Norwegians The Mansters certainly know what it takes to make a ‘proper’ punk record. You don’t hear it very often these days – most bands this good tend to succumb, even if just a little, to turn their punk rage into metal bluster – but these boys certainly have the knack of avoiding such an elementary pitfall.
They manage to fit ten tracks onto this EP in ten and a half minutes playing time, the vast proportion of which plough a vague early eighties NYHC furrow of catchy riffs and shouted vocals. Kinda like the World Be Free album that came out earlier this year but shorn of the unnecessary singalong bits. When they slow down and vary things a little, as they do on the UK82 assault of At Least I Tried, they really hit paydirt, coming on like a nasty mix of The Subhumans and GBH rather than the usual Crumbsuckers/Agnostic Front approximations of the rest of the album.
It’s all good though – there quite literally isn’t a dull moment on the disc, with the best track, Summer of ’96, being really very good indeed – and I shall be listening to this a lot over the next few weeks. You probably should too.