Machine Gun Etiquette

As the archetypal British working-class punk band, the Damned were given credit but not a lot of respect. Fortunately, they outgrew the narrowness of loud and fast thrash to subvert punk’s cynicism into good-natured rock-pop. The entertaining Machine Gun Etiquette (1979) finds the band making light of nihilism with enormously catchy songs like ”Smash It Up” and ”Noise Noise Noise.” This long-overdue American release adds four singles, a new cover, and informative liner notes. Considering that half the songs on The Best of the Damned (which ends in 1980) are now contained on Machine Gun Etiquette, and that only one of the remaining tracks (”Wait for the Blackout”) is really great, a much better value for children of the Damned would be The Light at the End of the Tunnel, an extensive career retrospective issued here several years ago. Machine Gun: B+ Best of: D+

Machine Gun Etiquette
  • Music