By Gold Blade
Don't be silly, of course they're still going. And they've just delivered an album so perfect it chills the blood. Imagine, if you will, a mix of the Clash's righteous fury, the Ramones' knack with a catchy chorus and the sheer energy of the Dead Kennedys at their prime.
Opener "Psycho" sets the tone for the rest of the album - pure furious energy ranting at the state of the nation with an awesome chantalong chorus to die for. It's a "White Riot" for the 21st century and that's no exaggeration. Gold Blade's fourth album is arguably their strongest yet - as evidenced on the likes of "Government Lies" and "War (Not In My Name)", a damning indictment of a nation which has not only gone to the dogs, it's also just blown its last tenner on a three legged greyhound. Also, now more than ever in an age where faceless opinionless whining dominates what's laughingly referred to in the NME as the "alternative" scene, Gold Blade arguably sound even more vital than they did when they were briefly troubling the charts a few years back.
The likes of "Fighting In The Dancehall" (chorus "Fighting in the dancehall! / Fucking in the streets!"), "Stereo Gangsta" and the Jello Biafra-esque "Everything Is Porn" are what Amen would sound like if only they could write catchy tunes or what Rancid would sound like if they hadn't had that sense of humour bypass.
Though the "trendies" in the music press may dismiss them as now being over the hill, "Rebel Songs" quite simply proves that Gold Blade have more of an awareness of what's happening in the real world today than any of the spaced-out scenesters trapped in the cosy drugs bubble babbling on about some redundant notion of an "Albion". Quite simply, "Rebel Songs" is an essential album for anyone.