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G.B.H.

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Biography

One of the key bands of the street punk scene that gave a second wind to the U.K. punk rock scene, G.B.H. (also known as Charged G.B.H.) were also one of the first bands to add a strong heavy metal influence to punk rock, and would be cited as an influence by Metallica and Rancid. Hailing from Birmingham, England, G.B.H. were formed in 1978 by lead singer Colin Abrahall, guitarist Colin "Jock" Blyth, bassist Sean McCarthy, and drummer Andrew "Wilf" Williams. The band's name comes from the British legal term "Grievous Bodily Harm," with which bassist McCarthy had been charged. McCarthy was not long in the group, and Ross Lomas took over on bass by the end of their first year. Playing hard and fast, and with no fear of rude or controversial lyrics, Charged G.B.H. first made their name touring throughout the U.K., and after striking a deal with Clay Records, they made their recording debut in 1981, with the EP Leather, Bristles, Studs, and Acne. In 1982, the group issued their first album, City Baby Attacked by Rats, which was followed by more touring, including their first visit to the United States. Charged G.B.H. brought out their follow-up, City Baby's Revenge: 101 Ways to Kill a Rat, in 1983, and in 1986, they released Midnight Madness and Beyond, their first album for Rough Justice Records, by which time they'd shortened their name to G.B.H. That same year, drummer Williams dropped out of the group, and Kai Reder, formerly of the band Napalm, became G.B.H.'s new drummer. No Need to Panic followed in 1987, and A Fridge Too Far arrived in 1989. In 1992, Joseph "Fish" Montanaro became G.B.H.'s new drummer (he would last until 1994, when Scott Preece took over behind the traps), and while many of the major street punk and Oi! bands of the '80s were maintaining a low profile (if they were still around at all), G.B.H. remained active. The group released a steady stream of live and studio albums and toured regularly throughout the '90s and into the new millennium, continuing to give their fans what they wanted. During this period, thrash metal bands like Metallica and Slayer were citing G.B.H. as an influence, helping the band find a new audience. In 2010, Lars Fredericksen of Rancid, a longtime G.B.H. fan, gave the veteran punks a bit of payback by releasing their album Perfume and Piss on his Hellcat Records label. In 2017, nearly 40 years after they first formed, G.B.H. demonstrated their longevity with the release of a studio album for Hellcat, Momentum. ~ Mark Deming
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