The only summation one can make of the career of English punks Penetration is, what a disappointment.
In 1977, Penetration released a classic chunk of punk rock defiance titled "Don't Dictate." With Pauline Murray
's impassioned vocals (sounding a bit like X-Ray Spex's Poly Styrene
) leading the way, this was a blazing piece of anti-authoritarian rant: loud, snotty, and proud. Sadly, it was to be the one song they remained best noted for (assuming there are people who still remember Penetration). The problem was that they traded in barely competent but energetic bashing and thrashing for a more "mature" new wave/"punk-ish" rock sound. As a result, their debut LP, Moving Targets, although it has its moments, never lived up to the promise of "Don't Dictate." Still, Pauline Murray
was a force to be reckoned with. Easily one of the best singers to come out of English punk rock, she made the band interesting even when the songs weren't there, the production was overwrought, and the whole enterprise was terribly uneven. It was to the surprise of no one that by 1980 she was fronting a new band, the Invisible Girls, who based on Murray
's strengths became known as Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls. Still, major success eluded Murray
, and she later moved into singing more elegant, mainstream pop/rock, remaining one of England's best unknown singers. ~ John Dougan, Rovi