It’s a miracle that The Adicts have made it this far. The band formed in 1975, peaked in 1984, and have coasted through the decades with only a collection of upbeat “Oi!” punk songs and their Clockwork Orange-inspired stage getups to show for it. In a universe that makes sense, The Adicts would have been long forgotten as a gimmick punk band of the 1980s. Yet here they are with And It Was So!, their tenth album and their first on the mighty Nuclear Blast record label, no less!
The Adicts have never been a group for musical experimentation, preferring the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to four-chord song writing. And broke, it ain’t! The Adicts still sound like themselves, bashing away on their instruments like it’s 1984, the Misfits never broke up, and the Ramones remain the pinnacle of punk rock expressionism. Never taking themselves seriously for a second, the band sounds like they are having so much fun that it’s impossible not to get swept up along for the ride. Songs like “Talking Shit,” “Fucked Up World,” and the title track are so gleefully dumb they would make Jack Black’s character in School of Rock proud, while “Déjà Vu” and “You’ll Be The Death of Me” remind us all that The Adicts can still write a killer earworm when the mood strikes them. It isn’t perfect (the lyrics to “Wanna Be” are so laughably bad they make AC/DC sound like Dream Theater) but again, the band are having too much fun to care. It’s the audio equivalent of eating cake icing with a spoon, or binge watching Vin Diesel movies; unhealthy and classless, but such an enjoyable experience that your higher thinking can take a seat and let your more base feelings take over.
One of the beautiful things about being a 40-year-old punk band with an established visual shtick is that it takes off so much of the pressure to deliver. And It Was So! isn’t going to change anyone’s life, and it certainly doesn’t break any new ground, but that’s not the point. It achieves what it sets out to do, namely, providing a soundtrack that you and your mates can enjoy after you start having to count your number of drinks on two hands instead of one.
Written by Max Morin
*edited by Kate Erickson