Vice Squad Defiant

It would appear as if Beki Bondage and crew realised that a life of gutter punk does little for the retirement fund. A shocking discharge of flash, flare and pop, Defiant is a muddled mixture of reliance on Vice Squad’s traditional street punk yet an obvious attempt at creating a series of one-off hooky tunes and desire to truly work Bondage’s "hot punker chick” appeal. The end result is confusing. One wants to disregard the album for being a blatant sell-out, yet when sucked in by the chanting choruses and unforgettable barbs of potential radio single "Britain Is Still Burning,” repeat listens are a must. It does seem a touch hypocritical though that mid-tempo ska/pop track "Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down” sounds like a mix of Queen and Bif Naked yet is directed at "fakes.” Slipping back into the sleaze though, tunes such as "Fast Forward” attack with force and anger that set the pace for their scene way back when. Were the band to decide with either maintaining trajectory or abandoning it altogether and going all-out in the sell-out, they would do fine. Middle-of-the-road wishy-washiness such as Defiant is frustrating… anything but its namesake. (SOS)