band, with a solid lineup. Whoever lived in the Crass house was in the band. That's why, on their later albums, they pull out 12-string classical guitar and stuff. They had some weird people. I think the guitars suck, but they suck so much, they're good.

BSD (May 25, 2004)

Everything by Crass makes me wonder how easy it is to play other types of music... Because you can be assured that no members of Crass were born to play music, but their music doesn't sound the least bit easy. The guitars are so random that they sound like some sort of punk jazz improv group.

gladimnotemo (May 25, 2004)

On "Feeding"? It's their most punk rock effort, you could say. I think "Yes Sir, I Will" goes acid-jazz for a while, but I'm not sure about their other stuff.

After you listen to it for a while, you start to question everything.

BSD (May 25, 2004)

It's them at their most accessable.

gladimnotemo (May 25, 2004)

I found the lack of Crass reviews to be quite shocking, and I ALMOST reviewed "Feeding of the 5000" to make up for it.

Now I should...but man, Crass is so stupid on that album.

BSD (May 25, 2004)

You're right, but "the" sounds good with it. And when you talk to people they, add the "the".

Sorry, though. It's not like I look at their album covers much at all.

inagreendase (May 25, 2004)

I could've sworn it was just 'Refused.'

joeg (May 25, 2004)

the refused are good but overrated as hell. good call bsd

BSD (May 25, 2004)

Ever heard of the Refused? Every christcore sXe mini-frat boy with trendy lanky hair and sideburns, who wears his sister's jeans has got to post on his Xanga that he's listening to them all of the time.

I can make grosse and inaccurate generalizations about a bands' audience, too!

Anonymous (May 25, 2004)

You want overrated, chek out this band called crass. They have little to no musical talent, the singer could hold a note if he tried, but for some reason, every kid that could convince his mom to let him get a mohawk and ruin his jean jacket seems to have a big ass patch. Political music doesn't have to sound like crap.

BSD (May 25, 2004)

Best Before is a singles comp...

BSD (May 25, 2004)

Not dissing, stating my opinion that The Refused are overrated and miscredited with a lot of stuff.

AmericanIdle (May 25, 2004)

I dont get why you're dissing Refused. Otherwise, good review.

Anonymous (May 25, 2004)

back with the five-star reviews. that's my boy...

score's for mentioning D.O.A.!!!!
-Janelle
oh yeah, and this crass album...

Anonymous (May 25, 2004)

Crass is cool - but the only ALBUM worth getting is "Best Before".

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