ALBUM REVIEW: Gimp Fist – Blood (Sunny Bastards)

Gimp Fist, from Bishop Auckland, County Durham, have been one of the leading lights in the UK’s street-punk movement for more than a decade now.

Jonny on guitar, Chris on bass and Mike on drums have a devoted fanbase at home, and many more abroad, thanks to their heart-on-the-sleeve punk anthems.

They’ve hardly put a foot wrong since releasing their first album One Tribe on their own label back in 2007, and this seventh full length comes just two years after their last one, Never Give Up.

Blood was launched at Rebellion Festival in Blackpool last month, and it’s 16 slices of punchy, upbeat music which preach positivity, and the struggle of the working man to survive – all in a touch under 45 minutes.

Gimp Fist at Rebellion Festival 2019 in Blackpool. Pic: Gary Welford.

Anyone who’s seen the band this year will already have heard half a dozen of these songs, with Pressure, The Fight In You, Easy Target and All That I Can Take all debuted live. They’re all typical Gimp Fist songs, quick-paced, with surging guitar, driving bass and propulsive drums, and choruses you can’t help but sing along to.

But it’s the songs I hadn’t heard which stood out for me; the catchy More Than An Army addresses material wealth (“If you’ve got health and happiness/You’re a winner every time”), while Kick Start extols the joys of discovering punk long after its 1977 heyday (“sitting in your living room, faces aglow/Listening to the Clash on your parents’ stereo”).

I was unsure about Blood, the title track, when  first heard it played live. It’s a slower song, but now I’m certain it’s one of the best songs they’ve written, confessing “I know I didn’t turn out the way you wanted me to be…One day I’ll make you proud/Just you wait and see.”).

Gimp Fist bassist Chris Wright. Pic: Gary Welford.

Gimp Fist are a band who eschew taking any political or religious stance, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care; Angry & Frustrated and Political Manipulation (Never before have I ever seen/Truth in an MP’s eyes”) are two of the radgiest songs they’ve ever recorded.

But their message is one of unity, not division, and in these troubled times – when the Brexit debate is tearing the country apart and turning ordinary people against each other – perhaps we’d all do well to take heed. 8/10.

Gary Welford owner