It's been done before, but it's so damn good, it demands to be heard: punk rock demands fresh young blood. Generations after Joe Strummer at the same time belted out his anti-establishment, anti-racist, anti-military message whilst also feeling jaded at catapulting the genre into the mainstream, he would have been happy to hear that there is still truly underground punk rock n roll happening, and they share his message: Keep it real, fuck the system, put your faith in the kids, don't hate each other.
The Yalla Yallas manage to stay faithful to the ever-present punk scene, "burning the city streets tonight", yet colour their adoption of the style with a modern take on things. A fierce rejection of drugs and the hippie culture was a strong point for The Clash, yet in these modern times punks think slightly differently. "I never was an addict, I can take it or leave it." is a lyric from the second song that stands out in my mind and highlights how the punk scene has morphed. In general, it has morphed towards more acceptance of things, which I think is positive. Yet another path broke off from the Clash / Sex Pistols Era, warping the original message into the sort of narrow mindedness that allowed ugly things to work their way into the punk scene, namely Neo-Nazism.
The lyrics of this album are all up-beat "Can we do it again?" / "I've never seen a girl like you before", etc. Certainly disestablishmentarian at times (after all, the album is called "Act Of Defiance"), yet it's more about good, fun times and music, and never about hating. I think this positive message is exactly what seperates a truly good modern punk rock band like The Yalla Yallas from bands who still cling onto skewed notions of pure anarchy and hatred.
Anarchy will never reign; as a message it is pointless, and racism is just stupidity. Yet music will always be there, and as long as bands like The Yalla Yallas continue to attach a positive message to their music, and stay underground, even genres as old as punk rock will remain fresh and bright-eyed, and change with the times, towards a better future for all.
Good, fun, rock n roll. Get into it.
Available from The Yalla-Yallas homepage.