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RUBELLA BALLET – ‘Danger Of Death’ Album Review

RUBELLA BALLET – Danger Of Death

Rubella BalletFormed in 1979 when Crass invited audience members to come up on stage and play their instruments, Rubella Ballet quickly carved out a unique place in the anarcho-punk scene. Their home made, dayglo clothes provided a colourful antidote to the black clad hordes showing up at punk gigs at that time. The band never followed the punk formula and attracted as many fans of the goth-punk scene at the time as they did from the Crass circles. This new album is an absolute, punch in the gut reminder of what protest music is all about.

Opening with the rollicking title track, Danger Of Death, the chunky riffs, group vocals interspersed with clips of the Trumpster himself, this one is a five-minute punk rocking classic that had the hairs standing up on the back of my neck with some pounding beats, brilliant booming bass and excellent guitar work supporting the vocals…it is a timely reminder that punk rock remains relevant as ever and it is powerful effort indeed – “Fuck the system and take the country back”….With little respite, the band launch into an aggressive attack on the awful situation surrounding the Grenfell Towers fire disaster…the pace is quicker, the male/female/group vocals more urgent and the sirens with radio clips and soundbites from the scene and it all adds up to a tribute to those that perished and an attack on the system that allowed it to happen in the first place. The energy and feeling I got from these opening songs was similar to those I got when first buying records by Conflict, Crass, Poison Girls etc…one of rage that created an urge to do something…Rubella Ballet has updated their sound, added some punkier power and they are still angry!

Most of the eleven tracks are lengthy such as the four-minute plus Cradle To Grave where the pace is maintained with insistent vocals whilst Gender Control is a five-minute plus journey into the realms of X-Ray Spex, Anima Mundi with a little off-kilter segment or two thrown in to create an ominous vocally driven variety! Crash And Burn is a driving, pummelling anti-religion ditty with melodic chorus with hints of Killing Joke as the drums drive the song along and Blood Money is a 150mph bass driven hammer blow to those who want to dismantle and defund the NHS!

On Terminator Technology the band budge into that dark, goth-punk territory that they are known for and they juxtapose dark verses with melodic, light choruses interplay between the male-female lead vocal to great effect! The rhythmic Death From Above drives its way into your eardrums and is followed by the six-minute plus, Genocide Agenda where the band mix some radio commentary with a punk rock backing that features those collective group vocals and some excellent musical backing…it is an epic track!

The penultimate song is the ninety-seven seconds of We Won’t Eat The Dead where Rubella take on the subject of animal rights blending punk rock power with TV commentator spoken word and the band close by taking on the rise of artificial intelligence and invasive technology with an approach that again reminded me a little of anarcho-punks from Los Angeles, Anima Mundi.

This is a super album full of vitality, relevance and some powerful punk rock ditties to boot – you can grab Danger of Death by Rubella Ballet here: https://www.overgroundrecords.co.uk/product/2-3/


Note: Read more from Rubella Ballet in our ‘Anarcho Punk Albums‘ book