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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Crossing the Red Sea With the Adverts

The Adverts

1978

Crossing the Red Sea With the Adverts

Album Summary

Crossing the Red Sea with The Adverts is the debut studio album by English punk rock band the Adverts. It was released on 17 February 1978 by record label Bright.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.01

Votes

3432

Genres

  • Rock
  • Punk
Reviews
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5

"Crossing the Red Sea With the Adverts" is an utterly perfect example of peak UK punk. There's not a bad track on the album. Everything you love about punk is on display PLUS great vocal performances and a higher production value than is usual for the genre and time. What a great album.

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4

Did you know that British people call chicken sandwiches "burgers"? As if the bun is what makes it a burger. Wtf, England. They also abbreviate advertisements as "adverts" instead of "ads," because I guess they don't understand the point of abbreviations. Finally, their punk bands are typically pale imitators of the format, soullessly checking boxes on a form as if punk is a series of requirements rather than an attitude. Thankfully, that's not the case here, even if they still call them "adverts." Best track: Great British Mistake (I assume this song is about the burger/sandwich thing. Please don't @ me if that's wrong, because in that case I don't want to know)

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4

Excellent tight punk record

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3

This is as good as any of any it but I'm sick of British 70s punk in this list. It's a very shallow sound.

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2

samey

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2

Ah, the adverts… typically where one might stop watching for a few minutes to re-enter the real world. Get up, walk around, make a cup of tea, use the toilet, anything to pass the time before the next part of something more interesting comes on. A bit like how I felt with this album. It’s not necessarily “bad music”- in 1978 in the UK, it was probably a breath of fresh air alongside its peers- but it felt non-essential, and didn’t seem to offer anything new or innovative. At its strongest, the album feels like a perverse take on the British Invasion era from the disillusioned generation who came afterwards. “Gary Gilmore’s Eyes” (a single not originally on the record) holds this up the most, with an ascending chord progression against a vocal line harmonising in opposite directions. It somehow sounded like an alternative 60s record to me. I enjoyed T.V Smith’s vocals throughout- less shouty, more melodic and precise than the stereotype “punk” voice. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for me, and the inspiration seemed to run out quite quickly. Chord progressions were reused, lyrics came off as vague variations on the same ideas, the arrangements and rhythms didn’t have much to separate them, and by “Drowning Men” and On Wheels”, even the band sounded like they were flagging. To its credit, it kept proceedings to a half hour listen and they saved one of the best for last, with “The Great British Mistake” having fun sardonic lyrics, several different sections musically, and a really catchy outro. It’s not too surprising to me that The Adverts broke up shortly after this album- listening to it, it’s difficult to work out a direction they might progress in. Lightning in a bottle… and then the bottle smashed.

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5

i dunno what to say about this one. i love the adverts, and have since i got my copy of burning ambitions, and heard gary gilmore's eyes for the first time. sooo...having it appear twice on this album was awesome, and the whole thing made me happy.

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5

I only just started listening to the Adverts this year, although I'd heard a few of their tunes on some punk playlists before. It's really solid, punk vibes with high-level lyrics, instrumentation, and hooks. I've listened twice already and will probably do so again.

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5

Pure punky, angsty-fun! Hidden gem to find!

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5

What a powerhouse of an album. Fast, clean, and cheap is right. Songwriting is thought provoking, sound is clean, while 3 chord music blisters in the background. This is what ALL punk should aspire to. Highlight tracks: ALL (especially 1, 2, 6, 11). Gary Gilmore's Eyes my favorite track of the whole review process so far.

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5

Awesome! I LOVED this! Such great songs, such great lyrics and melodies. So sophisticated for seemingly simple punk music. Brilliant. How did I ever miss this band?

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5

Cool punk sounds from l that era

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5

Very Ramones in a very good way. SHIT these songs are catchy.

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5

pretty great punk, honestly - 9/10

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5

The Adverts only made two albums. I usually go for album number two, Cast of Thousands ..always found it hard to understand that that album was not well liked at the time. In contrast to Crossing the Red Sea, it is more new wave and less punk rock. But that is not say that CRS isn't great too.

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5

Ah Gaye Advert and TV Smith. Gaye was my Teenage Heartthrob back in 77/78. A feisty female bass player, what's not to love! "One Chord Wonders" "Bored Teenagers" and on the Ultimate Version but not the original Album "Gary Gilmores Eyes" The humour of which was totally missed by British tabloids at the time. Absolutely Loved The Adverts and this album which is rightfully on this list. Listening to it again took me back to the heady days of 77/78 when anything was possible and Gaye, Wherever you are now, know your great influence on this teenage boy! Thank you!

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5

Fucking great.

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5

The Adverts is a band that I've never heard of and I've never listened to their songs. When I read that they were a 70's UK punk band I got excited. I got hooked on after the first song. They're really good and mu first impression is that they equal the Clash and are better than the Sex Pistols. Great production quality for being punk from this era.

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5

This was an excellent album. Front to back great songs. A lot of power.

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4

Delightfully tight and catchy early punk, this was a very nice treat today.

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4

I really vibed with this album for whatever reason, awesome stuff. Just great punk rock. Crazy to contrast this to all the prog rock around at the time.

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4

the site deleted my notes but this album was a lot of fun

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4

I’ve really been getting into the origins of my favourite genre lately. Especially the UK stuff. I’ve had Bored Teenagers on my playlist for a while now but wasn’t familiar with their other stuff. Really dug this Top Tracks: “Bored Teenagers” “Gary Gilmore’s Eyes” “New Church”

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4

Angst

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4

I've spent ages relistening to this to get a handle on it - it's an access drug to punk with a fascinating back story - read up on them. Album named by Jane Suck who's disappeared, band lasted only 3 years - but delivered so much

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4

Solid

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4

A couple of real earworms in there.

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4

Seemed a bit more nicely produced than a lot of the punk albums, and as per most punk, i loved the energy.

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4

классическая панкуха

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4

Much better punk album than the clash.

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4

Schön schrabbeliger first wave punk mit genug Spaß am Hall über düster verhangenen Bridges und gar nicht so shouty-tumben Songwriting. Etwas überhöhte 3.5

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4

This was good fun.

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4

I was familiar with "Gary Gilmore's eyes" but hadn't heard the rest of the album. I feel like the Adverts are underrated in the history of punk rock and new wave.

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4

Nisam očekivala da će mi ovaj punk album biti toliko slušljiv. Većinom mi nije žanr od kojeg bi slušala albume jer mi nakon duljeg slušanja postane malo iritantno, ali je ovo bilo iznenađujuće dobro i ne naporno.

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4

Sprightly, zingy post punk. Surprisingly clean sounding but plenty of bounce and bite there.

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4

What a great punk rock album. It really captured and embodied that teen/early adulthood angst. With shredding distortion and punching lyrical delivery, this is one I wish I had heard earlier. Best: No Time to Be 21 Worst: Bombsite Boy Note: Spotify had all the 2002 release with Single Edits & Live performances. I only listened to the original 13 tracks.

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4

Bored Teenagers would have been a great song as a bored teenager. Gary Gilmore’s eyes, woof. Safety in Numbers maybe birthed new wave? Fun stuff.

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4

Solid punk. 7/10

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4

7/10. Just the right amount of punk

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4

Surprising. I'm not a fan of punk and had definite trepidation on getting this, fearing truly one chord wonders with lofi production. Wrong! There's a ton of melody here, with frequent unexpected rhythmic twists and turns. Is it...crazy to say that maybe some very early Iron Maiden took some cues from this album? Seriously - there are hints of the Paul Di'Anno era of Maiden here and hey, who arrived first? It's raw without sounding garage-y. I like the twin guitar spread and simple yet effective and not distracting mix. I'd say the second half falls off from the excellent first - nothing bad, but suffers from a bit of same-ness. 7/10 4 maybe generous stars but this is an album that is a big crossover for me that held my attention

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4

this album was completely average. i liked some of the songs but nothing totally stood out to me that really made me enjoy

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4

Had never heard of the Adverts before but I really dug it! Classic punk, a very fun listen although it does get a bit repetitive. Did not need to hear Gary Gilmore's Eyes three times. 4/5 stars

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4

This is as good as any punk band I've ever heard which means it's bad according the punk fans I know. Whatever, I really liked it.

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4

I might grumble about the book this app is based on, but I have to admit this project also allows you to discover great stuff. I thought I knew the most important names in original British punk rock. I was dead wrong. This album is great (and the one after that is not bad either, as misunderstood as it was at the time). I still have to find my way as to what choice words I could use to convey how original this band was while still retaining the basic ingredients of punk. In the meantime, I'll merely highlight "One Chord Wonders", "Gary Gilmore's Eyes" (originally a single) or "Safety In Numbers" as the true punk gems they are. But mostly, I will finish this very short review by praising how f*cking epic closer "Great British Mistake" sounds, even today. Thanks, Dimery and co. Number of albums left to review or just listen to: 891 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 57 Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 29 (including this one) Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): 24

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4

Great punk band in the apotheosis of this movement. To the usual punk energy and craziness, The Adverts adds a touch of nice melodies that makes the album attractive.

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4

Solid early punk

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4

This album surprised me with how thoughtful it was. The music was for more interesting than other British punk and the lyrics were better than expected. I hear moments on this album that would later be brought to fruition by the Clash the next year on 'London Calling.' The Adverts were definitely on to something here and managed to make good punk that was true to its roots while looking forward to post-punk.

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4

I just love the 70's UK punk sound- so fresh and raw. Reminds me of playing 7" vinyl singles on the portable player in my bedroom at top tinny volume until my dad started kicking the door and telling me to turn it down. After a while it's kind of samey but great nonetheless.

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4

jag brukar inte gilla punk men detta var bra

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4

Good punk album, enjoyed the two listens!

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4

I enjoyed this pretty well. Had not heard of them before so it was a good listen.

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3

Pretty enjoyable to listen to while listening, but now it's over I've already entirely forgotten it.

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3

Generally enjoyed it.

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3

Seemingly way ahead of its time. Production could have been better but overall early great early punk that could have easily fit in with early 2000's music.

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3

3 stars. This ain’t for me but considering it came out in the 70s it’s definitely ground breaking. Very punky

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3

Good early punk - one of the better late 70’s efforts I’ve heard. A more genuine angry teen vibe than early Who.

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3

🎸🎸🚬🧑🏾‍🎤

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3

Short and consistent, some cool ideas and great energy, but hard to get super excited about it. The Great British Mistake is pretty ironic these days.

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3

Great early punk

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3

Fun, angsty punk. A bit samey throughout the album, but no bad songs. Like. "Newboys" and "Safety in Numbers" the most

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3

A lot of fun, can be a bit samey at times but has enough changes in rhythm and sound to keep it from being too repetitive. The songs are short, straight to the point and seemingly quite literal most the time. Gary Gilmore's Eyes reminded my of my childhood fear about transplanted body parts. Did they predict Brexit with 'Great British Mistake'? haha (Don't take that joke too seriously).

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3

Standard 1970's British punk rock. Fast and fun. Nothing stands out to me but I'm fine with that. I don't think punk rock was ever meant to be groundbreaking. I could listen to this album more than once but I don't think that I need to even though I probably will.

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3

Good listen. Songs blended together

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3

Ok punk record

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3

i like it very oldie vibe to it

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3

Not bad, but pretty generic punk rock in my opinion. All blends together, nothing really sticks out. 3

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3

U svom tom loopu DawnFM-a što imam 2 dana sad, stigo sam poslušati ovo i sviđa mi se dosta, kao bend ću ih nastaviti istraživati, no ovaj album ne opet cijeli nego samo neke pjesme.

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3

Don't get me wrong, nije ovo loš album za one koji su u ovoj glazbi, meni je ta glazba ono hit or miss. Dobar album, možda dvije pjesme su mi ostale u pamćenju, od čega jedna uopće nije na albumu gledajući po official track listi (Gary Gilmor's Eyes) kvrapcu! Sve u svemu solidno, ali forgettable for me.

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3

3.5

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3

Punk doesn't often make for great albums but I liked this having not heard them before. Some decent tunes

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3

Leuk album, maar heeft me niet kunnen overtuigen

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3

70s punk, feel like we've had a lot of 70s punk and it's fine but I'm getting a tad bored of it

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3

This was honestly pretty forgettable for me: Nothing objectionable but nothing particularly pleasing here either. Fave track: Gary Gilmore's Eyes. Catchy melody, solid harmonies. I appreciate it. But overall a solid meh for this album. Respectable meh.

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3

Aaaannd it's another punk record! But wait ... what do I hear? Could this be ... real songs, and not merely screams over badly tuned and inadequately played instruments?!? Granted, these songs sound simple, but I am pleasantly surprised how I can listen to quite a few of these without skipping or fast forwarding. I most like "One Chord Wonders". This alone isn't enough to make this a relly good record, but it isn't as horrible as I thought it would be either. 2.5/5

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3

3, not familiar with, enjoyed it!

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3

Great english punk, kinda repeatable but the album wasn't too long

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3

6/10 average punk rock album

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3

It was not what I expected. Love the thought that some kids made it big and now are doing normal jobs. Or working in the music industry as titans of pop.

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3

Buen punk

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3

Another group and album that is completely new to me. Based on the noisy cover I expect noisy music. And rolling the first track, yes, an immediate Joan Jett & the Blackhearts vibe but a bit angrier. Yeah, more Clash, really, especially since it sounds pretty darn English. Energetic, crisp, catchy, not really a bad song in the bunch. A quality example of its genre. Not sure why I'm not already familiar with it. I would have loved this back in the day.

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3

fun, late-70s punk. Nothing particularly remarkable and worth listening to.

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3

Not the Clash

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3

this is a fine early punk album.

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3

same old same old

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3

All new to me -- band, this album, their music -- and I really like it. All the same, there's a familiarity to their music when I listened to this album, which I attribute to other bands emulating in the years this band was active and later years. This album brings some excellent intense high energy without being so chaotic and thrashy that they lose me. I sometimes turn away from some punk (and related genres) bands because it can grate on me too much, or sometimes feel like they are just making things as crazy as possible for effect (if that makes sense). Because this album to my ears sounds more -- not sure the right word here, maybe "intentional"? -- and melodic, plus very well arranged and performed, I like it better than a lot of other punk. There's real talent here and I can hear it come through the recording. Good stuff.

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3

Always nice to listen to some good old punk that hits hard AF

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3

Average punk

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3

This album is proof that my listening habits are changing: when I heard it for the first time a few years ago I was really enthusiastic, it seemed to me like an approach to punk that I'd never heard before. Going back to it now, I just don't find it at all that incredible. It is certainly a good album and it's full of hooks and I can see how the band differentiate themselves from their peers of the time, but it just doesn't grab me the way I wish it would.

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3

A pounding, frenetic garage rock LP – the instrumentals slap, the lyrics get the job done without being overly British, and the overall feel is upbeat and high energy. A bit overlong in places, but not enough to prevent a few of these tracks from ending up in my heavy rotation.

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2

1978: Gary Gilmore's Eyes

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2

I feel like there's just too much of this type of stuff on this list.

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2

Unsophisticated and quite samey. I remember their hit but wouldn’t have been able to remember the band name! 2*

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2

Klassicher Brit-Punk, erste Welle, woll? Als Postpunk schon nervös nägelkauend mitten im Raum stand und aber der große Spaß ja auch noch weitergehen wollte. Darf er natürlich auch. Für den Sammler in mir auf jeden Fall interessant zu hören, alle anderen werfen es leichtfertig auf den Zu-Verschenken-Stapel für echte Hosen-Fans.

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2

Not good. A song about Gary Gilmore? Really?

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2

Not my style

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2

Crossing the Red Sea with the Adverts by The Adverts (1978) This is highly evangelical and evangelistic Britpunk, summoning the listener to join in all the punkness. The Adverts sing, “We're just bored teenagers, looking for love or should I say emotional rages . . .” Actually, they were no longer teenagers. But the rage is relentless. They’re relying on the new church of strength, not the old Church of blindness and weakness, delivering a passionate altar call (“New Church”). Assertive, aggressive, ambitionless, and angry “subterranean vandals” drowning mutant freaks (“Drowning Men”) have harsh judgments in store for those who are content to embrace the permanent things. They want to chew up their culture and spit it out. And (this is key) they want the listener to join them. They are not content to suffer their nihilities alone. And they express gratitude to God for their superior perception and fortitude (“Bombsite Boy”). They acknowledge and even celebrate their lack of musicianship (“One Chord Wonders”) and they “don’t give a damn”. Somehow that seems to fit. The most interesting track is “Gary Gilmore’s Eyes”, in which Advert considers what it would be like for a patient to have his sight restored by a cornea transplant from the eyes of recently-executed murderer Gary Gilmore (a murderer whose penultimate words were “Just Do It” [inspiring the Nike advert], but his final words were “Dominus vobiscum.” The Catholic priest ministering at the execution duly replied Et cum spiritu tuo. Advertise that.) There are some intriguing arrangement innovations (“On the Roof”), and the performances throughout are competent enough, but these musical pluses fall far short of compensating for the drearily antagonistic lyrics. I suppose this album could have a cathartic effect on the listener, but after catharsis the wound needs to heal. May I recommend Gregorian chant? 2/5

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2

They sure were angry back then. By today’s standards, they’re mostly noisy.

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2

Album is just too long.

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2

Authentically punk and believably angry (e.g., they sound like “Bored Teenagers") and even kind of substantive, but so narrow as to be one note.

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2

Punk je suis pas trop fan ça s'écoute correct 2.95

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2

Nothing noteworthy. 5/10

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2

This gets 2 stars because it's one of the most listenable punk albums we've had from this list. And with most listenable I mean that's it's still actually quite bad, but it's not completely unlistenable.

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2

Yeah, that’s punk. Nothing too severe or unpleasant but I was very happy to turn it off before they started playing through bonus tracks.

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2

Really not my type of music so I’ll just say I didn’t enjoy really at all and leave it at that. 3/10

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2

Some ass kickin' punk.

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2

nu uh

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2

After getting two punk albums on consecutive days I’m all plunked out

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2

I wish I could run back and increase the score I gave to The Damn. This is one-dimensional and the big hit gets tired fast.

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1

Not a fan. 1/5 stars.

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1

I don't have much patience for early punk

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1

Another punk record that I just can’t get into. Very samey and just not interesting.

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1

Really nothing all that interesting....definitely the most generic out of the "formative late 70s British punk bands" we have listened to before. Had never heard of them prior to this listen and nothing I heard made me felt I should have... 1.5/5

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1

I can't figure out why this is even on the list. It's instantly ignorable and forgettable, nothing interesting at all, not even in a bad way really. It's just nothing.

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1

I never heard of these guys until now. After hearing it, I can see why.

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1

Sound like every other English punk band

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1

Ehh. Not great. Not my style. Too heavy

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