Punk child star at 15, burnt out by 18, and never a household name like Rotten. Thirty-two years on from Eater, after addiction, obscurity and low-key reformations, comes this, a complete artistic rebirth: “The album I’ve always wanted to make.” A courageous, outrageous, sharp, cynical, funny set of “nasty” pop songs, which, were he as famous as, say, Morrissey, would have the tabloids baying for his blood. It’s an adult album, made with the help of Blade’s pre-teen kids providing musical input, soundbites and skits. Packed full of great guitar-playing and sensational lyrical ideas, the topics and people under discussion in these spiteful three-minute pop songs include Chris Moyles, Oliver Stone, Harold Shipman, Michael Hutchence, child abduction and suicide bombers. A speech by Abu Hamza (hook-handed Islamic cleric) appears as a sample and the chorus of Mi’amo Jihad sounds like a 70s Eurovision entry.
It’s a singalong manifesto of big issues and petty hates. Oliver Stone and Undercover Cop in particular are hit single material were it not for Blade’s habit of slipping well-placed expletives into almost every song. Hilarious and inflammatory, this is cult album of the year by this decade’s pop version of Joe Orton.