Brimfull of Hate


This 1988 LP is easily one of the darkest releases in the vast Billy Childish corpus. He’s not even credited on it — nobody is, but the personnel are rumored to include drummer Bruce Brand and bassist Mark Gilbert (an early Milkshakes member). Childish’s vocals are, of course, instantly recognizable, but the music is a departure. The amped-up garage rock riffs of his best-known bands are often abandoned in favor of ultra-distorted, dirgelike postpunk and noise rock that owes more to Joy Division than the Kinks. The lyrics veer away from his usual tales of love, lust, headgear and rock ’n’ roll, too; this time out, he’s “got a brimfull of hate/to give to you” and strong critiques of life in grim, hollowed-out capitalist society, delivered in positively unhinged shrieks sometimes, disconsolate mutters others. This is a bleak, enervated record that even a closing rampage through the Buzzcocks’ “Boredom” can’t rev up. Tough going, but worth a listen.

Phil Freeman