by Stewart Mason
Although it came out in 1998, 20 years after their straight-outta-rural-Kent debut, Scum is only the Anti-Nowhere League's second full-length studio album. It would be polite to say that it was worth the wait, but that's entirely less than truthful. The album is less overtly gross-out-oriented than many of the group's earlier efforts -- only "Suicide. . .Have You Tried?" reaches the levels of disgust that used to be the group's bread and butter -- but unfortunately, without their one memorable feature, the Anti-Nowhere League are an utterly forgettable old-school U.K. punk band with few ideas beyond the not-bad opener, the general scene anthem "Fucked Up and Wasted," and a pointless, deliberately inept cover of
's "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves." (Bizarrely, "How Does It Feel?" rips off a few lines from
' "Moonshadow," as well, suggesting an otherwise suppressed '70s AM pop fetish.) The album as a whole is tired, sluggish, and generally uninteresting, except for the most utterly devout of fans.