REDSKINS - Epilogue

REDSKINS - Epilogue

The legendary Redskins were an early-80's sensation that garnered mainstream attention in England as well as inspiring a whole new generation of antifascist bands. This retrospective set collects early CNT Singles and demo material in a digipack of previously unreleased tracks, including material from the band when they were formerly known as 'No Swastikas'.

BONUS: The digipack includes a hidden track unavailable on the digital version.


FORMAT: Digipack CD




 

 

The basics of York, England trio the Redskins were to be found in the band's name: three northern England skins with passions on the political left. But when asked to sum up the band, singer X Moore once quipped, 'We want to walk like The Clash and sing like The Supremes.' While they definitely did the former, they didn't quite get to the latter, though they created, arguably, the only ballsy blue-eyed soul - because it walked on the edge of punk - of the 1980s. The band managed one LP and a half-dozen or so singles in its brief career. The lyrics were right out of the Socialist Workers Party playbook, but the Redskins had a sense of humor and played fun music, too. They knew kids didn't go to gigs expecting lectures or discussion groups. Steve Cropper-influenced guitar shanked rough-neck soul-tinged beats - kind of like the ones Kings Go Forth do now - and a horn section punctuated it all. When I was 21 I was lucky enough to get to use that horn section and the band's gear on a three-gig trip to London. So, I have a soft spot for these fellas. This disc collects four songs from the Skins' super-rare first two 45s, plus demos, a live track, an unreleased session track and three songs recorded at home when the band was still called No Swastikas. All the fire and the fury is here in this set, which also functions as a de facto retrospective. Check it out." (Bobby Tanzilo)

OnMilwaukee.com


"Few artists did more to support the striking miners during their incredible battle with Thatcher in 84/85 than Billy Bragg and the Redskins with countless benefit gigs. While Bragg still continues to fight for just causes (currently battling against bankers bonuses and the BNP), the Redskins from York felt so dejected by the ultimate defeat of the NUM's efforts that they gave up performing a year or so later. They left as their last testament one of the finest albums of the 80s, Neither Washington Nor Moscow, a full-on mix of hard left politics (they were all members of the SWP) and punked up northern soul. For some of us it has remained a treasured slab of vinyl; an oft-played reminder of a time when we really did think we could change the world.

I'd long wondered what No Swastikas sounded like and the three tracks here (Strike, Unamed and Stickies) reveal a fairly generic new wave band (albeit a highly politicised one). The debut single as the Redskins, Lev Bronstein and b-side Peasant Army, were both far better but lacked the soulful rhythms and triumphant brass of what was to follow with the second 7" coupling. Lean on Me and Unionize still sound magnificent; frantic, funked up foot-stompers, they could stir the passions and limbs of even the most apathetic couch potato. Likewise, two of the band's finest moments, It Can Be Done and Keep On Keeping On, are here in demo form but even these are sufficiently different to the originals (and well recorded) to deserve hearing all over again.

With the reclusive nature of frontman Chris Dean it's highly unlikely he will ever perform any of these songs live again so capturing these left wing nuggets now is much appreciated and a recommended purchase." (Paul M)

exerpted from SoundsXP, March, 2010


"Eleven tracks of REDSKINS rarities including three songs from their previous band NO SWASTIKAS, the As and Bs from the first two singles, three demo tracks and one live. The packaging is great, selection of tunes amazing, the production spot on. If you ain't familiar with these English legends, think of Two-Tone Records with its leftist roots taken to a higher level by a band that pushed a radical political agenda intensified by the backdrop of early-80s England (miner's strike, inner-city riots, hunger strikes, massive unemployment and the rise of the British far right). The REDSKINS never surrendered music quality over political message. In fact, their soul-infused dance-punk was a perfect accompaniment to their socialist doctrine. This bands live and breathed it, ran the gauntlet, dressed the part and managed to keep a shit-load of skinheads from falling into the ranks of the National Front/BNP whilst making them aware that left-wing politics are the true politics of the working classes. Take no heroes, only inspiration. Brilliant. (SD)"

Maximumrocknroll


"Back in the 80s, Britain and much of the rest of the world was a grim place and, to a large extent, the music we listened to reflected that. Sure we had coloured hair, drink, drugs and free festivals to take the edge off, and a few bands who tried to infuse their music with the joy of life rather than the fear of death. But mostly we listened to quite despairing noise about the state of the world which, although it stirred us up, could've sometimes done with a lighter side too.

Of those few bands who led the charge to a brighter future, The Redskins stand tall. Unashamedly left in the Marxist tradition, they still managed to endear themselves to many of the more militantly-inspired anarcho mob too, partly because they walked the political talk far more convincingly than other Reds we'd come across but mostly because their music was (and still is) just so fucking good! Here were tunes that were born in the heat of the dancefloor on Wigan Pier before becoming teenagers and hanging out in dingy pub back rooms with the punks. It was Northern meets rebel soul and the result was explosive. Their recorded output was sparse, with only one studio album ('Neither Washington Nor Moscow') and a handful of singles along the way before they called it quits.

Luckily, this gem of a CD has been given life by the good people at Insurgence and provides a fitting conclusion to their history. It pulls together the rarest cuts that chart the band's life, from the pre-Redskins days of No Swastikas in 1981 to a live recording of a gig in Germany from 1986, the year they called it quits. There's also an unbroadcast hidden track from the Peel session they recorded the same year. The whole package is top notch, with a classy digipack sleeve, liner notes that capture the effect they had, a spot-on production job (especially considering the source material) and a selection of tunes worth every penny you'll pay for this disc."
OP's opinion: @@@@@

The Old Punk

 

 
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