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Bill Mason Band: No Sham! (1979) (Reissue)
Bill Mason Band No Sham (1979) (Reissue) review

Bill Mason Band: No Sham! (Reissue)

Early UK Punk/New Wave

Here's a glimpse into early punk rock and new wave music, in the UK and on the Christian music side of things. Bill Mason Band roots go to 1976, their only album (that I know of) No Sham! appeared in 1979. Their rise was significant thanks to an unsuspecting invite to the historic UK Christian festival Greenbelt in 1977. Mason and company, being heavily influenced by Boomtown Rats, The Clash, and Elvis Costello, among others, affected both punk rockers and the rising new wave. Their music was significant in a time when it equally important to the right hair and piercings and create music by which one could pogo. While the played mostly to the Christian ghetto, but also found support among a secular audience, Bill Mason Band was blackballed by the mainstream Christian community. In other words, they were right on target, and many kids came to faith in Christ.

This reissue comes from Retroactive Records on their new imprint, appropriately titled, Born Twice Records. The digital remastering doesn't hide flaws, but only accentuates the production values of that early era. No Sham! is quite well done, with a surprising clarity often uncommon among Christian recordings (against their secular peers) in that day. Ultimately, No Sham! is more new wave than punk and, again, a picture of a seminal era. Best cuts include Out on de Streets, Stand Up + Be Counted, Radio, Lost Years, and the sublime Detectives. Certainly those old enough to remember this age, myself included, should pick up on this small slice of UK and Christian rock history. This band was quite good.

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In Short

As a glimpse into the formative years of UK Christian new wave, Bill Mason Band's No Sham! is a seminal and signature piece.

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