Whilst a cynic might say Dissonance Productions have reached the bottom of the reissue barrel with bands like Attak, there is a certain of-it’s-time-charm to Zombies that has strangely enough weathered the ravages of the decades well enough to make this a bit of a surprise pleasure.
Simplistic street punk is what you get here, a cross between Blitz (the drummer – a girl! – was the sister of Mackie, Blitz’s bassist) and more presciently GBH in their City Baby pomp. The album cover may have been designed squarely to grab the attention of curious heavy metal fans with a few quid in their pocket, but the music most certainly was not. Whilst the best bands of this genre – GBH, Discharge, the Varukers, et al – had the musical smarts to live with the metal comparisons, Attak unfortunately didn’t. This is punk – not crossover, not hardcore, not nothing – in all it’s simplistic glory.
That’s not to say there’s no skill here – there are some good, tuneful blasts to be had, particularly in the shape of Play the Ace, See You in Hell and Young and Proud, not to mention the Chron Gen-ish Demon; however when the band did get hold of a good chorus they tended to flog it for all it was worth, rendering the likes of See You in Hell as possibly annoying when they should have been energising call to arms rabble rousers.
If you’re discovering this music for the first time then Zombies might keep you occupied for half an hour before being filed away with the rest of the also-rans in your collection. If you already know the album then, without any tasty add-ons (there are versions on other labels that come complete with non-album demos that actually sound pretty good), it’s hard to see why you’d bother taking the plunge again.