The Stranglers
No More Heroes


4.0
excellent

Review

by menawati USER (94 Reviews)
March 12th, 2014 | 31 replies


Release Date: 1977 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Public school punks with English degrees. The Stranglers rode the British punk rock scene of the late '70s with a hint of parody and whole lot of style.

Out of all of the punk bands that rose to fame in the UK in the late '70s The Stranglers stand apart in a number of ways. Prior to their formation in 1974, degree educated lead guitarist and vocalist Hugh Cornwell had been playing the blues, drummer Jet Black was a jazz player and JJ Burnel was a classically trained guitarist who converted to electric bass. This isn't the basic recipe you would usually expect for the formation of a British punk act but after playing the pub rock scene for a few years their brand of jagged, angry music and scathing satirical wordplay propelled them sneering and cursing into the burgeoning UK punk rock scene.

The band's 1977 debut, the excellent 'Rattus Norvegicus', had spawned two hit singles and reached No.4 in the UK album charts so The Stranglers wasted no time in capitalising on their success and went back to the studio later in the year to record this follow up. What is most striking about early Stranglers music in contrast to most of their punk peers is the prevalence of Dave Greenfield's organ sounds. His rapid arpeggios and swelling rhythms, along with JJ's jagged bass lines, formed the core of The Stranglers distinctive sound during most of their punk phase. Album opener 'I Feel like a Wog' shows this to full effect with Greenfield's pumping organ riffs driving the song along in an urgent fashion forming a suitable backdrop for Cornwell's guttural vocals. The Stranglers always had the capacity to throw out a hit single or two throughout their varied career and this is evidenced on the punk-lite 'No More Heroes'. Greenfield is again the star contributor here and his wonderfully melodic main keyboard motif is obviously the reason why this particular song climbed the charts. He is busy throughout its entirety with his brisk arpeggios and lead fills. Not to be outdone, Cornwell treats us to some suitably abrasive rhythms and sneeringly laments the passing of such 'heroes' as Trotsky, Shakespeare and Sancho Panzer.

The Stranglers were often treated with an element of suspicion by the rabidly traditional Brit punk set of the times due in some part to their middle-class roots but also for their willingness to venture outside traditional musical structures from the outset. They could almost be described as an art rock band with punk attitude, especially when you listen to tracks such as the seven minute 'School Mam' with it's busy bass lines and choppy mutating guitar licks. The band would justify the 'mistrust' placed in them by branching out into new wave, europop and even flirting with progressive rock on later releases. But their willingness to adapt and explore certainly held them in good stead in the post-punk world and they went on to further successes during the '80s, at least within the confines of Europe. On this release, however, their toes were still firmly planted in the punk bedrock.



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user ratings (45)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
menawati
March 12th 2014


16587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No More Heroes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pg2np37JNEg&feature=kp

School Mam http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gG9zeoHzzK0&feature=kp

Bitching http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=th8wu7nUlEA



KILL
March 12th 2014


81214 Comments


nice i like rattus will have to get this

Digging: Armoros - Pieces

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2014


14007 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great band





Golden Brown is played regularly

Digging: Will Haven - El Diablo

menawati
March 12th 2014


16587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

KILL if you like that then both this and its follow-up 'black and white' might appeal to you.

Yes golden brown is a wonderful song but the stuff on here is very different to that.

KILL
March 12th 2014


81214 Comments


most famous for all those shitty gordon brown parodies

menawati
March 12th 2014


16587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh ye all those always a frown things

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2014


7919 Comments


Great review, mindpos.

Know the band only by name, unfortunately.

Digging: Circles Around The Sun - Let It Wander

menawati
March 12th 2014


16587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks voivod, they were really big in the UK but I dont think their music travelled well so seem to be relatively unknown outside of UK

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2014


7919 Comments


I've seen a couple of their videos in MTV during the '90s, but nothing more than that.

menawati
March 12th 2014


16587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

they were well past their sell-by date by then doing stuff that's totally different to this

MrSirLordGentleman
March 12th 2014


11733 Comments


sputnik tagged this guys as "punk" and "prog", how the hell does that even sound like?

menawati
March 12th 2014


16587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The tag isn't far off the mark really, they started off as a punk band but they did some art-rock type stuff, concept albums etc, changed styles a few times, it aint prog but there are prog elements in some of their music.



I suppose the nearest thing to punk-prog would be something like The Cardiacs maybe ?

Cygnatti
March 12th 2014


32556 Comments


"sputnik tagged this guys as "punk" and "prog", how the hell does that even sound like?"

hehehe

menawati
March 12th 2014


16587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yes he does loads of great organ riffs through a lot of their music even the poppy songs in their 80s stuff.



Might be too sickly for you but this is my fave song of their later stuff

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r-yqRm22rE

Mad.
March 13th 2014


4706 Comments


How the hell did this not have a review?! The Stranglers are awesome, not just because of Peaches. Definitely gotta jam this now

greg84
Emeritus
March 13th 2014


7597 Comments


I really need to check out these guys some more (I've only heard a couple of tracks). Great review.

Digging: Zeal and Ardor - Stranger Fruit

Pheromone
March 13th 2014


6086 Comments


Title track is an absolute classic

Digging: Love, Claire - Love, Claire

Jethro42
March 13th 2014


15499 Comments


Nice review.

ViperAces
September 7th 2014


12582 Comments


this band is actually pretty good

menawati
September 7th 2014


16587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

course they are



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