Monday, August 15, 2011

Political Asylum

The post this time out covers a large chunk of material from Scotland's Political Asylum.  This tuneful anarcho-punk group spanned most of the 80s and made it to the early 90s before calling it a day.  Fronted by Ramsey Kanaan, the founder of AK Press, Political Asylum started out playing a variation of the prominent anarcho-punk sound of the time, but moved to a more straight forward, Hüsker Dü influenced, melodic punk/HC bent.  Kanaan's distinctive vocals, often accompanied by soaring guitar leads, were a signature part of PA's sound.  Collected for you here is their 1987 12" Ep "Someday", their Lp "Window on the World", their final release, a 10" called "How the West Was Won" and also a retrospective CD entitled "Rock, You Sucker!".  The CD includes various material from the records, as well as early tunes from cassette only releases or compilations. 

Political Asylum was another band that re-recorded the same songs several times, but even so, each record has it's own merits.  My favorite versions are probably included on the "Someday" 12".  These recordings feature the most embellished and expanded leads hovering over the driving beats.  "Window on the World" features great versions of some of the same songs and the second side of the record is a live recording with some exclusive material, including a Medley of early songs and a Wire cover.  "How the West Was Won" was a fantastic finale with one side electric and one side acoustic songs.  The electric side showcased some of their most rocking material, while the acoustic side had the band at its most melancholy.  A great cover of Hüsker Dü's "Don't Want to Know If You're Lonely" closes the record.

Political Asylum - "Someday" Ep, "Window On the World" Lp, "How the West Was Won" 10" and "Rock You Sucker!" CD

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