The day after the revolution, the recriminations begin....
The day after the revolution, the recriminations begin. As editor of seminal fanzine Sniffin’ Glue, Mark Perry had stood at the heart of London’s burgeoning punk movement. Then he watched in horror as his utopian vision of a music freed from the grip of The Man was hi-jacked and sanitised into a ream of three-chord, coloured-vinyl clichis.
With the half live/half studio ‘The Image Has Cracked’, he was attempting to wrest control away from the idiots and display an array of possible directions, from ambient twiddling to three chord power-pop to full-on Can-esque nightmare music. It was an enterprise doomed to end in total, abject, unredeemed defeat. No-one was listening.
From the first seconds of opening track ‘Alternatives’ where Perry invites the audience to use his microphone as a soap box to express their opinions, things go badly. Fights break out, bottles are thrown and he is forced to clear the stage in disgrace.
It gets worse. ‘The Image Has Cracked’ is the sound of a man turned inside out, giving his all for nothing. Perry is all raw nerve ends as he spits his way through the venomous ‘Still Life’ and the monstrous, terrifying ‘Splitting In 2’ but pride of place goes to the album’s centre-piece, the eerie ‘Nasty Little Lonely’, a lengthy trawl through Perry‘s ravaged mental landscape which ends in a sudden, explosive coda of guitar noise.
The bitter stench of failure rarely smelled so sweet.