Never a fan of soundbites unless they’re wrapped inside a 3 minute pop track, ‘Up against the wall’ kicks off with 2 of the finest bites around in its opening 20 seconds; “Work to live, I don’t live to work” and “I got no money but I got class”. As a statement of intent for any song, especially one which champions rebellion and non-conformity, it’s pretty substantial place to start.
Initially, a rallying call for the weekday loser and the weekend winner, the chorus moves the rebellion into, seemingly, the bedroom and Guns N Roses/ S&M, territory with the pose that ‘anything goes tonight’ including ‘up against the wall’ or ‘down on the floor’. Non-conformity indeed.
Rallying tracks (and in fact soundbites) don’t tend to work unless they’re underpinned by a congruent music bed; something which the ‘Ten’s create well here by using a rock sound which pays tribute to both full-out stomping guitar rhythms (think Primal Scream ‘Rocks’ era) and dirty, edgy, messy, garage rock chaos (think early Libertines). It’s a combination which works particularly well and creates and angry, explosive, feel to the song. We’re not quiet in ‘Who are you’/ guitar smashing territory here, but we’re not too far away either.
Ultimately this record is a great punk/rock/pop track about damning social rules whilst smiling widely and, perhaps, getting into a spot of mischief. Great stuff.