35 Years Ago: Charged GBH release City Baby Attacked by Rats


We were I suppose in the second wave of bands, along with DISCHARGE, THE EXPLOITED etc when "City Baby" was released it got a 5 star review in Sounds which was the most popular music weekly at the time. But we didn't get along with the reviewer, Gary Bushell, who went on to "invent" Oi music and was basically a straight (someone who wasn't punk), but I guess he did us a favour by writing such a good review. At the time we were signed to Clay Records which was a small record shop in stoke-on-trent, so when the album got into the top 20 in England we were amazed, Clay had no A+R dept it was just one man, so it was really a word of mouth thing, rather than any payola, major label bollocks.
- Colin Abrahall / GBH interview, Mark Prindle, 2002

Charged GBH released their debut LP on this day in 1982 through Clay Records. It spent 27 weeks in the Indie charts, reaching No. 2 and 6 weeks in the UK charts reaching No. 17.

How about you lot, what's the plans?
Jock: "We're trying to get a drum machine to replace Wilf...Nah, we're writing an album at the moment. It's due out end of April/May sortov time when we'll be touring, headlining round the country with local supports."
"We've written about half the album so far," Wilf confides. "It's pretty much the same sort of stuff but with a bit more thought in it."
"No there's not," snaps Jock indignantly.
"Yeah," says Colin, "there is a bit more thought. It's gonna be called 'City Baby Attacked By Rats' (Very philosophical - Ed). Roy The Rocker who did the artwork on the 12" (a fan called Roy Crowton) is doing the front of it."
Wilf: "It sounds a bit HM".
Jock: "NO IT DOESN'T!"
Wilf: "Ah...I'm quite happy about the Motorhead comparisons. It's just that we don't go out of our way to sound like them and we're a punk band first and foremost."
- Charged GBH interview, Sounds 1982

...in the Exploited, GBH, Motörhead and Black Sabbath style...
- Bathory musicians-wanted flyer, 1982/1983

The real significance for most reading this is the impact it had on BATHORY in their earliest days:

...in '82 a friend of mine borrowed me a tape containing the then newly released GBH album "City Baby Attacked by Rats", I was caught completely off guard by parts of that album. Here was the sound and energy that I had been longing for. That album would have as much an effect on me as "Ace of Spades" and was very important for the coarse that BATHORY would take right from the outset.

To this day, the "Never Mind the Bollocks" album is the album I listen to most frequently besides KISS' "Alive!". But hearing GBH in late '82 early '83 was something completely different, and a booster when it came to finally deciding on forming the band.

If you listen to GBH tracks like "Sick Boy", "Wardogs", "I am the Hunted" or "Gunned Down", it's just so obvious where early BATHORY came from in terms of rhythm, song construction and energy. Even when listening to something like The Exploited's "UK 82", "Jimmy Boyle" or "They Won't Stop", you need not to be a professor of music to hear that the base for early BATHORY was primarily Oi-punk and not something that came out of Newcastle. (referring to Venom comparisons -ed)

Mix the sound and style of Motörhead with the gloom and darkness of Black Sabbath, and let that rest on a solid base of GBH. What you get is something that's raw, primitive, noisy and intense early BATHORY.
- Quorthon quotes from The Birth of a Legend, Bathory.nu