Prefects Amateur Wankers

When post-punk was at its peak in the late ’70s there were a number of bands making a splash that would be referenced many years later. Unfortunately, the Prefects were not one of those bands. They played with all of the right bands — the Clash, Wire, the Slits and Joy Division — yet they failed to make an impact in their short time. Amateur Wankers is a compilation of their complete recordings, which up until now were never available, largely because the band split and became the Nightingales before a proper Prefects record was readied. Their terse, choppy guitar riffs recall the work of bands like Wire and Buzzcocks, while their ambition to be different was venerable, as they went as far as using the unconventional clarinet on selected tracks. Robert Lloyd’s vocals wandered between scratchy hollers one minute and punkfully melodic another. While it’s impossible to predict if they would have been as successful or influential as their peers, the Prefects were definitely in the right place, playing the right music at the right time, just not long enough for anyone to notice. Keeners for late ’70s UK punk scene should take note. (Acute)