Album Review: The Adicts – “And It Was So!”
There’s a lot of bands down the years who fall into the “should’ve been bigger than they were” category, but the failure of Ipswich’s Clockwork Orange influenced punks The Adicts to crack the charts is still a mystifying one thirty plus years later. Listen to any collection of their early material from the first half of the 80s and it’s literally packed full of songs that in the hands of a more commercially fortunate artist like Adam Ant might well have been hits – Troubadour, Chinese Takeaway, Viva La Revolution, Champs Elysees, How Sad, Tokyo, the list goes on and on.
Similar to bands like The Toy Dolls though, they were a band who chalked up a fair bit more success abroad than they did on these shores, and it’s this that has pretty much allowed them to keep going for the past 35 years. And It Was So! is their tenth album, and their first since 2012’s All The Young Droogs.
Unfortunately, while not a bad effort, it does feel like the standard on this one is a bit below the high watermark set by their previous work. They’re not helped by some seriously shonky production, but there’s times here where The Adicts really sound like they’re phoning it in (Fucked Up World, Talking Shit, Wannabe) or just veer into out and out dullness (Lovesick Baby, Deja Vu), so it’s a bit of a shame that they don’t quite appear to be firing on all cylinders here.
And It Was So! isn’t completely without its charm – songs like Gospel According To Me, I Owe You and the title track are fun blasts of Ramones style pop punk, and the dark tango of You’ll Be The Death Of Me which closes things shows that they’re still capable of injecting a bit of variety into their music. It just feels like this album isn’t quite all it could’ve been.
A bit of a disappointment when all's said and done. And It Was So tends to drift into being a bit of an Adicts-by-numbers album half the time, and while the good bits push this up above average, it still feels like it's fallen a bit short of being a great album. Don't get me wrong, I still think that The Adicts are a great band and well worth checking out for the uninitiated, but this album maybe isn't the best place to start.