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Luke Haines and Peter Buck come out with essential social commentary 

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The Jan. 31 Brexit deadline spurred punk veterans in the UK to collaborate in two critical stabs at modern culture. Luke Haines, vocalist behind The Auteurs and Baader-Meinhof, partnered with REM guitarist Peter Buck for the full-length Beat Poetry for Survivalists (Cherry Red/Omnivore). The 10 droll tracks, exemplified by “Witch Tariff,” show Haines has kept his finger on the pulse of 21st-century culture. The album drips with acerbic satire, though often the lyrics feel like list-poetry, name-checking celebrities good and bad without suggesting what the listener should do.

Jah Wobble of Public Image Ltd has partnered with two former bandmates and Mark Stewart of The Pop Group, for the EP A Very British Coup (Cadiz/80 Proof), featuring four remixes of the title track. The “Dogma” dub is the most intriguing, making more specific observations on the apparent end of British democracy.

Both releases are essential in their own way, yet they both fit in the punk mold of describing social ills in excruciating detail, without suggesting a particular path of action.


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