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Crass

The brittlest and most hard-line radical of the first wave of British punk bands, Crass issued a blitz of records that were ruthless in both their unrelenting sociopolitical screeds and their amelodic crash of noise. The horrors of war, the arbitrary nature of legal justice, sexism, media imagery, organized religion, the flaws of the punk movement itself -- all were subjected to harsh critique. Like few other rock bands before or since, Crass took rock-as-agent-of-social-and-political-change seriously, and not just in their music. In addition to putting out their own fiercely independent records (though the majors were certainly not knocking at their door), they also formed an anarchist commune that worked with other artists and labels, and on the behalf of various political causes. But they were also afflicted by considerable tension between the medium and its message -- not more than a few thousand people were exposed to Crass' very broad social concerns, and their musical inflexibility guaranteed that the band would be preaching to the converted almost exclusively.

In keeping with early punk ethos, Crass assumed obviously fake stage names. The membership changed a bit over the years, but the group's mainstays were vocalists Steve Ignorant, Eve Libertine, and Joy de Vivre. Drummer Penny Rimbaud and G. Sus, who did tape collages and provided the distinctively bleak black and white artwork on the fold-out posters that usually enclosed their LPs, were also important contributors. Their late-'70s recordings may sound like just so much hardcore punk decades later. But at the time they were indeed shocking assaults of noisy guitars and relentless drumming, backed by throaty, angry rants that were made incomprehensible to many ears by the heavy British accents and the sheer speed of delivery.

They were the definitive uncompromising punk band, which guaranteed them a cult following of very disaffected youth, and also ensured that they would never come remotely close to mainstream exposure, or even to many new wave playlists. An undiluted lyrical message was far more important to Crass than commercial considerations, and until 1984 they cranked out anarchist-leaning recordings without much variation in their attack. Occasional experimental cuts were promising variations on their format, particularly when they branched into tape collage, or spoken poetry. Those were largely the exception rather than the rule, though Crass weren't without the occasional moment of humor.

Crass always intended to disband in 1984, and true to their ideals as always, they did exactly that when that year came around. Even for those with no taste for the band's brand of confrontational punk, they deserve recognition as one of the relatively few acts in the music who attempted to live their values, and not just sing about them. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Hahaha!..... k i s s my Crass!!!!
One of my favorite bands back in the day. Loved spending hours scouring the covers. Contrary to the review, I think that more than a couple thousand people were exposed to Crass!
The reviewer makes note that punk bands that follow Crass even decades later sound like them. Really?? Who? I.don't think punk may be a familiar for him and Crass sounds like its epic self exclusively. Awesome band musically,ly r i c a l l y and personally. Still dumb founded I saw Steve Ignorant/Cra s s play in Austin a few yrs ago. Never did I dream of such a tour. Lovely! And Surreal + total punk rock= CRASS!
Always will be my favorite band!
We need to kickstart the punk movement once again!!!!!! PUNK FOREVER!!!! follow me if you agree!!!!
I got a floppy single vinyl out of a magazine when I was a teenager of these guys. I'm 47 now and still like them. Their sound, like a handful of others across genres, is singular. Great music.
I started listening to crass when I was real young I think 11 or 12 and it seriously helped me open my eyes to the bullshit the goverment and the relgious right try to sell us. Love still 23yrs later
CRASS,DIRT,T H E SNIPERS,ALTE R N A T I V E , H O N E Y BANE,RUDIMEN T A R Y PENI,ANDY-T, G r e a t FUCKEN bands.L.G.M East,Los Angeles
Greatest FUCKEN band ever!!!! There is no authority but you're self
Crass, Dirt, and Conflict... The true ungovernable force!
By far the best lyrically and musically of all the anarchist-pu n k - r o c k bands. The albums are unrelenting in their driving savagery. Thank god they included the lyrics on the album covers as I would've missed half of it !!!
pyannoutsos
Crass, Conflict and Slayer..... the 3 bands that changed my life!
singndance4p e a c e
My first tattoo.....C R A S S . . . .
DESTROY POWER NOT PEOPLE
assballgg2
JESUS DIED FOR HIS OWN SINS
sdhank3fan
BE HEARD, NOT HERDED!
Fight War, Not Wars
takeoutvirus
the core of punk
Just saw Steve Ignorant's show in San Francisco last night...bril l i a n t ! The crowd was loaded with a full complement of forty- and fifty-someth i n g s , and we proved that many of us continue to live the ideals Crass put out thirty-plus years ago.
While some might feel that Steve was going against the lyrics and attitude that Crass portrayed back then, the reality is that he is doing a service by bringing this high-energy show to the people who never had the opportunity to see them in the UK.
As a
sbholl84
They always practiced what they preached. Although I'm far past the point where I can buy into their message, I respect them a lot for always being real.
just got "best before" ..... brilliant
Amelodic? Hardly!
Eh, I'm over Crass. I listened to 'em a fuckload when I was young though. I'm not knocking 'em but it's like the misfits, theres way better punk out there.
Crass is not just music, it's a way of life, wake up and listen to what you should do, not what it wants you to buy!
Crass should always impress upon anyone in their life endeavors,th a t one should always stick to their own guns.
cjdaddo_1
i need bullshit detector 2. cant find it anywhere!!!
The world needs more Crass.
Truth is always relevant.
i love Crass- what they have been saying since their beginning is still relevant today- i also enjoy conflict
\/Pure punk\/
http://www.p a n d o r a . c o m / ? s c = s h 2 0 8 1 1 2 5 8 0 3 3 3 4 5 3 4 2 7
ptran9
change how i look at the world back in the days now still living the etho of making a difference and not just complaining about it- mahalo crass
They really were one of the ballsiest punk bands out there, confronting sexism and just saying up-front that punk is dead when it really was dying. Really great crust punk.
Crass is and should be the definition of punk
I have tried not to like Crass, I can't help it.. I LOVE IT!!!
warthogger9
you say Crass like it's a bad thing!

but it is. Crass, also shoddy and not very Well thought Out. again, like it's a bad thing.
Good Old English Punk.
they were anti-everyth i n g i n g but you always found something you agreed with in there lyrics.
Discharge were another band that broke the thrash punk scene in England.
If you like Crass you will enjoy Discharge. Iggy
dawn.hawk278
Crass is very cool, not a lot of bands had that kind of music back then lol
BEST band EVER!
Always stuck to their guns. I must admit I didn't like absolutely all their tunes, but still they are the complete package. CRASS, Conflict, Rudimentry Peni, Flux of Pink Indians. I could go on. Where are bands like this these days ? CRASS CRASS CRASS
iluvsascha
The best.
best band in the world ever. genius, perfect, truth
Great band. Shame the synopsis is pretty bad.
blah
yes!!!!
Simply amazing

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