After a quick run-through, the fairgrounds scattered with popcorn, amusement rides, and a bright, shining clown face; The Adicts reach the end of the fun with their second studio-record, Sound of Music. Originally released in November of 1982, it depicted the iconic jester logo riding a carousel that matches this new-wave punk illustration spinning round and round before coming to a stop after 42-minutes.
Opening with almost comedic carnival sounds on their introduction “How Sad,” the band lets this twisted orchestra of horns roll out the red carpet before The Adicts kick that performance directly into electric guitars and smacking percussion. They are only a four-piece at this point in their careers leading with Keith Warren on vocals, better known for his makeup and nickname, “Monkey.” Then there is Pete “Pete Dee” Davison on the guitar that slides alongside Mel “Spider” Ellis on the bass. Finally bringing it up like an organized assault weapon, Michael “Kid Dee” Davison is plastered on the percussion as a shining beacon of order to the often frantic performances from The Adicts.
As Sound of Music springs on like a disenfranchised marching band, “Chinese Takeaway” flashes into the frame as a carefree, but almost uplifting track with no real sense of danger. Punk at this point was often a mosh pit of isolation and unheard aggression that finally saw a stage through the performances as all eyes were on the youth, for The Adicts, there was a shift in their way of moving the message. Instead, lyrics that involved barbershop levels of harmony and adventuring in more danceable styles were preferred. They describe “Went to the fish shop, went to the chip shop, went to the burger shop, didn’t have the right stuff. Hey Hey, I want Chinese takeaway, hey hey, woo woo woo.” The writing is nowhere near complex or really descriptive of a social message but instead stands on the shoulders of excitement and fun.
Even on one of the later tracks, “Joker In The Pack” that begins as a percussive beatdown with a quick stab on the toms, the lyrics still do not invoke any sort of violent nature. With the works of a violin-styled string instrument layering the breakdown, The Adicts seem more focused on sculpting and pushing this creative boundary rather than appealing to a mainstream sound. For the 1980s, their style might have been seen before with matching white outfits and makeup on the face, but their sound is indefinitely unique.
As the circus comes to town and then abruptly leaves, The Adicts play less of the broken victim and more of the town entertainment as they capture the eyes and paint smiles on the faces. Their sound is more approachable as a possible punk unit but graces more into the idea of a new wave where a whole different audience could rally behind them and rattle the head to The Adicts.