Punkers of a certain age will be well aware of Penetration (for it is they) and their classic debut single “Don’t Dictate”. The band hail from the North East of England and played with most of the big names of the heyday of punk and so it is with a good deal of relish that this album of new material, their first studio album in 36 years, was greeted when it landed on my desk. It’s released this Friday 9th October on Polestar and was instigated in early 2015 with crowdfunding platform PledgeMusic.  PENETRATION - Resolution a_w (1)

The current line up is Pauline Murray (vocals), Robert Blamire (bass), Paul Harvey and Steve Wallace (guitars), John Maher (drums)…some of these names will be familiar to a few folk out there.

Murray’s voice is still strong and distinctive with the music on Resolutions being fresh, accomplished… and so much more than the three chord, two minute explosions from the punk bands of yesteryear, but still with edge, vigour and vitality.

As for the album’s title, Murray explains that “we felt we had taken on a mammoth task from the outset and we approached it with faith, determination and resolve. The title matches the name Penetration and also sounds like Revolution. It has a feeling of completing a circle and when you get to the end and put it back on at the beginning it all seems to fit together.”

The aforementioned “punkers of a certain age” will enjoy Resolution as a bit of a blast from the past, but that would be belittling what I reckon is a record that will appeal to a much wider audience than that… it’s actually more than a little bit anthemic, melodic and a pleasing listen all-round!

Standout track for me is Aquila which has a a Spanish feel to it (or do I prefer The Feeling?)… let’s be absolutely frank here and say that Resolutions is punk gone all grown up and with the experience that only life can bring… and it’s all the better for this with not a tune that doesn’t feel superbly crafted and wonderfully delivered.

I finally decided on my fave track and it’s the spoken-word-over-mature-punk-orchestration of Outromistra that is a dystopian and forsaken conversation between mother and son speaking via machine with the son craving human contact…sort of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil put to music.

Stuart Smith

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