GBH - Ha Ha (Cover Artwork)


Ha Ha (2002)

Go Kart

There's no doubt about it: with Ha Ha, GBH presents us with their best new material in a while. These seventeen powerful tracks hearken back to the '80s, when, along with the Exploited, Vice Squad, UK Subs, Discharge, the Partisans, et al, these guys ruled the British punk world with their killer hardcore punk sound.

Yep, Colin's signature snarling, Jock's ferocious guitar playing, Ross' raucous bass lines, and Scott's rapid-fire, bludgeoning drums are all here and right on target. Some of the best bone-crushing, pogo-inducing tracks have to be the brutal "Sado Methodist" with its awesome hardcore breakdown, "The Unexpected," "Belgrade" with those gang vocals, "Choice," and the finale, "Punk Rock Ambulance." And the lyrics of "Dustbin Rock and Roll" perfectly articulate why these old blokes are still making music and touring after all these years: "What keeps us together?/Skin and gravity/Third decade round the bend/Never looking for an end/Beer a plenty music loud/Roar of the greasepaint/Smell of the crowd."

So, you may be wondering, are any of these songs as great as those now-legendary masterpieces of the early '80s, like "No Survivors," "Give Me Fire," "City Baby Attacked By Rats," or "Lycanthropy"? Well, truthfully, probably not. Overall, this record isn't as feral or noxious, but, nonetheless, it does have its moments.

Ha Ha is an in-your-face, impressive disc and better than some of their other records of late. That said, if you're into old-school punk check this out (and, while you're at it, the wonderful compilation of their early stuff: The Punk Singles 1981-84 on Castle Music, also out this year-you will NOT be disappointed!) or if you're into the Dropkick Murphy's and the like, this'll definitely be up your alley.