Album, Single and EP Reviews


  Radioactivity b/w I’m not Impressed by The Zips

Radioactivity b/w I’m not Impressed cover art

Artist: The Zips
Title: Radioactivity b/w I’m not Impressed
Catalogue Number: Tenement Toons TEN01
Review Format: 45
Release Year: 1980

They say old bands never die they just fade away. The Zips are still alive and kicking today in Glasgow and have thankfully not gone the way of the chicken in a basket crowd. Accordingly, it seemed like fun to dig out one of their original singles from the Vinyl Vault. All the way from back in 1980 comes "Radioactivity".

Punk in Glasgow way back then was a lot different than its London parent. It was less about the style than the ethos of standing up for yourself. Accordingly other musical influences were quickly added in to the mix and indeed you can hear a little bit of ska in the rhythms of this single. Youthful rebellion has long been part of popular music of course but to that was added that Scottish bloody mindedness. In addition, there was not the technology that exists today so even releasing a single was a major challenge. "Radioactivity" itself is a nicely constructed song that would not be out of place in the music charts (such as they are…) today with its infectious chorus  but its special appeal is that feeling of innocence and adventure in the performance that has become so rare these days.

Keeping "Radioactivity" company is "I'm Not Impressed". Perhaps it is the passing of time but this seems less of a punk single than it did to me at the time. More reminiscent of late sixties mainstream British pop music, it is nevertheless a quality song that has stood the test of time well.

It is probably a sign of impending old age but this Bluesbunny rather enjoys the occasional trawl through the Vinyl Vault. By the way, this single is now a collector's item and I would imagine that The Zips must have had many a good laugh about that. Bluesbunny raises his glass to Jonjo O'Neill and the rest of The Zips.

Review Date: March 29, 2008