Thee Mighty Caesars - English Punk Rock Explosion!! LP
Thee Mighty Caesars -- punk raconteur Billy Childish's interim band between the retro-revivalism of the Milkshakes and his ultimate rock & roll expression in Thee Headcoats -- were the ideal bridge between the Shakes' stylish, loyal Merseybeat revivalism and the fully-functioning threadbare punk-rock cathartic songwriting Childish began wielding like a rusty knife once Thee Headcoats had formed. Even though the aesthetic trappings were the most ridiculous of any of Childish's outfits (the band was pictured and, presumably, performed in togas with leaf wreathes donning their noggins) Thee Caesars allowed him a forum for making a transition between rocker and artist. English Punk Rock Explosion!, a greatest hits compilation, was the only Mighty Caesars album to capture the full scope of this rock & roll culture collision. From brutal guitar instrumentals such as "Death of a Mighty Caesar," with it's tribal beat and percussive guitar, to the first recording of the nihilist, venom-spewing anthem "You Make Me Die," English Punk Rock Explosion! is an unrelenting parade of melodic-yet-raw diamonds in the rough. While this may have been Childish's least prolific and shortest-lived band, this is a crucial document of DIY punk's (ancient?) history. Full of all the hubris of youth and tempered by the wisdom of a jaded experience, Thee Mighty Caesars were a force with which to be reckoned.