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Though the Homosexuals weren’t as experimental as fellow South London squatters This Heat, they were just as confrontational: Jim and Bruno first met at a 1977 anti–National Front rally, where Bruno had attempted a “missile” strike on a police truck. When the pair decided to form a band with a guy named Anton, they chose their name “calculatedly,” as The Homosexuals’ CD’s liner notes put it, as “a failsafe device to make admirers feel uncomfortable, to test the water and to screw ever so slightly with others’ minds.” But whereas many of the trio’s postpunk contemporaries would have no doubt been happy to vanquish ye olde rock ’n’ roll forever, this band uneasily embraced it. 1979’s “Vociferous Slam,” for instance, combines simple riffing, some “Sympathy for the Devil” shakers, and a very familiar—shall we say, Jaggeresque?—vocal inflection with enough “oh-uh-oh-oh”s to warrant a cheeseball honky-tonk piano. That’s not to say that the Homosexuals didn’t make fucked-up music, though, as this short-career-spanning CD easily demonstrates. With the help of engineer Chris Gray and his brother Nigel’s Surrey Sound studio, the band did some unconventional knob-twisting indeed, favoring oddly placed overdubs, fierce panning, and amateur-sounding mixes. The approach works best when it catches you off-guard: the end of “Vociferous Slam,” where some truly piercing feedback drops in just when you’re nodding along to the rockin’ beat, or the whole of “Mecho Madness,” which follows up the sparkling, tuneful “False Sentiments” with a sonic collage made up of the lines “Checking my atomic pacemaker/ Through the LED display window,” some metallic guitar scratchings, and what could be a shortwave radio stuck between stations. All out-of-tune horns and horrible tape hiss aside, though, the band is worth listening to 25 years on because of such songs as “Soft South Africans (Slow),” a pop anthem replete with the louder-than-it-should-be shaking of what sounds like small shards of glass, abrupt high-end bass interjections, and a totally obnoxious double-tracked guitar solo that seems more Status Quo than Slits. In an era when change was more necessary than ever, the Homosexuals managed to stick to the old ways just enough to make them sound like something new—and that’s as punk as you could want. —Mike Kanin