Prefiguring Public Image Limited's sound by three months, Section 25 was a grossly underrated post-punk band from Northern England.
They were formed in Blackpool, Lancashire in April 1978 by brothers Lawrence and Vincent Cassidy, taking their name from a provision of the Mental Health Act which allowed for compulsory detention.
Championed by Joy Division’s singer, Ian Curtis, he went into the studio to produce one of their early singles Girls Don't Count, included on this disc. The rest of their first album, ALWAYS NOW, bears the touch of Martin Hannett behind the knobs.
The whole album has a spacey, raw, very live feel to it. Section 25 established themselves on the concert circuit in the late 70s before recording anything. The slow trance-inducing bassline on Babies in the Bardo is a hallmark of this disc's sound.
Be Brave is a lively nearly-pop number that is reminiscent of Gang of Four's edgy guitar sound. The second track on this album is the original version of Dirty Disco. It gets the body moving with a driving bass sound and sexually-charged lyrics.
This album is essentially a series of in-studio improvisations that were later cut into tracks to form the end product. The genius of Section 25 can be found on the 9 extra tracks, including all tracks from the 'Girls Don't Count' (Fac 18) and 'Haunted' (Fbn 3) singles, as well as rare compilation tracks and one album outtake, Human Puppets.
I especially recommend Haunted as a stand out track with its heavy percussion and spacy guitar effects, the band unleash a three minute and seventeen second track in homage to Ian Curtis.