Monday, November 3, 2014

Blitz - Second Empire Justice (1983)

In which an upper-echelon Oi band follows up its instant classic debut LP with a dark, atmospheric sophomore effort that's entirely devoid of anthems about "the boys" handing out beatdowns, thereby alienating most of its violent, bald-scalped fan base while failing to garner much outside attention. Second Empire Justice, it would seem, is a terrible Oi record.

The twist: it's a great post-punk record. It undoubtedly sounds like the work of a completely different band, but a really fucking great one. Big, moody leads? Check. Ghostly vocals? Big check -- dude sounds like Ian Curtis on a few songs. A beefy, locked-in rhythm section, complete with gated reverb on the snare? Check. I missed the boat on this one for years because my punk elders told me to steer clear, but as it turns out, adult me is going to listen to this way more than Voice of a Generation.

For poops and chortles, watch the video for "New Age", which isn't on this album, and kind of serves as a bridge between their immediate past and future.

Track listing:
1. Flowers and Fire
2. Underground
3. Acolyte
4. Into the Daylight
5. Telecommunication
6. White Man
7. For You
8. Skin
9. HKM Grey

We will move together
Even though it won't last


  1. With Joy Division influence seemingly running rampant right now, this is a fab obscurity (at least to me) ripe for re-examination. A great post-punk album indeed, regardless of the band's origins and by whatever means they wound up here. I'm not a particular fan of Oi! so I'll likely let my knowledge of Blitz end here. Your timing is impeccable as I've inexplicably been revisiting Bauhaus of late. Much thanks for the post.

  2. I love everything in-between! Proto-post modern, not fucking modern! Thanks mang.

  3. Your review of this classic postpunk lp sums it up nicely, thank you. My brother back then got their 12 inch, "Solar", which I loved, and soon I had this album. Can you find another band that overnight went from raw punk to pure synth New Wave, and did it so well? Thanks a million for a terrific site!

  4. Great review! By the way, do you guys know where I can find the lyrics of this album? Thanks in advance :)

  5. great record. strangely, dont see it as SUCH a escape from the sound on the first one. the joy division influence was alredy there - i go far as thinking that much of the drum sound of bands like sisters of mercy or red lorry own a lot to early blitz -and i always saw their status as 'classic oi' as more of a thing of geography than of musical leanings. but let it go - great that they got to folllow their muse, instead of choose to please his yob followers. oh, and have you heard the cover of new age by neo-snth band autobahn?

  6. Do you have the full lyrics for flowers and fire? Can't find them anywhere

    1. When I say laugh
      I know you say cry
      When I say live
      I know you say die
      We're backwards into the future
      And forwards into the past
      But we won't move together
      Even though this won't last.

      I will never tire of the fire
      In these years, days and hours I bring you flowers
      I will never tire of the fire
      In these years, days and hours I bring you flowers

      I will call out the reason
      why can't you hear it out
      I can remember
      all the nonsense you've done
      But we won't move together
      Like the east and the west
      But we won't move together
      While we are still ????

    2. Hey matey, great to finally see sum lyrics off second empire justice......iv been searchin everywher.....i even got in touch with Mackie but no go.......hav ya got any more off the album