Title - 'Energize (Remastered)'
Artist - The Vibrators
For those not in the know, legendary Punk Rock pioneers The Vibrators have just reissued their 2002 release Energize as a crackin' new remastered edition via Deko Entertainment.
Remastered by Alan Douches (High on Fire, Mastodon, The Misfits, et al) and now including the live bonus track 'She's the One You Need', with liner notes by Vive Le Rock’s Eugene Butcher, the 17-track album sounds as freshly vibrant today as I'm sure it did back then.
With a career lasting over forty years, original vocalist/guitarist Ian "Knox" Carnochan, bassist Pat Collier, guitarist John Ellis (Peter Gabriel) and drummer Eddie originally formed The Vibrators in February 1976, and their first gig was supporting The Strangers at Hornsey Art College in North London.
Early in 1977 the band supported Iggy Pop (with David Bowie on keyboards) on a UK tour, and released the classic 'Baby Baby' single, followed by their first album Pure Mania on Epic Records which spent five weeks in the UK Top 75, peaking at #49.
A second single from the album - but a live version - 'London Girls', came out in the summer of 1977, followed by 'Automatic Lover' (March 1978), which not only reached #35 in the charts, but also got the band on the UK's infamous chart show, Top Of The Pops (TOTP).
Headed up by founding members Knox (Lead Vocals/Guitar) and John 'Eddie' Edwards (Drums) and joined by Robbie Tart (Bass), the album was produced by original bassist Pat Collier.
1. 'X-Files' (2020 Remaster)
2. 'Your Love Is Fading Away' (2020 Remaster)
3. 'So Far Down' (2020 Remaster)
4. 'New Brain' (2020 Remaster)
5. 'Rock The Kids' (2020 Remaster)
6. '3/4 Angelina' (2020 Remaster)
7. 'Animals' (2020 Remaster)
8. '2night' (2020 Remaster)
9. 'Brand New' (2020 Remaster)
10. 'General Purpose' (2020 Remaster)
11. 'Jukebox Light' (2020 Remaster)
12. 'Tears Are Falling' (2020 Remaster)
13. 'Moonlight' (2020 Remaster)
14. 'I Knew It Must Be Love' (2020 Remaster)
15. 'Shine' (2020 Remaster)
16. 'No More' (2020 Remaster)
17. 'Shake Some Action' (2020 Remaster) [Bonus Track]
OK, in all truth, The Vibrators may well not be as good a band as even they believe themselves to be (or to have once been), but they do still remind me a great deal of the Ramones (when they were themselves starting out).
That very same sense of stupid fun and bludgeoning power prevails throughout each song, especially here on Energize, which was, for my money, the best album by The Vibrators since their minor late '70s heyday.
Songs like 'New Brain' ("Her new brain says I’m no longer cool and it won't let me see her 'cos it's working to rule"), 'Animals,' 'General Purpose' and even '3/4 Angelina' (a song about a psychopath dismembering his victim), are all hardly in-depth tunes, chock full of nuances, but they still remain, one and all, irresistibly silly, in their own sweet ways.
But, more than these, there are three tracks on Energize that perfectly highlight why fans have never left their side: 'Jukebox Light' contains an infectious riff right out of the Marc Bolan play book; 'No More' contains (quite possibly) the greatest guitar refrain Big Country never wrote; and lastly, the hard-hitting 'So Far Down,' which is just simply one of the best songs the band have ever recorded (in my humble opinion, of course).
Knox himself looks back on the album and remarks, “I hadn't listened to any of this album for years, but I was shocked at how good the lyrics were and how on fire my guitar playing is. This album has lot’s of great moments - so give it a spin!”
Energize's greatest virtue isn't the fact that it's glorious business as usual, but the implausibility of that business still being glorious.
But a couple of choruses of the pounding 'New Brain' are all you need to hear before Energize re-energizes all your old enthusiasm, and The Vibrators' vibrations are, once again, as powerful as ever.
Amazon CD Purchase Link
The Vibrators @ Facebook