I’m not familiar with anarcho punk band Crass so it didn’t surprise me that I had never heard of Rudimentary Peni (who associated with the band and their label). In making my random selections for what I wanted to review, I was drawn only by the name of the band because I am a puerile clod but for once though my idiotic instincts served me well because this re-issue is a work of eccentric genius. Eccentric is somewhat underplaying things actually, as lead singer Nick Blinko has spent a good amount of his time in psychiatric institutions. He even wrote an album in one whilst believing he was a long dead Pope. When you listen to the album, none of this in any way surprising because while they’re totally capable of writing an unconventionally catchy punk tune (and a lot of the album is really good musically) they are also capable of total madness. The album features gargling and bizarre monologues aplenty and hand farts and more musical about faces than it seems feasible to perform. Moving from catchy jangly eighties punk to Bonzo Dog Dah Band drama is discombobulating but it is quite rare to hear a band that operates so confidently in both the fields of madness and sanity all on one album. While doing a bit of rare research I encountered their collection of intense self-illustrated album covers done in pen and ink and these really convey the spirit that rudimentary Peni were operating in. Compact, bizarre and intense. If you are a fan of Frank Zappa, Mr. Bungle, Captain Beefheart, Pavement or any one of a million bands who could be considered to be operating in “far out” territory then you should definitely give this collection a once over because it is an unforgettable and distinctly weird experience and I’ll definitely be following up on their other releases.