Thursday, 19 November 2009


Culture Shock's only full length album from 1988.

It does contain more songs and less dub than appear on their shorter e.p. releases, but it does allow ex-Subhuman Dick Lucas to really show off his lyrical prowess; and boy, did Dick have a lot to say.

Despite the band's Marxist/Anarcho bent, their bass-heavy take on ska has an uplifting feel to it; and on close examination Dick's lyrics readily sway towards positivity; he may have been critical of the society of the nineteen-eighties, but he often offered solutions: radical, yes; but solutions none the less.

Occasionally his songs are more personal than political; and what can seem a typical polemic against the state actually turns out to be an angsty rumination about the state of the relationship he has with his girlfriend.

There is also frustration expressed about the elitism and segregation associated with counter cultural groups and tribes.
'He didn't come here to feel like this' from the track 'United' captures that attitude very well, and Lucas was brave enough to have provoked his own audience into thinking about the uniforms they were wearing; the rules and conventions that determined their sense of belonging;
and exclusion.

This album also includes 'Civilization Street', one of Culture Shock's greatest tunes; a track that takes me right back; I just want to get out and put on my old NATO boots and have a good old stomp about....

Culture Shock - Onwards and Upwards (1988)

Colour TV
Fast Forward
You Are Not Alone
If You Don't Like It
Civilization Street
Catching Flies
When the Fighting's Over
Open Mind Surgery
Don't Worry About It

Decent Cassette rip @320kbs
Grab yourself some cultural heritage here


corbypunk said...

Another classic posting mate! i`m off to see subhumans on dec 16th, can`t wait!

corbypunk said...

I`m actually starting to use my blog now, Think you do a great job posting stuff that doesnt get attention elsewhwere. if you`ve got a spare few minutes could you head over to
to see if my blog works o.k. any criticism(good or bad!) would be appreciated. Cheers, mark

kendo said...


Igor stravinsky said...

You are so right about civilization street. Joyless is the other track that makes me smile (ironic). These songs are so relevant to today's world it's not even funny--just eerie that this movement has been marginilized for its substnce. I've always been a huge citizen fish fan but this album fell into my lap a few weeks ago and has quickly eclipsed my appreciation of other works. The boys were so "on it" on this one.

roy rocket said...


There's a little more Culture Shock heading this way in the next few days...
and maybe a bit of Citizen Fish to boot!