In an old job I had years back this window cleaner came into the office. Bit of a geezer, the usual banter. He looks up at all of the punk posters on the wall. This was in the mid-90s and the PR company I worked for represented all of the US melodic punk labels at the time like Fat Wreck, Nitro and the Epitaph Records heavy-hitters.
“So you’re into punk rock here,” he said. We didn’t really pay attention, expecting one of those terrible conversations when you have to try and explain your music taste to someone who has no idea where you’re coming from or anything about the music you’re into. He looks up at all of the Bouncing Souls, Offspring and Bad Religion posters and just sneers. “That shit ain’t punk,” he says. “Rudimentary Peni, now that’s punk!” Never judge…
Although Rudimentary Peni were part of the Crass-led anarcho punk scene that exploded across the UK, and then the world, in the early eighties, there was always something very different, almost creepy about these strange fucked-up kids. They were not directly political like most of their peers, preferring to dress their messages up in strange gothic stories and moods, like the Tim Burtons of anarcho punk. They very rarely played gigs, instead focusing on studio work recording two classic singles and the incredible ‘Deathchurch’ album.
Since their early original eighties burst of activity the band have remained in existence. They surfaced in the early 90s to play a few gigs but didn’t like the bright lights and scuttled back into the shadows again. And since then the band have done, well, whatever the fuck they want really – releasing new material when they see fit and ‘No More Pain‘ is another great peek into Nic Blinko’s twisted world. Ten tracks, of which only three break the two minute mark, of the kind of scratchy, creepy, demented horror punk sludge you expect from Peni. The fact that they’re still making records is incredible. The fact that the records they’re making are still good is amazing. Rudimentary Peni, now that’s punk.