I was actually listening to Poly’s new album, ‘Generation Indigo’ when news came through that she’d lost her battle to cancer (or won her battle to go on to higher places – you decide). It wasn’t an entire surprise by any means in a life that was often ruled by surprises but it was no less galling to be honest – not when you have what amounts to her finest collection of material to date sitting there looking at you. So any imminent outpouring of praise seems now seems almost irrelevant. Or does it?
For the former high-priest of punk-rock to make her strongest comeback in absentia seems peculiarly fitting given that she’s been rage, rage, raging against the dying of the light for the best part of thirty-years – well before it became a terminal issue or even fashionable. And anyway, what better impact to go out with? Like an asteroid glancing off the earth’s atmosphere it leaves one indelible supersonic impression.
Produced by Verve and Edwyn Collins producer, Martin Glover (also known as Youth) ‘Generation Indigo’ is a fiery and relentless power-pop proposition. Sure, there’s little or no relationship between songs rubbery electro thumpers like ‘I Luv UR Speakers’ and ‘Virtual Boyfriend’ and her old X Ray Specs numbers but who gives a shit when the result is as cheerfully carbonated as this. Tracks like ‘White Gold’ might lack the inspiration and rebellion of the bi-racial feminist proto punk’s earlier incarnation but they’re impressive in their own Blondie meets Pipettes meets La Roux meets Frankenstein fashion – and snake-hipped tunes like ‘Ghouslish’ even recall the wistful cherry sweetness of Britpop’s Styrene-wannabee, Sonya Madan of Echobelly.
It’s a good album, not brilliant by any means, but surprising certainly.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I reintroduce to you a true fighter … now, then, always … Poly Styrene.