VICE SQUAD OFFICIAL UK INFO SITE
REVIEW TAKEN FROM ABOUT.COM by Ryan Cooper
Vice Squad - Then And Now
Guide Rating - 4 out of 5 stars
New School Vice Squad Is Still Pretty Old School
The band's prevailing themes are still very much old school punk rock, revolving heavily around political rebellion and personal expression. This comes out right up front. The album opens up with the driving "Voice Of The People" and it's pointed line "Freedom of speech is against the law. Now we're all Criminals." It's quickly followed by the catchy "Britain Is Still Burning," which calls out the fact that even though punk rock may have made it into the mainstream, there is still a stronghold of "true punk rockers" that follow the rebellious ideas of the political side of punk rock.
The music, however, is much tighter than in the old days. This latest incarnation of Vice Squad is tight, and while they flirt with metal riffs and guitar solos, there is never any way you would hear a song and think for a moment this was anything but a punk band.
There are tons of great songs on this album. The melodic anthem, "Don't Let the B***ards Grind You Down" has all of the qualities of a true old school anthem, with all of its message and energy, paired with a chorus that will easily get a crowd pumping its collective fist. "Defiant" has a catchy riff that reminds me a bit of "Summertime Blues" for a moment, and then digs deep into an '80s-era punk hook and yet-another fist-pumping chorus.
And I'll take this moment to admit that when I saw this album had a song with the title "The Story Of My Life," I was mildly apprehensive at hearing yet another cover of the Social Distortion song. It's not that song. Instead, the song is a driving dark tune described by the band as "almost a Christmas song but without the goodwill". Indeed, it's a dark powerful tune, that offers a nice tempo change, and is then quickly followed up by the fast rocker "You Can't Do That," a song with a... questionable chorus... let's just say that one wonders if you're hearing a blatant four-letter word or simply Beki Bondage's accent.
It's nice to hear that time hasn't mellowed Beki Bondage, but has made her a better singer teamed up with better musicians who can keep it together as they hammer out tight thrash riffs. While she occasionally sounds like more than a few different '80s icons, the band always lets you know this is old school British hardcore punk - played a lot better than many of the bands did it when they were first trying it.
REVIEW TAKEN FROM SURBURBANHORROR.COM ZINE.
Defiant - SOS Records
8 out of 10
Vice Squad is a sharp, female fronted band that could show that two-timing Brody Dalle a thing or two about punk rock. Vice Squad is about the most authentic band playing punk rock today. They're British, they rant about the government, and they started playing in 1978. The band broke up in 1985, started back up again in 1998 and they've been writing, recording and touring ever since. However, this is no sleazy money-making reunion like the Sex Pistols. The group is serious about their music, and continuous quality, track to track reveals their dedication. While many of their lyrics are the typical punk anti-government dissent, frontwoman Beki Bondage has a way with them; she can take those words that may have seemed like a simple slap on the wrist and transform to a baseball bat to the stomach. A few tracks are a bit vexing because of the anti-government can get tired, no matter how killer the band is. There are a number of really great tracks. In terms of a favorite song, "Don't Let the Bastards bring you down" is the best answer I can give you. I never thought that a band that has been around for so long can still be surprisingly relevant and fresh. Admittedly, I'm not too familiar with their previous work. But what I have heard it's just as good, except this newer work seems to have a sharper, even metal-tinged edge. England and Europe in general are very lucky to call this group their own. Check this band out, and support them on their next tour to the states.
REVIEW TAKEN FROM INSOMNIA MAGAZINE
VICE SQUAD – DEFIANT
Nearly twenty-five years ago as a young early teen punk rocker I bought an EP called Last Rockers by an up and coming Bristol punk band called Vice Squad. The EP had an immediate impact on my life and I instantly gained great admiration for the band and in particular their give-it-all-you’ve-got singer Beki Bondage. Two great albums followed the EP with No Cause For Concern and Stand Strong Stand Proud. Then Beki left the band and my interest in Vice Squad faded a little but I still followed Beki’s career closely with Ligotage and The Bombshells.
When the highly talented singer/songwriter decided to put Vice Squad back together with different musicians there where few more excited about the prospect than me. The new-look band released yet more great albums with Get a Life, Lo-Fi Life, Rich and Famous and the excellent Resurrection which was a re-working of all the old Vice Squad classics with the new line-up of the band. Well the band are back with Defiant which is without doubt their strongest and most complete album to date.
If you aren’t too familiar yet with the new line-up and new sound of the band don’t expect to hear a re-working of No Cause For Concern like many other bands try to emulate their breakthrough album. What we have here is a fresh band and a fresh sound that musically, vocally and lyrically offer so much more than the early punk sound of the band. Don’t get me wrong this is a total punk album and the roots of Vice Squad are very evident but it is just so much more. Vocally Beki gives her best performance to date and you can tell just how much time was spent on getting the sound and atmosphere of the album just right.
Well played, well written, well produced and fantastic arrangement make this an album not be missed. This is punk at its very best with an added metal edge to make this an essential buy for fans of the band both old and new. Defiant is certain to open a lot of new doors to a band that thoroughly deserve it.
REVIEW TAKEN FROM FFRUK - ONLINE
VICE SQUAD - Defiant:
This album is the first time I´ve heard Vice Squad in their present line up. They´re certainly a lot different to that of Vice Squad in the 80´s but that isn´t a bad thing at all. The music has certainly gone Metally but it´s Metal with tunes and what´s more those tunes don´t come in short supply. The band are tight and the tunes they come out with certainly compliment Beki´s voice. I have to admit I prefer Beki´s voice of today than that of old - Some of the Punk purists will disagree but all I can say to them is they´re wrong. Just listen to songs on here such as ´Britain Is Still Burning´, ´The Story Of My Life´, ´Defiant´ and ´Don´t Let The Bastards Grind You Down´. Vice Squad are a band that have not relied on their past and have moved on. In doing so I believe they will win a new generation of fans with this wicked release. ´Defiant´ really is a great album and what more it comes with great production and packaging. What more could you possibly want? (SOS) 9/10
Black Velvet Magazine DEFIANT Review -
There are many people who will remember Beki Bondage as one of the first ladies in the early years of punk rock.
Well Beki is still turning out fire driven rock n roll to fans old and new.
Vice Squad deliver their songs with conviction and energy.As you'd expect they are quite controversial in their lyrical content.Defiant,the title track is the strongest song on this cd and is well worth checking out.
You dont have to be under 25 years old deliver powerful rock music.Vice Squad is living proof this.Beki and her band are a shining example leading the way both for women in rock and young bands to follow.
Fungal Punk Zine
VICE SQUAD - DEFIANT
Its been a long time since I heard anything new from this lot and on the initial hearing its been worth the wait. Despite not being the greatest Vice Squad fan I really enjoyed listening to this especially the first 8 tracks which have an abundance of venom and cracking punk moments. There's nothing new on offer here but hey when its this good there doesn't have to be as Beki and the boys play some real meaty music on a fine album. This effort and the 2001 EMI release 'Bang to Rights' are the best Vice Squad stuff around and there are plenty of great tracks for the seeker of good old fashioned punk rock.
As said its the first 8 that light my fire and the titles say it all about this bands attitude - 'Voice Of The People', 'Britain Is Still Burning', 'Fast Forward', 'Don't Let The Bastards Grind You Down', 'Defiant', 'Ordinary Decent', and 'The Story Of My Life' just compliment each other perfectly and set such a standard that for me the remaining tracks fail to live up to. Thats a personal thing though and I wouldn't deter anyone from trying this album out for themselves.
For me though the real pleasure comes when you see a band who has been around for so long actually improve with each release rather than just go through the motions and get by on mediocre shite.
If you have a few quid spare you could do a lot worse than spend it on this CD.
Carbon 14 magazine
issue #29, April 2007
Vice Squad – Defiant (SOS Records; www.sosrecords.us)
Since punk rock bombshell (and former Bombshell) Beki Bondage reconstituted Vice Squad with ace guitarist Paul Rooney in 1998, the British band has released several CDs that generally rock much harder than Vice Squad’s early-’80s heyday. The only problem is that some of these import-only albums, like Get a Life and Resurrection, haven’t been easy to find in the States, which makes this new studio CD such a welcome way to get reacquainted. You get smashing new songs like the anti-greed screed “Ordinary, Decent . . . ?” and the metallic “You Can’t Do That,” as well as supercharged remakes of old hardcore blasts like “Fast Forward” and “Vermin.” The band expands its range to feature the poppy, melodically glam-rocking “Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down” and the dark-&-mysterious, moodily autobiographical anti-Xmas song “The Story of My Life.” The CD even comes with four cool bonus tracks from recent Vice Squad albums, including “The Great Fire of London” and the morbidly catchy “You Can’t Buy Back the Dead.”
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