NME, January 1986

© 1986 NME


(Virgin) ******


"THE BEST metal album I've ever heard," said someone else. Let's take it from there. No-one is infallible, but anything Mr Lydon turns his hand to seems likely to succeed.

Now this record may be his little (big) joke, or perhaps he's always been a closet Gary Moore fan, or perhaps he just wants to be mega in America. More likely, he's decided that this is PiL '86, and we can like it or lump it.

I love it I've never been a great PiL admirer until now, so don't fire 'Lydon - the press darling' accusations in my direction. This is a wonderful, stunning and equally confusing record, and working on the theory that you'd never expect to hear the Lydon sneer backed by prime metal riffing, that's exactly what you get.

Not everywhere, of course, as proved by the haunting 'Rise'. And 'Ease', by the way, (Zep's' Kashmir', anyone?) with its shock-horror two minutes plus guitar solo, is quite beautiful.

In short, Lydon and PiL are still breaking barriers. The man has extracted the false phallus from rock's trouser front and is smashing it over our heads.


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