The Brixton Tapes

by Slow Faction

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about

A Great Review of Little England from Chromaticism:

The other week, my good friend and fellow connoisseur of fine music, Roberto Pinky Pasolli – he of Fnord Tapes and IndieToBe renown, shared the track ‘Little England‘ by the London band Slow Faction.
The rush was immediate and vital, teleporting me back to my former teenage self, listening to the likes of the Angelic Upstarts. Bands who share the gift of rhetoric, anthems soaked in the visceral struggle, for the overthrow of our chinless feudal overlords. Surely not too much to ask for, at this supposed pinnacle of civilisation.
A “pinnacle” pock-marked by racist thugs like Farage, and “bumbling” nabob’s like Boris, backed by battalions of self-serving dismantlers of the welfare state. A sorry state of affairs, earned through the blood, sweat and tears, of a centuries old, tooth-and-nail clawing for basic human dignity.
Fittingly, Slow Faction describe themselves as, “a 1st generation-influenced punk band with a real London 77 sound” – a descriptor they pull off with ease.
‘Little England‘ struck a raw nerve, particularly in the run-up to the farcical EU referendum election;
“Little England
Going nowhere but looking back
Drape yourself in your Union Jack
From the terrace to the House of Lords
Shut off from the outside world
All the time you’re destroying what you love
This is real life, not some national park
Close your eyes to the 21st century
Heritage – our only industry
Is this what you want? A little England?
Is this what you want? Faded empire glory?
Is this what you want? A past without a future?
Things can never stay the same
So you hate what you don’t understand
You say you stand for the common man
So you know your history?
You only see what you want to see
So you talk about sovereignty
The pride of England and the head of the Queen
The purity of your national tribe
You only aim – to repel the tide
……Is this really what you want?…….”
‘Little England‘ is a seething cauldron of measured eloquence – bubbling with all the quintessential hallmarks, of what real punk is all about. It was never just about the fashion or the haircut, it was always about the statement, a statement borne of compassion and unity, not born with a silver spoon in it’s mouth.
I don’t see a country, mired in a monarchistic, Tory smash-and-grab mentality, having the balls to effect necessary, radical change.
Our European cousins, proven in the crucible of meaningful revolution, have a pedigree which Jaz Coleman described, in reference to the Killing Joke track, ‘European Super State’, as follows, “The origins of the European Union are Jan Huss from Prague in the 1600s. His original idea is worth studying because it’s based on the arts, it’s based on spirituality. At that time Prague was a bastion of hermeticism and Rosicrucianism and alchemy against the Roman Catholic church, so it’s worth looking at our roots there”. The essence is there, all we have to do is save it, and ourselves, from the cancer of corruption.
I’m not kidding myself that EU “politics” are much, if any, better than what passes for democracy on the shores of this sick man of Europe. My faith however does lie in a wider populace, unfettered by backwoods regionalism, and emboldened by the tantalising glimpse, of true liberté, égalité and fraternité…
‘Little England‘ is but one of ten incendiary tracks on Slow Faction’s critically acclaimed 2014 album, ‘The Brixton Tapes‘. They also have a clutch of EP’s under their belt, including the recent Woody Guthrie inspired, ‘This Machine Kills Fascists‘ – “These compositions are directly influenced by the current political climate. As John Youens says, the right wing is on the rise and also, there appears to be an open tolerance of racism and racist language in the mainstream media. It is up to everyone to challenge this and to fight for the improvements we have made in this country in terms of the relations between different cultures and not allow the clock to be turned back to less tolerant times.”
The success of music, as with other art forms, lies in it’s ability to question, in it’s ability to educate, and in it’s ability to make you want to change things for the better – if you don’t want these things, you’re not listening properly.
The question is simple – Do you want to help or simply help yourself? The politics of need will triumph over the politics of greed…

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released November 17, 2014

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Slow Faction London, UK

“Slow Faction is a 1st generation-influenced punk band with a real London 77 sound. The aim of Slow Faction is simple – to make the music they want to hear; politically-charged songs with big hooks and choruses, reminiscent of the 1st wave of British punk. Slow Faction’s live sound has been described as a cross between The Clash and The Buzzcocks.” ... more

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Track Name: House of Cards
House of Cards
You wanted power – but at what cost?
You sold your soul – but it’s our loss
You traded your values – but to what ends?
For the company – of demonic friends

Has anybody ever sold themselves so cheap?
Political prostitution – how can you justify your actions?
Five generations’ progress halted in its tracks
Dismantle everything – austerity demands a brutalised nation

You’ve really sold us down the line – you’ve been lying all this time
You’ve destroyed so many lives – you’ve been lying all this time
Can you look us in the eyes? – you’ve been lying all this time
You’re just the Tories in disguise

You came to save – to moderate
But you’ve torn down – our Welfare State
Protect the rich – crucify the poor
Lay all the blame – at the immigrant’s door

So now there’s children crying everyday at school
Too hungry to learn – you’ve condemned them to a life of poverty, and
Despise the weak and the disabled and the lame
Bring back the workhouse ‘cause – austerity demands a brutalised nation

So where do you go from here?
Pariahs without principles
A plague upon your house
For supporting this catastrophe, this twisted ideology
Track Name: Alien Nation
Alien Nation
I saw you on the news last night
Was it you or someone else?
Who talks and sounds and looks like you
From the manicured hands to the shiny black shoes
I used to be angry but it’s hard to care
When everywhere I look I just see despair
And the ever growing rift between the rulers and the ruled
It’s time to tear it down and just start again

There’s something wrong
Career politicians who have never had a real job
There’s something wrong
They’re like the landed gentry of the nineteenth century



This is an alien nation
It’s a country I don’t recognise now
This is an alien nation
The divide’s getting ever wider
The richest one percent have taken all the money
We’re left to feed off their crumbs
They hold all the power but there’s no accountability

So I pick up my morning paper
An industry that’s out of control
I see a world of deceit and corruption
You’re supposed to write the stories not be the news
You hack the phones of murdered children
Intimidate those that need protection
Police and politicians are in your pay
A toothless watchdog never stands in your way

There’s something wrong
These seekers of truth reduced to bullying and lying now
There’s something wrong
Where can I turn to if I want to find integrity?

So I listen to my radio
They’re talking to some masters of the universe
These fallen Gods who know no shame
No contrition, they’ll just do it all again
We’re paying the price for hubristic pride
The burden falls on the vulnerable
So please don’t be poor in this land of ours
You’re going to get crushed and there’s no hiding place now

There’s something wrong
Financial institutions prey to gambling addiction and
There’s something wrong
The weakest bear the debt of their irresponsibility
Track Name: Social Control
Social Control
So you think you’re smart – you’re taking us all for a ride
A propaganda war machine so Josef Goebels never died
Your games of power – the way you play with words
You’ve got double standards – you just want to deceive us all
With your lies – oh, ho ho

You might say you’re against violence but violence is your trade
One word headlines glorify a thousand lives laid to waste
But it’s not your hypocrisy that really frightens me
It’s the people that believe

There’s an eighteen year old – he’s lying in a ditch
A crime against humanity, celebrated by your Union Jacks
There’s a country somewhere – an explosion in the night
Freedom fighter, terrorist – you never give us the reason why...
The reason why....oh, ho no


So the terminals click – they’re going to shatter the world
With scandal, violence, horror, sex – just what we want to read
There’s a brand new movement, captivated by what you say
A bright new army waiting to defend the values you set...
Today....oh, ho ho
Track Name: Live in Fear
Live in Fear

Passers-by never look you in the eye
You don’t look so different ‘cept the colour of your skin
They segregate the housing, they segregate the schools
There are certain parts of town where they say whites rule
Faceless leaders stir up trouble down amongst the poor
So nobody knows who they’re really fighting for

All you wanted was a peaceful life
To go about your business which is everybody’s right
Every time you go out you can sense hostility
You no longer feel safe when you’re walking down the street
The insults are still ringing in your ears when you come home
An Englishman’s castle – they don’t think so

Live in Fear – they say you’re never going to fit in round here
The boys on the corner are always shouting at you
They say they’re going to get you, no one is ever going to save you
Live in Fear – they say you’re never going to fit in round here
The boys on the corner are always shouting at you
They say they’re going to get you tonight

Your children know the western way
This is their homeland what can anybody say?
Of course, you’ve got your culture and your heritage
That’s something to be proud of and to teach the kids
And they respect the past, yet at the very same time
They’re modern teenagers, they’ve got their lives

Going out to the clubs and bars
The town centre’s heaving till the very early hours
There’s always fighting in the streets when nightclubs close their doors
The small town desperation of the mindless, drunk and bored
The local paper always features all the latest facts
The rise in crime and the racist attacks

In the night when the pubs are closing
You hear their shouts and laughter
You hear their drunken singing
You hear their threats of violence
You hear their voices calling
You hear their footsteps on the pavement
You hear them getting closer
Are they coming tonight?
Track Name: Little England
Little England
Going nowhere but looking back
Drape yourself in your Union Jack
From the terrace to the House of Lords
Shut off from the outside world

All the time you’re destroying what you love
This is real life, not some national park
Close your eyes to the 21st century
Heritage – our only industry

Is this what you want? A little England?
Is this what you want? Faded empire glory?
Is this what you want? A past without a future?
Things can never stay the same

So you hate what you don’t understand
You say you stand for the common man
So you know your history?
You only see what you want to see
So you talk about sovereignty
The pride of England and the head of the Queen
The purity of your national tribe
You only aim – to repel the tide
......Is this really what you want?.......
Track Name: Me Generation
Me Generation
The storm clouds always pass you by
You’re never touched by others’ lives
Shut off from the outside world – is this all you want?
Fulfil your selfish needs – is this all there is?

You just hang around
Pretend you’re underground
Deprived of light and sound
You wouldn’t know there’s something wrong

Instant thrills are all you know
Snort a fortune up your nose
The spoils of accident of birth – is this all you want?
Idle privilege – is this all there is?



Shut yourself off hide away
Piss your hopes and dreams away
Pop the corks cut the cocaine
Nothing left for another day
Of course, you’ve nothing new to say
The country’s burning while you play
But would you notice anyway

The windows got smashed in last night
Stars were daubed, books set alight
The sound of marching in the street – they’re crying out for blood
Gunshots in the air – they’re crying out for war

They came to take them all away
The neighbours with the funny name
But you just take another drink – what else can you do?
Just look the other way – there’s nothing you can say...
Track Name: Life Sentence
Life Sentence
So you wake up every morning
Feel as if you’re body’s made of lead
The sleeping pill you had last night
Has left that deadened feeling in your head
So now it’s off to work you go
Another day another dime
Stuck in the traffic jam
You always feel you’re running out of time

So now you’re on your own – and all the lights are red
You know, it’s true – no one lets you through
Everybody acts the same

Now the dreams of youth are gone
All that’s left is that which you’ve become
Sainsbury’s on a Saturday
A lottery ticket’s your idea of fun
So now as you get older
Nothing learnt, you haven’t got a clue
You take a look around you
Everyone seems happier than you

So now you’re on your own – and no one seems to care
At all – about you, muddling through
Everything just stays the same

And you think of all the things you could have been
The many wonders of the world you might have seen
What you want – you never had – and what you’ve got....
You just don’t want

So you’ve had the drink and drugs
You’ve even tried the concept of free love
You’ve surfed the consumer wave
Everything you saw you had to have
Then came the weekly sessions
Spending all your money on a shrink
Lie back and think of England
Tell the nice man everything you think

How you’re on your own – and no one understands
At all – about you – the things you want to do
How you just want to change
Track Name: Armchair Revolution
Armchair Revolution


So you think you’re radical
So you think you know it all
Do you live life on the edge?
Does your conscience never rest?
You’re just playing at being
The good bourgeois of such well-meaning
But you’ll only know
A life that’s beamed from a television studio

Armchair revolution – riot in suburbia
Armchair revolution – tear down all those garden fences
Armchair revolution – smash in all those televisions
Armchair revolution

So you always rant and rave
You’re heading for an early grave
Your blood pressure goes sky-high
As you contemplate ‘real life’
You just moan all day
There’s got to be another way
You’ll never do anything
You’re too busy tilting at the windmills in your mind

You’re an armchair warrior
Make the tea and wage class wars
Sit at home and smash the state
Man imagined barricades
No one’s listening
Just hollow words no one believes in
Don’t you realise
You’re a Walter Mitty for domestic paranoids
Track Name: Cult of the Living Dead
Cult of the Living Dead

They used to rule the world, but now they’re far too old
Thoughts of glories past, remembered till they breathe their last
The blue rinse perm and floral dress
All starched collars and zomboid flesh
I feel no sympathy
These brain dead matrons, these half-wit morons
Just stop and think of all the damage done

They promised harmony and then destroyed society
They heaped their riches on the few as the ranks of the helpless grew
They split the country up in two
And every evening on the news
I saw the evidence
The growing dole queues, the spreading wastelands
A generation brought up in despair

Remember, how things used to be, in the high society with all the champagne flowing
No one invited you and me
Can you see the riot police, there was fighting in the streets as all the peaceful protests
Turned to violent anarchy

And then the violence came with the full force of a hurricane
Destructive winds of social change swept through the land and back again
Cars destroyed and set alight
The inner cities burned at night
I heard the sirens wail
This discontentment, seething resentment
Payback time for policies of hatred

They view their legacy as undisputed territory
A nation wracked by strife, restored to economic might
The self-delusion of these fools
Their future vision says it all
I see it in their eyes
These dreams of power, this unstilled fervour
They’ve waited for their time to come again
Track Name: Oxford Blues (Bonus Track)
Oxford Blues

Henry’s got a girlfriend – it’s one of his MDs
A public disclosure, what a travesty
A little pillow talk can ease the dissention
There’s a cancer at the heart of this organisation

Sexual harassment on the personnel files
Violent threats and cheesy smiles
He’ll break her fucking legs if she dares to disclose him
There’s a cancer at the heart of this organisation

I’ve been shafted by ignorance; I’ve been shafted by malevolence
I’ve been shafted by the fucking corporate cunts
I’ve been shafted by the sycophants; I’ve been shafted by their indolence
I’ve been shafted by the fucking corporate cunts

Hitler Youth play executive
Workplace cleansing of the faces that don’t fit
The rest seek solace in inner emigration
There’s a cancer at the heart of this organisation

Backstabbing, arse-licking pieces of shit
Currying favour with the great Nepotist
And stupid little bitches suck dick for ambition
There’s a cancer at the heart of this organisation