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P.A.I.N – Oh My God We’re Doing It… We’re Fucking Doing It! CD Buy it
– Reviewed by M H Lambert
P.A.I.N (Propaganda and Information Network for the uninitiated) were/are a band formed from the ashes of the seminal RDF (Radical Dance Faction) and the festy-dub-ska-punk AOS3 (named after Augustus Owsley Stanley III, maker of much LSD and roadie for Grateful Dead). With that background in mind, “Oh My God…” manages to combine a hard radical political edge with catchy tunes, skanking dub and some original sampling!
At just over 40 minutes with 9 tracks including the RDF songs “Punx with guns” and “Lighters” (with the same tune as Dum-Diggy on Ragamuffin Statement) there is something for everyone on here. From the slowed-out dub reggae of “Beltane” and the ludicrously catchy “Money” to the punked up “British Justice” and “Oh no! It’s the Pigs,” this album incorporates the best of the earlier bands’ sounds. The political angle makes this album sublime and not done in a conventional anarcho-ranting way but fusing some humour, simple choruses and catchy tunes such as “If you go down to Sainsbury’s, the special offer of the week is that it’s free” and “British justice… British justice… I can’t make sense of it ‘cos I’m stupid.” Vegetarianism, environmental activism, anti-capitalism, self-organisation and anti-statism are among the topics covered in songs, but not in a preach-shove-down-throat way but to the relaxing dub beats and bouncing British punk. To round it all off, the album ends with armed revolution on the streets of Britain!
Admittedly the recording quality could be a tad better but by standards of other DIY punk/reggae/free-festival types, it’s not that bad! To top it all off, the title comes from the truly brilliant anarchist-propaganda Tin Tin “Breaking Free” comic which makes for a great album cover and t-shirt!
“Oh my God…” brings together all the best elements of AOS3, RDF, the anarchist-influences, free festivalling and biting satire. Still going strong despite losing John from AOS3, P.A.I.N manage to make one of the best ska-dub-punk-esque releases which you can come back to again and again. Finally, to top it all off, many hours will be wasted laughing at the booklet that comes with it demonstrating all the political acts against the state, government, Tories and much more. May the session continue!