R

Our rating:

Good bloody grief. In Years gone by at least one hack paid the price for slagging off Guildford's men in black by being wrapped in tape and suspended above the stage at a [a]Stranglers[/a] show....

GOOD BLOODY GRIEF. IN YEARS GONE BY AT least one hack paid the price for slagging off Guildford’s men in black by being wrapped in tape and suspended above the stage at a [a]Stranglers[/a] show. Nowadays, battling middle-age spread, they’d probably struggle to chuck a shoe at you.

And they’re struggling to come up with decent material, too, as this dismal effort at keeping their collective pulses racing demonstrates. In the past, nasty misogynist bastards that they were, The Stranglers could at least come up trumps with scorching singles like ‘Something Better Change’, ‘Skin Deep’ and latterly ‘Always The Sun’. In 1998, having lost the services of singer Hugh Cornwell, they sound like they can’t even be bothered to carry on the battle.

‘Coup De Grace’ is utter, utter nonsense from the first moment to the last; a spineless selection of songs smeared in drippy syn-strings and bereft of the wit and venom of old. They might be the hoariest and oldest of all the extant punk rockers but on this showing they make Belle & Sebastian sound like Discharge.

A disgrace.