22 November 2019
40 years ago, on 23 November 1979, PUBLIC IMAGE LTD better known as PiL released their second album titled ‘METAL BOX‘. One of the most inventive, bold & middle-finger-to-the-musicbiz album of the so-called post punk era. A masterpiece in many ways, even
in its way of packaging, as it came out as 3 x 12″ 45rpm records in a tin film canister!
The core’s band consisting of former Sex Pistol John Lydon, ace guitarist Keith Levene and equally ace bassist Jah Wobble didn’t give a flying fuck about what sort of music was hip or not, popular or not at the time. On the contrary, it was like they tried really hard to make a record that was unsalable. Respect! No Sex Pistols Mark II (although later Lydon turned into Rotten again in order to CASH IN with the original Pistols. Well, aren’t they all the same?). Levene‘s metallic and wayward guitar sound was essential to Pil‘s far out and radical sonority, but it was Wobble‘s mighty wall-of-dub-bass resonance and Lydon‘s mostly wailing vocals and his dark stories/lyrics that made this whole unorthodox and outlandish noise enterprise freakishly perfect.
The album’s single: ‘Memories‘…
AllMusic wrote: “PiL managed to avoid boundaries for the first four years of their existence, and Metal Box is undoubtedly the apex. It’s a hallmark of uncompromising, challenging post-punk, hardly sounding like anything of the past, present, or future… ‘Metal Box’ might not be recognized as a groundbreaking record with the same reverence as ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’, and you certainly can’t trace numerous waves of bands who wouldn’t have existed without it
like the Sex Pistols record. But like a virus, its tones have sent miasmic reverberations through
a much broader scope of artists and genres…” Full review here. Score: 5/5
The Box in full..