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WALL (Buy CDs by this artist)
Personal Troubles & Public Issues (UK Fresh) 1981
Dirges & Anthems (UK Polydor) 1982

England's Wall were a revisionist hardcore band; they played a brand of punk that refused to toe the genre line, employing different tempos (none of them too fast) and occasionally novel ideas to countermand the restrictions that make so many lesser groups sound alike.

Personal Troubles & Public Issues (one side per subject) is a pretty decent record, with blazing guitars, clear vocals and relatively thoughtful lyrics. Like a heavy metal album, the sound is crisp and well-balanced, but the songs concern much more engaging topics than bats or hell.

Dirges & Anthems, which comes with a three-song bonus single, refines and improves the approach somewhat, toning the guitars down a little and adding a bit of saxophone, acoustic guitar — even a reggae rhythm. The Wall seem to be pursuing an individual direction that only coincided with the thrash brigade for a short while.

[Ira Robbins]