Alternative TV: Opposing Forces

The overdue return of Mark P.

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Given that his last album with ATV landed 14 years ago, it looked like Mark Perry – punk provocateur and founder of quintessential fanzine Sniffin’ Glue – may have been lost for the duration.

Thankfully though, he’s back, heading up a five-piece band for an album that feels like it could’ve been made at any time between now and 1976. Angry guitars snap and kick, the drums sound like they were recorded in a box under the stairs and Perry’s voice still carries an insolent sneer.

With tunes about basement sex, schizophrenia and the vastness of the cosmos, Opposing Forces is nothing if not eclectic. Hello New York and French Girls find ATV at their brusque best, no-nonsense and direct.

At other times, the self-indulgence that blighted some of Perry’s 80s work bleeds through, especially the monotonous The Visitor and, despite its evil Stooges bassline, the spoken-word narrative of Stars./o:p

Rob Hughes

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2008, and sister title Prog since its inception in 2009. Regular contributor to Uncut magazine for over 20 years. Other clients include Word magazine, Record Collector, The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and When Saturday Comes. Alongside Marc Riley, co-presenter of long-running A-Z Of David Bowie podcast. Also appears twice a week on Riley’s BBC6 radio show, rifling through old copies of the NME and Melody Maker in the Parallel Universe slot. Designed Aston Villa’s kit during a previous life as a sportswear designer. Geezer Butler told him he loved the all-black away strip.