Somehow, the Sex Pistols' legendary 1976 Manchester show spawned more bands than there were attendees, so it's no wonder that no matter how many you think you've come upon, you can bet there will be more you've missed.

One such group is Penetration, which looks a lot like some of the others formed in that Rotten and Vicious murk—female vocalist, like Siouxsie and Banshees; buzzsaw guitars; pub-rock sing-along choruses—but which is, in actuality, particularly distinguished.

For one, they were extremely sharp and tight, like the power-pop-punk Buzzcocks, but with an appetite for blazing solo shreds more familiar to, say, the seedy glam gods Thin Lizzy. And they were possessed with an attention to detail, craft, musicianship that one doesn't get the impression was exactly in vogue. These songs are, for example, in tune, with the drums and the bass shockingly being pegged to one another. And the brilliant Pauline Murray had the explosive punch of a stick of dynamite at the mic—despite belting it all out with vibrato.

They weren't around together long; they blitzed through a couple LPs and a handful of singles, EP. However, Murray went on to record a number of albums on her own, most notably 1980's self-titled effort with the Invisible Girls, a studio band of Factory alumni helmed by the orchestrator of that scene's sound, Martin Hannett. Wild combination of moody synth goth and bubblegum happy-go-lucky new wave sunshine.


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