Vinyl Corner is a feature where we take a look at vinyl pressings of various albums and weigh them up to see just how good they sound, how well they’re pressed and what sort of packaging to expect – as well as giving a brief overview of the music itself. Stevenage hellraisers Bad Breeding are back with a new long player and we couldn’t resist covering it for Vinyl Corner.
With a debut single a half-decade old next month, Bad Breeding have already proven their ability to go the distance and outlive many of their blink-and-you’ll-miss-them contemporaries. This is hardly surprising when you consider the sheer brute force with which they make their point – any band this powerful is sure to turn heads. Taking cues from classic British Anarcho punk, it’s fitting that the band have found their home on One Little Indian – a label founded in 1985 by various alumni of that movement. Over the course of three long players, a couple of singles and an EP, Bad Breeding have more than proved themselves to be no mere copyists and ‘Exiled’ further refines the fiery brutality of their sound. Admittedly, those familiar with the group’s previous output won’t be shocked at the direction they’ve taken here – it’s essentially more of the same – but when their work is so impactful, that matters not. This is vicious, barbed stuff fully focused on the realities of a broken Britain. Few current bands articulate such real concerns with quite as much grounded realism and justified anger as Bad Breeding, so for that alone they are worthy of praise.
Back in May we at Vinyl Corner looked at a handful of reissues taken from the discography of British Anarcho punk legends Crass. We were extremely impressed with the sound quality on all three of those rereleases and it seems as though that same magic dust has been sprinkled over this new offering from Bad Breeding. There’s little to say here other than the fact that the record is essentially perfect; playback reveals not a single pop or click and we didn’t even pick up on any obvious surface noise or crackle. To be fair, the music is so incredibly loud that any imperfections would have a bloody hard time breaking through the belligerent walls of noise but even so this is a damn impressive slab of wax. The disc is pleasingly weighty, its surfaces are clean and it also sits flat and warp-free upon the platter during playback.
Speaking of those Crass reissues, ‘Exile’ sees Bad Breeding take another leaf from that group’s book by borrowing the fold-out poster-style sleeves favoured by UK band acts of the early ’80s. This is the first time the Stevenage punks have employed such a sleeve style before, so that in itself makes this choice of presentation fresh and intriguing. The grim, militaristic aesthetic established through the artwork of previous albums is present in full force here and looks better than ever, with the full scope of a poster-style sleeve employed to great effect. An essay is included on one side of the poster, as well as thanks and various images and collages, while the other side bears a huge image of some nightmarish industrial hellscape built upon a base of skulls.
This is another belligerent statement from Bad Breeding and one likely to appease both punk enthusiasts as yet to familiarise themselves with the band, as well as long-term fans. This is a top-drawer vinyl release that boasts a fantastic vinyl pressing and highly memorable packaging and presentation.
Enjoyed this feature? We’re always looking for further albums to highlight on Vinyl Corner – and if you have a vinyl release that you’d love to see written about here, please get in touch at email@example.com – it would be great to hear from you!