SUBWAY SECT Sansend (Motion)

An original 100 Club-era punk, Vic Godard's recording career has been sporadic over the last quarter-century, to the extent that he now spends his days as a postman. "Sansend", only his fifth long player, is a bristling, extravagant thing, its running time spiced with contributions from Edinburgh poet Paul Reekie and interruptions from the possibly fictitious Chicago radio station SECT. Musically "Sansend" takes Britpop years Blur by the scruff and shakes something more random and jagged out of it, Godard's rude, whiney blare of a voice shattering Damon Albarn's mockney patois. The frequent nostalgic invocation of the spirit of '76 and the fairground musical backdrop also suggest the late, lamented Mr Dury. Nevertheless, the similarity of the melodies and Godard's vocal style serve to obscure the richness and density of his lyrics, which only really come across from perusing the booklet, for example on "Go Against The Grain": "With enough technique for The Blank Generation or Trash/Stopping short of Abba's Arrival/Some of the noises we made'd make other punks sound like/Emerson Lake and…", or from "The Writer Slumped": "He always plays with ragtag bands - they don't insist on hotels/They turn up in old transit vans like old punks always will".

Unfortunately, though, for the most part "Sansend" is too nervy and bitty to create a strongly favourable impression. Even the best of the Subway Sectian moments - "Everything's Crashing Down Around Us", an alternately charming and chilling anti-war thing - pales against the final track, "Heavy Heavy Heavy Load", a reggae song sweetly voiced by one Larry Marshall, totally different from and far superior to everything that precedes it. "Sansend" deserves marks for effort, but remains, for the most part, too prickly, packed and intense to really enjoy.