The Stupids were one of the leading skatepunk thrash bands of the 1980s, releasing six albums throughout their career, which lasted until 1989. Led by Tom Withers (aka Tommy Stupid, now best known as drum ‘n’ bass DJ Klute), the band have now had their entire back catalogue bought up and redistributed by Boss Tuneage. Four of the albums have gone out on their Retro imprint, which are the ones we’ll be looking at here.

'Violent Nun' has a couple of good tracks, if you’re into your thrash punk. If you give the record a good listen, you can pick out some favourites – mine would be ‘It’s Gotta Be Love’ and ‘So Much Fun’.

Past that, though, the album falls foul of that common thrash ailment – each song sounds the same as the last. And this problem continues through each of the other re-issued records. Listening to each in sequence, it’s hard to discern any considerable difference between one album and the next, which makes for 121 tracks of having a very average time. Interestingly, Boss Tuneage have decided to release bonus CDs with each of these re-releases which feature alternative recordings of tracks featured on the original recordings. But this just means that you get to hear a load of songs that sound like each other twice on each release, which to my mind seems a little cruel.

But like I say, there are some moments on the albums that do catch your ear. On 'Peruvian Vacation', ‘Always Never Fun’ and ‘Born to Built to Grind’, which utilizes the lead riff from Springsteen’s ‘Born to Run’, are enjoyable tracks.

'Retard Picnic' tries to be a little more varied with the vocal parts, even if all the riffs are the same, and ‘The Memory Burns’ is an enjoyable punk track. The songs on this album are more melodic than on the previous ones, but again, in the end sound too similar to each other to make the album anything more than trying.

'The Peel Sessions' would probably have sounded great amongst the rest of the DJ’s playlist, being mixed up with a variety of different sounds that make them stand out, but again any greatness on these collected recordings is lost in amongst the glaring similarities.

Perhaps this assessment seems a little harsh, and, if you’re a fan of thrash and skatepunk, then I’m sure this look into the past of the genre will be right up your street, but for me it was, at least for the most part, the same song played with a different title, spanning 4 albums. Not my cup of tea, in other words.









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