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The Stranglers

Speaking of The Stranglers

Upon arrival, the Stranglers were perhaps inappropriately corralled into London's boisterous Punk camp. Like many Punk bands, they specialized in offensive, woman-baiting song lyrics and chord-defacing guitar speed, and they were notorious for mercilessly hectoring their fans who appeared to enjoy the abuse. But though they've been around long enough to witness the style's evolution through its pre- and post-phases, calling the Stranglers "Punk" dilutes the term's precision. In the band's early days, they sounded more like a faster, harder Dr. Feelgood than the Sex Pistols and later they started to sound more and more like Phil Collins-Genesis for goths. Between the band's first incendiary LP, Rattus norvegicus (preceding the arrival of the Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks by a number of months), and 1986's flame-retardant Dreamtime there is a world of difference. Over their quarter century career in music these quasi-Punk dinosaurs seem to be going the way of all dinosaurs by slowly calcifying into fossils. Chad Driscoll