Punk compilation selected by Sniffin' Glue editor Mark Perry
An often overlooked document of punk’s brief period of violent flux is Mark Perry’s Sniffin’ Glue?the first punk fanzine. While the DIY ethic of punk rock was often derailed by injections of major label cash, Sniffin’ Glue was the real deal, a xeroxed missive from the sputum-soaked frontline, assembled by people who really did “mean it, maaaan”. At the other end of the spectrum to Malcolm McLaren’s sly opportunism, Perry and co’s manifesto has arguably had the greater influence, embodying the utopian, democratic principles underlying punk’s boredom and nihilism and inspiring the fanzine culture which thrives today.
This album (accompanied by a single-volume reprint of Sniffin’ Glue’s entire run) is compiled by Perry himself, and it’s a lean and comprehensive collection of three-chord wonders.
Fan-turned-participant Perry’s sincerity is evident from his choice of tracks. The ‘pubbier’ end of punk is represented by tracks from The Hot Rods, Chelsea and Sham 69, and there’s a fair smattering of classics here (“White Riot”, “Anarchy In The UK” and “New Rose” are all present), but the real joy derives from observing rock being deformed, defaced, detoured. Tracks like the Voidoids’ “Blank Generation”, ATV’s “Love Lies Limp” (Perry’s own, early premonition of The Streets’ bullshit-free adolescent heartache) and X-Ray Spex’s “Oh! Bondage! Up Yours!” introduced elements previously alien to rock?how about indifference, reggae and feminism, for starters??while cerebral selections from The Pop Group and Wire constitute the first flowerings of the more experimental post-punk.
Shorn of context, the motorik momentum of this compilation?pretty much hard’n’fast all the way from “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue” to “12XU”?adds up to a hypnotic, near-psychedelic experience. A headlong rush through days of speed.