The early Blitz singles (‘Never Surrender’ and ‘Warriors’) and their first LP, ‘Voice of a Generation’ were raw, down-and-dirty Oi! records with uncompromising sore-throat vocals. But then the group splintered into two camps, and engaged in a power struggle to retain the Blitz name, and the contract with No Future Records.
The camp that eventually won and released this second LP in 1983 changed the band’s direction drastically. Howls of outrage, of “sellout,” reverberated across Britain and among U.S. hardcore fans when this appeared, scornfully referred to by skinheads as “Blitz goes New Order.” Actually, it’s Joy Division that’s the bigger influence, especially on tracks such as ‘Into the Daylight’ that sound close to ‘Disorder ‘- like territory (the guy who produced both Blitz LPs, the must-have-been-bewildered Chris Nagle, was also Joy Division’s and New Order’s engineer under Martin Hannett! Also the back cover graphics were identifiable JD/NO style, as well).
But even that hint doesn’t capture this album’s essential power. Far from a New Order album, this was an early attempt to fuse post-punk crunch with a drum machine, something the Goths and near-Goths such as March Violets, Sisters of Mercy, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, and Big Black would soon do in a different way. And it’s great. ‘Telecommunication’ and ‘Flowers and Fire’ show Blitz marrying the young Peter Hook bass with the bigger guitar pyrotechnics and post-punk crunch of Killing Joke, U K Decay, and Zzounds, and it comes across as majestic and insular. Acerbic tracks such as ‘White Man’ proved they hadn’t lost their lyrical relevance either. But, rejected by the punks, and unable to break out of the dreaded punk tag, ‘Second Empire Justice’ was badly shunned by all quarters and sunk ignobly like a Mack truck in quicksand.