X-Ray Spex are an usual entry in the British punk pantheon. With a Samali/British born front woman Poly Styrene, formally involved with the hippie culture she witnessed a Sex Pistols show in 77 and went on to form a punk band of her own. Unique in image and blistering in their sound, they released 5 singles and an album between 77-80. Constant touring caused Poly to become very disenchanted with the whole ‘pop star’ experience and she left the group at that point but the sole album they recorded as gone on to become a classic of a punk record.
Germ Free Adolescents ‘ most recognizable trait is its songs that deal with consumerism, commercialism, and personal indendity in genreal. Tracks like Art-I-Ficial, I Am A Posuer, Genetic Engineering, The Day The World Turned Dayglo and singles like I Am Cliche are perfect examples of the lyrical standpoint in which the band took. Poly’s high pitched edgy singing style is forefront, catching your attention right off the bat and the music behind her, a Sex Pistols style guitar driven blast of pure punk rock n roll madness albeit with a Saxophone! Original member Lora Logic played the Saxophone which certainly is another trademark element of X-Ray Spex that wasnt exactly a common thing found in punk until at least the mid 80’s when ska and reggae became a heavy part of the genre (Madness) and of course in the 90’s when it really exploded with Save Ferris, Reel Big Fish and Goldfinger. The lone “ballad” style song on the album, the title track is great and it gives way to the fast/slow blast of Plastic Bag which might be the most bombastic song it bursts with a kenetic guitar riff-sax/guitar blast pattern. It shares honors with Oh! Bondage Up Yours! as the bands true anthems. Bondage you might recognize from somewhere or another if you’re into punk or indie rock in general. It’s a certified punk classic.