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 nascent 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, and enigmatic drummer Eddie pounding the glazed-faced crowd until it's satisfied.
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