The Prefects
Are Amateur Wankers
/acute; 2004/

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Acute graces us with another fully documented ambitious reissue. Well, it's not really a reissue. Five of the songs on this record had been issued on limited radio session releases. Aside from that the Prefects only released one single before their demise in 1979.

The Prefects were a post punk band from Birmingham, who later became the Nightingales. They played with whoever was making avant garde music in reaction to The Clash and Sex Pistols, people as cool as The Fall, Warsaw/Joy Division, Buzzcocks, Magazine & co. The music is undeniably good. Reminiscent of the Fall and Wire, playing mostly short pieces, sometimes straightforwardly punk, always experimenting (the free jazz saxophone on the otherwise very Buzzcocks-y "Faults"), bringing the Ramones into the art institute. There's also "VD" which is seven seconds long and quite good despite its lack of chorus and, well, verse. "Going through the Motions" is half Black Sabbath (the singing and the drum "parts") half 70s pop (the rest). "Things in General" starts like a Who song and then they're punk and stuff. "Total Luck" starts like the missing song on 154 and then it goes wild. And there's "Bristol Road Leads to Dachau", which lasts for ten minutes and has a wonderful name.

This is quite an entertaining release, a totally unknown band with great songs, filled with teenage energy and creativity while putting the "punk" back in post punk. A wonderful present for music fanatics.

-Barbara H

/dec 15th 2004/