Chron Gen - This Is The Age album review

First new album in 32 years from Hertfordshire punks

Chron Gen This Is The Age album cover

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Listening to their new single Jump, fronted by the physically well-preserved Glynn Barber, it’s surprising that Chron Gen didn’t get more of a look in back in the late 70s when they formed. Back then, of course, there were The Clash, The Jam and even The Police to contend with, so it was tougher to compete, despite the swerve of their guitar hooks, which are still sleek today.

Now, however, they seem like immaculate specimens of a bygone punk disaffection. Jump feels perfectly anthemic, a defiant V-sign in the face of dead-end prospects, but with a nod to fallen comrades almost 40 years on: ‘Raise a glass to absent friends – we’re not here long enough.’

Maybe Baby is immaculately turned, Barber’s bruised vocals reminding you of how cleverly appropriate it was of Chron Gen to cover Living Next Door To Alice, while My Pumpkin even has a reggae tinge, a Proustian reminder of the year 1978. If they were 19-year-old imitators, this album would be huge.

David Stubbs

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.