Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Undercover Anarchist

"Leicester Square under siege ..." What a line. You can just see that on an apocalyptic Evening Standard headline. Any cultural commentator that gets all snooty about UK hip hop should be forced to listen to Undercover Anarchist, a single by Silver Bullet at the end of the ‘80s. Silver Bullet was a particular favourite of John Peel, a big champion of UK hip hop in his way. The Silver Bullet tracks he played would explode out of the radio like Suspect Device or Oh Bondage Up Yours had once blasted the listener out of slumbering comfortableness. Unlike oh so many many performers that appeared often enough on the John Peel radio show the transition from small independent to major recording conglomerate in the case of Silver Bullet resulted in a record that was even more ridiculously raw. In the case of UK hip hop as in the days of post-punk this would be nothing short of a miracle. The one and only Silver Bullet LP, Bring Down The Walls – No Limit Squad Returns, came out on Parlophone in 1991. It now goes for silly money as befits its status as a bona fide ferocious UK hip hop masterpiece, which nevertheless far too few folks are fervent about. Silver Bullet’s performance throughout Bring Down The Walls is astonishingly angry, and convincingly so. 20 Seconds To Comply. Undercover Anarchist. Bring Forth The Guillotine. Legions of the Damned. Silver Bullet’s songs still strike like situationist slogans. If the lyrics themselves are like rapid fire accusations, apocalyptic attacks and cut-up manifestos then the rage itself seems scattergun too. I hate everything ...

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