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The Deviants You've Got To Hold On

Disposable, the second album by The Deviants, was recorded in a marathon 48-hour speed binge at Morgan Sound in Neasden and named after a generic plastic syringe. Small wonder then, that the album was something of an unfocused, mad-eyed mess. "If you can't trip on garbage, you can't trip on nothing," proclaimed a slogan on the inner sleeve, by way of explanation. "We imagined we could do our best work without either sleep or lucidity," lead singer Mick Farren later confessed, dismissing the entire record as "an unsaleable work that, worse still, was inarticulate in its rage." But even Farren was forced to admit that one track on the album stood proudly above the methedrine wreckage of the rest. With its reckless headlong trajectory, ranting vocals and seething fuzz guitar noise, You've Got To Hold On was pure punk rock rage - eight years ahead of schedule. And articulate rage at that: "The night burned with terror in my eyes / My foes leap at my throat in their surprise / The words rang at the start of the dawn's decay / The truth sang its song at the break of day…"

"If the album had a message," Mick later wrote, "it was that the sword of Damocles hung over us and our kind, and we were extremely pissed off about it. The world in which we lived writhed in a protracted agony. We saw it on TV, we saw it in the streets and we saw it in each other's eyes." You've Got To Hold On articulated that feeling of desperation, danger and anger with pulse-racing clarity. It was released as The Deviants' first - and only - single in November 1968, backed by the shambolic and darkly humorous Let's Loot The Supermarket.

Mike Stax / Ugly Things Magazine

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