I guess like everyone, I was expecting that familiar Adicts sound from “Life Goes On”, as if all of their creative energy had been spent in the 80’s and they would just be rehashing the same old formula with the 2010 release. This album is anything but the same old thing. And that’s what makes it so inaccessible for the first few listens. And it’s why its popularity may never go beyond those who are already Adicted. But if you wear white, if you’re the joker in the pack, if you don’t care about other peoples’ definition of punk, or if you’ve seriously considered naming your first child Pete Dee, even if it’s a girl, you will love “Life Goes On”.
I can assure you, these oldsters are far from just waiting to die. They are still creating, still inspired, still innovative, and they still rock. In hindsight, how disappointing would it be to pop in a new Adicts CD just to hear another remake of “Viva La Revolution”? And yet, I guess that’s what I was hoping for on my first listen as I only gave each song about a 20 second chance before clicking past all the initial weirdness until I found “Full Circle” and “Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out”, both of which clock in at around 128 bpm. These are great songs, definitely reminiscent of “Rockers in Rags”, “Get Adicted”, “Straight Jacket”, and the like.
So start there, but don’t stop there. Keep listening. I did, and now I can’t stop. With the exception of “Gangster”, which is a little too experimental for even the most die hard fan, every song on this album is excellent.
Lyrically, there’s no question the Adicts have grown up, at least a little. The adolescent angst of “Numbers” has given way to the ambitious call to action in “We Ain’t Got a Say” which in 2 minutes and 43 seconds takes on political correctness, fundamentalism, terrorism, and television. Still, this seriousness is the exception, not the norm, for this album. Most songs are light-hearted sing-alongs that don’t deviate from the spirit of the title track’s “la la la la la la la la la, life goes on, such a barrel of fun, life goes on!”. And Monkey’s hilarious monologue about the price of a pint today compared to back in the 70’s is alone worth the price of this CD.
In short, Life Goes On says, “we’ve been punk since you were in diapers. We will define ourselves and have fun doing it, thank you.” Bottom line: It is impossible to listen to this CD and be in a bad mood.
Now, if we can just get those droogs to come to Dallas…
1. Spank Me Baby
2. I Love You But Don't Come Near Me
3. Reaky Deaky Boys & Girls
4. I'm Not Scared of You
5. Over There
6. The Whole Worlds Gone Mad
8. We Ain't Got A Say
9. Full Circle
10. Mr. Dice Man
11. Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out.
12. Mr. Hard
13. Life Goes On
Favorites: Reaky Deaky Boys & Girls, Full Circle, Life Goes On