The Defects: Album Launch | Review
Oh Yeah Centre, Belfast • Saturday 16 December 2017
By Neil Trelford • Photos: Rodney Pennie
The formidable four take the stage for their final show of 2017. It’s the launch of their fourth album in five years, Feed The Good Dog. It’s another belter, released on Punkerama Records, The Defects label of choice.
The hometown crowd are well up for a punky Christmas celebration and The Defects do not disappoint.
They open with an old favourite ‘Guilty Conscience’ from their 1983 debut album, Defective Breakdown. Their charismatic lead singer, Buck Defect, taunts the sing-a-long crowd with the chorus ‘I Think You Know Who I’m Talking About’.
The boys then catapult 30 years and blast out their distaste of modern day politics with a couple of tracks from their 2013 release also on Punkerama, Politiciophobia. ‘C.M.P’ and ‘Repentagon’ exemplify how this hardworking band evolved from their punk roots into re-energised stalwarts of their genre.
But it’s back to the 80s for an edgy take on their second single ‘Survival’, originally released on WXYZ Records. It’s drummed in like a well-tuned Formula One engine by their talisman drummer/songwriter Glenn Kingsmore. The single reached number 8 in the UK Indie charts and is much sought after by collectors today.
Another Defective Breakdown track is infectiously delivered by Roy McAllister’s blazing guitar in tandem with Aidy ‘Fudge’ Dunlop’s pulsating bass. They escape from ‘Metal Walls’ before they un-religiously machine-gun into ‘Riot Free Zone’, a 2013 single release again on Punkerama and Buck shares the microphone with jovial young punks that sing the chorus with their own punk fervour.
With no Christmas jumpers in sight, Roy and Buck don Defects hoodies, Aidy is clad in black and Glenn sports an Alex Harvey Band T-shirt as they deliver their own Christmas treat of three songs from the new album.
The first live airing is of the final track of the new album, ‘Brotherhood Of Death’. It’s a powerful barrage against the inextricable links between business and war. The Defects sound engulfs this intimate venue and resonates with the heartbeat of the fans, a fait accompli that some of today’s stadium rock bands are devoid of.
‘Hunter Versus Hunter’ tonight’s second song from Feed The Good Dog, epitomises Glenn’s poignant songwriting, this time with an anti-drug theme. On the album itself, you’ll be treated to The Defects unique Dub-tone refurbishment of this song into ‘Action Junkie’.
Another new one, ‘The Wisdom Of Norman’ is followed by a trio of songs from 2015’s 45 Minutes album. It’s kicked off with the title track ‘45 Minutes’. This is a slow heavy churn of godly conflict that boils up some of the band’s rock influences. This is succeeded by the blistering ‘Rock n Roll Is Dead Tonight’ a song which characterises the band’s despise for arena venues that extort high ticket prices and quell fans’ passionate interaction with music.
From ‘Traffic Island Castaway’, a song dedicated to Malcolm Owen of The Ruts, the band drive us to ‘Hill Street’ with a nostalgic tip of their hat’s to the punk heritage of old Belfast. It’s a collaborative salute from the band and the old-school influenced crowd.
And with that the band take us back to the old haunts of the original Harp Bar and The Pound with their first self-released 7” E.P. ‘Dance Til You Drop’ and the crowd comply willingly.
The crescendo of the last two songs is a seamless transition, despite being thirty years apart.
A very Billy Idol-like ‘Get Up Stand Up’ from Politicophobia pays homage to the late great Bob Marley as Roy and Aidy infuse reggae dub riffs to this firm favourite.
The 16 song set bows out, with the exclusion of The Defects infamous anthem ‘Brutality’ but the rare and raucous 1983 B-Side ‘Song For Mark Walker’ ignites the mosh-pit for a final flurry of old-style pogoing.
Like their previous album, this was a blistering 45 Minutes of the evolution of Belfast Punk courtesy of The Defects and with special thanks to Punkerama Records and Shizznigh Promotions for making the album and it’s launch night happen.
Feed The Good Dog is available now from www.thedefects.co.uk
Other great albums by The Defects are available from www.punkeramarecords.com