The mid-to-late 80's were something of a double-pronged treasure hunt; while I was discovering all types of cool 70's (post-)punk, I also pulled many a 60's/70's Prog Rock platter by the likes of King Crimson and (early) Yes out of the cut-out bins. Some of my favourite discoveries fell somewhere inbetween: Spizz' Do A Runner LP, Magazine of course, and last but not least, the great Laughing Academy LP by Punishment Of Luxury (Punilux in short). Weird chord changes and rhythm signatures, intelligent lyrics combining politics, sci-fi and surrealism, and the same guitar sound as (fellow United Artists artists) Buzzcocks' Love Bites. It even had a cool-looking gatefold cover that you could hang on your wall, not exactly Roger Dean, but still... I remember at one point my friend Joost and I had amassed so many secondhand copies of this LP we were considering opening up a used record store selling nothing but Laughing Academy's! The funny thing is, whenever the subject of Punilux came up while talking to some older punk, they would either love them or really hate them. "A waste of a good name", was the nicest thing punk photographer Ray Stevenson could say about them in his book. Famous rock critic Paul Morley once wrote an amusing "where are they now"-type piece about them, calling them "a politically correct version of the Stranglers" and recalling some festival where the audience were throwing stuff at eachother; Punilux' singer said something like "we shouldn't fight amongst ourselves!", whereupon the punters took a look at them (already a bit older and losing hair in places), obviously thought "ourselves?", and started throwing the assorted garbage at the band instead. Still, there's the records, and while not every song still stands up, there's a couple of classics that should win over even the staunchest punk. Like their debut single on Small Wonder, Puppet Life. And the great avant-geek-punk of Jellyfish. And if that don't work, the thumping proto-hardcore of Brainbomb should do the trick.