Music News

The Vibrators

Like their contemporaries in U.K. Subs, who lived in the same building, the seasoned pub musicians who formed the Vibrators in 1976 brought a blues tradition to the infantile punk scene. But while the scene was highly politicized and angry, the Vibes got their kicks from sexually charged fun; tunes like "Whips & Furs" and "I Need a Slave" brought the post-disco kids to the dance floor without a single reference to Britain's footballers. The lasting effect is evident, from punk stalwarts Stiff Little Fingers to garage-gothers the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. On last year's Punk: The Early Years, the Vibrators covered songs by both their influences and their followers, including the Ramones' "Beat on the Brat," the Damned's "New Rose," and — their namesake — Motörhead's "Vibrator." Live performances are stimulating affairs, with Ian Knox's crisp, snotty vocals and penetrating guitar stirring the pot and the pit. Enigmatic drummer Eddie pounds the glazed-faced crowd until it's satisfied.
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Rick Skidmore