Crass
The Feeding of the 5000


3.0
good

Review

by TBrown87 USER (10 Reviews)
December 9th, 2008 | 21 replies | 8,610 views


Release Date: 1978 | Tracklist

Review Summary: As an anarchist statement, few albums are as powerful. As a musical venture, few albums are as sloppy, repetitive and....strangely compelling.

1 of 2 thought this review was well written

Crass is generally credited with starting the anarcho-punk movement and not without reason. Sure, the word "anarchy" had been thrown around by the Sex Pistols, but this was more of a joke designed to shock the stuffy English upper classes. Crass was the first group to take the idea seriously. The band has had an inestimable influence on both punk rock and anarchism. As such, it is hard to call the band over-rated in this regard, but as a musical group Crass suffered from repetitiveness, poor production and all around poor musicianship. The Feeding of the 5000 is no exception.

The album created huge amounts of controversy even before it was released. Workers at the pressing plant refused to manufacture the record, as they felt the lyrics of the opener "Asylum" were blasphemous. And they are. In the extreme. I think it would be hard to find a statement so hateful of Christianity anywhere else. In response to this Crass simply replaced the track with 2 minutes of silence entitled "The Sound of Free Speech". As a statement it is extremely effective in its simplicity, but it is impossible to judge it as a song. Most of the rest of the album follows a similar pattern.

One thing that makes the album sound so awful is the production. Guitars are almost entirely drowned out by the vocals and drums, and the bass can barely be heard in a few tracks.The listener isn't missing much, as the guitar parts are simple and repetitive in the extreme. While this is pretty much standard in punk rock, Crass takes it to a boring, mind numbing extreme. Repetitiveness isn't limited to the guitars. Listen to the drum intros in "Banned at The Roxy" and "You Pay". Exactly the same. The rest of the drum work follows a similar pattern as drummer, Paul Rimbaud, takes a simple but original drum beat and plays it at varying tempos for a half hour.

The album is not without it's share of gems however. "Banned At the Roxy", while being very similar to the rest of the songs on the album, is simply done a step better. The lyrics are delivered with a vitriolic snarl that is far more powerful than the rest of the vocal delivery, and the lyrics are smartly written and very good to shout along to.

In fact, the lyrics are easily the best thing about the album. Crasses primary motivation was spreading their message and at this they succeed admirably. Lyrics are intelligent, angry and sometimes humorous. This is how the album best shows that the musicianship takes a backseat to the message, as the message is clearly and carefully thought out and communicated with a passion that unfortunately does not extend to the instrumentation.

Rating this album proved very difficult, because as a piece of music it fails almost entirely, and as a protest and statement of ideals it is one of the most successful ventures in the history of audio recording. As music I would rate the album a 2. For it's historical impact and effectiveness I would rate it as a 5. I would have to put the final rating somewhere in the middle ground with a 3.



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user ratings (97)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
TBrown87
December 9th 2008



52 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

srsly? nothing?

Athom
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2008



17197 Comments


I have this and Christ the Album but for some reason I find myself listening to Jeffrey Lewis' "12 Crass Songs" cover album more than the originals. Still pretty cool though.

Bleak123
December 9th 2008



1902 Comments


never heard the band, not sure that i care tooThis Message Edited On 12.09.08

thebbqshrimp
August 6th 2009



1207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well... I may be a year late, but I'm here! This is one of the most defining albums in punk history and it's very difficult for me to even imagine giving it anything below a 4. Your qualms with it are valid. The production indeed leaves something to be desired, but the raw energy that it exudes seems to only enhance it's awesomeness.

The song "Asylum" is indeed one of the most blasphemous pieces of music I have ever heard. And it's awesome. JESUS DIED FOR HIS OWN SINS, NOT MINE!

illmitch
August 6th 2009



5429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

FOIT
WAR
NOT
WAR

crass owns

kitsch
August 6th 2009



5107 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

one of my friends used to be obsessed with crass. he got me into them, but they never really stuck as
anything really good.

illmitch
August 6th 2009



5429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

used to be super obsessed with them in high school lol

kitsch
August 6th 2009



5107 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

hahaha.

we were all there.

thebbqshrimp
August 6th 2009



1207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hahaha god if I was on my laptop I could post a pic of me when I was 15 with a green mohawk and a Crass t-shirt on!

I WAS SO PUNK RAWK!

theendofsilence
February 5th 2010



7 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is a classic album actually a 12"ep that plays at 45rpm on vinyl.
Yes the playing and production is quite bad but Fuck Crass with Feeding of the 5000 really started the whole Anarcho/Peace punk genre true DIY punk which promoted and advocated direct action, animal right, feminism, anti war and anti racism.. The look and style of Crass(records etc) can still be seen today everywhere from music to fashion! I still listen to crass, now when was the last time i played "never mind the bollocks" ??

Meatplow
February 5th 2010



5524 Comments


This is pretty awesome.

ov420
February 5th 2010



300 Comments


dothey owe us a living

COURSE THEY DO COURSE THEY DO

xfearbefore
September 29th 2010



1245 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very good review, thank christ we've got some punk fans here on Sputnik, the good stuff here. One of the seminal anarcho-punk records, it is a bit inconsistent but I think it's worth more than a 3, a 4 for me personally.

Digging: Tiger Army - Tiger Army

illmitch
September 30th 2010



5429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

as raw and rudimentary it is, it's still a seminal anarchopunk record. agree with you completely.

punk is dead is (ironically?) one of my favorite punk tracks of all time.

illmitch
January 6th 2011



5429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

BANNED FROM THE ROXY

OKAY

I NEVER MUCH LIKED PLAYING THERE ANYWAY

Bitchfork
January 10th 2011



7584 Comments


"as raw and rudimentary it is, it's still a seminal anarchopunk record. agree with you completely."
haha i get it

Goatlord
July 27th 2011



405 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hearing this record for the first time when I was a sixteen year old introverted bookworm was life changing (cliche, I know). Great band, though not everyone's cup of tea, which is understandable.

discharge0
August 8th 2011



32 Comments


A classic

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 23rd 2012



49794 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

rules hard

Digging: Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) - You Will Eventually Be Forgotten

ApplicationToHeaven
August 11th 2012



1558 Comments


course they fackin do



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