The Rezillos - Can't Stand The Rezillos (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Rezillos

Can't Stand The Rezillos (1978)


Musically, things were happening very quickly in the late ‘70s. If 1977 was year zero for punk, then 1978 was year zero for new wave. The two genres were harder to distinguish in those days, and sometimes the two terms were used interchangeably That being said, The Rezillos were new wave pioneers. Other than Devo, who were way ahead of their time, they were one of the first bands to perfect the style. The quintet was certainly the first prominent new wave band in their native Scotland.

The music was nearly identical to punk, but the tone and lyrics told a different story. Can’t Stand The Rezillos opener “Flying Saucer Attack” set the stage. There was no anger or politics, just a whimsical sci-fi tale. “No” had a bit of teen angst, but it was more of a wholesome, 1950s type of rebellion. “Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight” might be The Rezillos best known song. Ironically, it was a cover of a very old Fleetwood Mac tune. Later, Youth Brigade would also cover it and it would become the title of the now legendary BYO compilation.

The Rezillos featured both male and female lead vocals, and they would trade back and forth. It’s easy to hear their influence in later, poppier new wave bands like the B52’s, The Cars and The Go-Go’s. “Top of the Pops” was a catchy song about the once popular British television program that the BBC would later adopt. “Glad All Over” was another cover, this time of early rockers The Dave Clark Five. It showed the band’s devotion to the roots of rock and roll. Can’t Stand The Rezillos was packed with other great songs like “2000 A.D.”, “I Can’t Stand My Baby”, “(My Baby Does) Good Sculptures”, “Cold Wars” and “Bad Guy Reaction” too.

Sadly, this would be the lone Rezillos album until their triumphant return with Zero in 2015. The thing that strikes you about Can’t Stand The Rezillos is how modem it sounds. Few albums from that era have aged as well. It’s timeless. Sometimes you want the drive and aggression of punk, but not the negativity. The Rezillos somehow maintained an innocence and wide eyed optimism. This is why their 40 year old music is still a joy to listen to today.