The latest volume of Messthetics covers DIY rarities from UK’s Midlands region from various 7″ and cassettes spanning 1977-1981. As with other volumes in the series, #103 is a tribute to those misfit souls inspired by the “anyone can do it” attitude of punk who gave it a go for themselves. Although many of the groups documented here had no idea what they were doing when they recorded these songs (even if Swell Maps and Spizzoil went on to bigger things), they did it anyway and that’s probably what the punk movement was all about in the first place. The spirit and enthusiasm is interesting to soak up, but they can only take you so far, and at the end of the day there’s over an hour of music here, and very little of it is enjoyable. When compared to the tuneless musings of The Shapes and 021, The Clash and The Sex Pistols sound as polished as the “dinosaur” rock bands that they were supposedly replacing.