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80s Hardcore

All Skrewed Up
An Examination of Skrewdriver’s Earliest Release

All Skrewed Up has endured. Skrewdriver, the reviled oi of RAC ilk, are no more. The inventor and sole member, Ian Stuart Donaldson, died in a car crash in 1993. Ideally, you won’t find White Rider in a friend’s record collection, but you may find All Skrewed Up. I’ve always wondered why.

Simply, “it’s not racist” is a likely answer to our question.

It’s a common answer, and too often a flawed one. We’re listening to waves of one-to-five minutes of hateful sentiments. Scrutinize the artwork, the lyrics; Discogs the label and the other artists they’ve released; ask your friends about whatever gossip they heard about that band – it’s an ordeal. Fortunately, Skrewdriver provide clarity.




1977’s All Skrewed Up lies on an ideological fault. The album was released prior to Skrewdriver’s restart in 1983. Gone was the blokish candor and punk costume, traded in for unmistakable boots and braces done up in monochrome, leering like thugs.

Their hit, “I Don’t Like You,” from the debut was re-contextualized on the their single Back With A Bang (1982) preceding their thesis and single, White Power (1983). Early antagonism had a new motive.

All Skrewed Up hasn’t been duffed because it’s an “alright” record, just short of solid, poised between early punk and the sparks of oi. And yet, one thinks after All Skrewed Up’s twenty-six minutes that its significance is thanks to the group’s future, rather than any outstanding quality. It’s bought for shock.

Skrewdriver was Chiswick Records’s[1] ploy to meet the growing skinhead phenomenon of Sham 69 and Angelic Upstarts. The label chose a couple of lads from the ancient Poulton-le-Fylde now granted free entrance to the Roxy in exchange for agro ditties. The label named them too.

The Chiswick boys opened for Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Damned, even Motörhead. Stuart fondly recalled a drink with each as he did so often in interviews.

Then they came to a flashpoint: politics. Skrewdriver wasn’t political (Stuart describes having never seen a black person until moving to London). Their friends were political. But the band hadn’t thought to move into that territory, not yet.




The issue was that gigs were turning into riots between whites-only National Front and the leftist, even red, skins. Bands were being asked to take a stance. Sham 69 turned against the National Front. Chiswick asked Skrewdriver the question and Skrewdriver turned from Sham 69 to the ultra-nationalism. They were soon dropped from the label.

There is a photographic shift in Stuart’s expression from cheeky snarl to resigned pride. His physiognomy retains violence throughout: the frenzy of his eyes.

The punkier origin of Skrewdriver depicts Stuart cocky. His head is tilted back despite the rest of the unit’s morbid gaze.

Stuart has flare. His shirt reads “1977” and “Skrewdriver” down the bottom line. He is the one in light.

Then they go close-cropped at the behest of Chiswick Records but one still dresses like a ted, recalling Combat 84’s “Poseur”:

You was a punk in ‘77

And you was a skin in ‘78

You tried mod but you were too late

Changing, changing all the time.

For Stuart, sartorially, here it stayed, if not for the coda-like biker phase for the “Built Up Knocked Down EP.”


Skrewdriver - All Skrewed Up Front


On All Skrewed Up, the band is a bunch of brute wankers shaved and ill fit against a neon green background (the record came in yellow, pink, and orange). Ten years later, one might have mistaken All Skrewed Up for a Happy Mondays album.

Moreover, the members look uncomfortable against Stuart, a burl in the punk cloth. He is the one that “made it,” while the others receded into nine-to-fives, even a Radio One Breakfast Club DJ.

In a press photo, he is almost shunted aside by the new guitarist, “Dirty Doug,” who barks at the camera, but Stuart placates with a snarl.

Rock’s foppishness enters the songs. Stuart croons on about stardom and his disdain for normalcy, its inherent violence cleansed by rock music. His bluesy hollering owes a lot to Mick Jagger and, generally, the blues.

“Where’s It Gonna End” is hushed. Stuart’s growl is submerged. The weight of the melody is placed on the acoustic guitar rather than the electric standing back in the mix. The introduction celebrates the concert. Rock music. All else is waste.


They roar back in that restrained ’77 manner that is more pop than punk with tinseled gristle. “Back Street Kids” acknowledges those despairing and destitute. It is the futureless existence, that is, the repetition of the urban humdrum and the catalyst for writing rock music.

Stuart repeats these themes ad nauseam.

The hit “I Don’t Like You” putters about placing targets on the masses and the faceless “boss.” It’s staying power credited to the count-off, “1-2-3-4; I don’t like you.”

It’s counterpart, “An-ti-so-cal,” enlightens the image of barbarian Stuart acting up Tim Roth in the TV special, Made in Britain, though retaining a bit more fuzz on top, “I ain’t gonna cut my hair; Gonna wear boots a short-haired crop.” There is no interest in betterment for the skinhead. Once the aesthetic is bought, the symbol of class, the aim is to maintain that inherent character. All else pales and the rest is filler.

There is the odd conclusion – the cover of The Who’s “Won’t Be Fooled Again,” but the rest is okay punk. Skrewdriver was signed to cash in on a niche and the violence of those early gigs.

England had bigger fish to fry, and that is no pun. You can imagine today that Skrewdriver was just another punk band entering the fray as the first wave wound down. They’d have been forgotten as soon as Chiswick dropped them.

Stuart as politico was as any National Front braggart with enough talent to write a song. The questions posed to him in interviews are a recital of tired rhetoric. He was a man caught up in the times and his convictions were based on what was comfortable. The violence that came when Skrewdriver returned was just another aspect of the skinhead’s lifestyle, except for American fans it was removed and across the pond.

I was biking in New Orleans and noticed a news crew alongside a statue of Jefferson Davis that had been tagged: WHITE PRIDE. America is grappling with racism many thought was long gone. Stuart played in The Klansmen, having released Fetch the Rope and Rebel With A Cause, fetishizing this past some call “heritage.” It’s the violence at sleep on All Skrewed Up, conceived by a man swayed by some notion of a white tradition. Racism is not confined by geography, and the racist uses all racism to justify his belief.

All Skrewed Up is notable for what it precedes – a career of hate. For an American audience willing to delve past an incendiary item, there is the Ku Klux Klan and the Stuart’s rockabilly side-project, The Klansmen. The trend hopper, poseur – be careful, for what you give credence to may be something you fear.

[1] The company is a subsidiary of the British Ace Records, a label famous for its reissuing, whose Cheswick is still reissuing All Skrewed Up.

Written By

Here comes I that never come yit, with my big head and my little wit. New Orleans, Louisiana Contact:



  1. Kontaj Nero

    July 3, 2017 at 11:38 am

    fake off nazis!

  2. grey.ant

    February 14, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    terrible article. i love skrewdriver up through the “back with a bang” ep… no-nonsense punk, meat and potato punk with no artifice involved (and i’m not white).

    to claim that one likes this album sheerly out of shock value completely dismisses that this is a fine, basic slab of punk rock, and to claim otherwise is being naive. i’ve played it numerous times for the “coolest” most “right-on” anarchopunks and antifa i’ve known in the past with no intro, and i’d always get, “who is this? this is really good” (i’ve owned a ink cover chiswick pressing since 1989).

    were they named by their label? yes. were they advised to change their image? yes. regardless of those facts, they were playing the songs on that lp (and the 2 prior singles) before chiswick picked them up.

    punks are always playing the ideological purity pissing contest, and this article is just another example. i bet the author loves nausea (and rightfully). amy was married to roger miret at the time when he was jailed for selling cocaine, but i NEVER hear any anarchopunks mention that one EVER. i could name plenty examples of punks turning blind eyes because so-and-so’s politics were “right on” to justify their shitty behavior behind the scenes.

    btw, play the “you’re so dumb” 7″ next to any early misfits single, i dare you. and by the way, the label is spelled CHISWICK, were not a subsidiary of ace records (chiswick came first), and the three records they released went out of print soon after the lp sales flopped. they NEVER reissued skrewdriver records EVER. only rock-o-rama did (and many grey area bootleggers) read the liner notes to the fine “the chiswick story” double cd, and they mention not including skrewdriver tracks on it because of what the band morphed into. i’d say GET YOUR FACT STRAIGHT, but asking that of this slanted, biased hackjob article would be asking faaaaaar too much.

  3. NandabaNaota

    March 23, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Terrible, awful inaccurate rehashing of Oi! (not ‘oi’) history. Quite how Skrewdriver could be a record label ploy to ‘meet the growing skinhead phenomenon of Sham 69 and Angelic Upstarts’ when a) Sham were not a skinhead band and b) Skrewdriver predated the Upstarts, evades me. Along with Slaughter and Cock Sparrer (who dubbed their sound ‘skinhead rock’), Skrewdriver are one of the first skinhead bands in the punk era. In the first ever article in Sounds magazine about the new breed of skins and punks soon dubbed Oi! by Garry Bushell, the likes of The 4-Skins, The Exploited, The Cockney Rejects and Blitz were hailed as the sons of The Sex Pistols via Menace, Slaughter and, guess who, Skrewdriver. ‘All Skrewed Up’ still more than stands up today and boasts a unique sound that influenced many later bands – most obviously The Templars. The inclusion of the quote from Combat 84 here is bizarre.

    Chiswick didn’t drop the band because of any political affiliations, these were not to become apparent in Ian Stuart until some years later. While original guitarist Phil Walmsley voiced his displeasure at Stuart’s later version of Skrewdriver, it is however worth mentioning that original drummer Grinny Grinton later joined Stuart in the National Front. Grinny also played in and recorded with Shane MacGowan’s pre-Pogues outfit The Nips. Skrewdriver’s restart was not in 1983 as stated here but 1982 with the classic ‘Back With a Bang’ single.

    But most importantly, you don’t listen to ‘All Skrewed Up’ to ‘examine’ it, you listen to it to hear the rock ‘n’ roll. If you like it, you like it and if you don’t like it, you don’t like it and nobody fucking cares either way especially not forty years after the fucking fact. Punk was a here today and gone tomorrow thing that just happened to endure – with the controversy of their later incarnation, Skrewdriver have perhaps unfortunately endured more than many other obscure ’77 also-rans. If you’re going to discuss this record, at the very least give it the credit it deserves and can the analysis that, as demonstrated, is largely rooted in this author’s inaccuracies.

  4. jockney

    August 5, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    i really do think its time to forget about skrewdriver and ian stuart. im almost positive that chiswick no longer release the lp’ I saw the band in 1987,they were shit. i went trying to keep an open mind as to what i would see and hear and by the end of the night i was a total anti nazi. the hate and ignorance was sickening.

  5. Ben Schmidt

    August 5, 2015 at 4:59 am

  6. Ry An

    August 5, 2015 at 12:57 am

    The Digital Octopus cover of “I don’t like you” go look for it.

  7. Elías MV

    August 4, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    I think the whole “People only like this record to try to seem edgy” argument is getting to be more prevalent (and thus, tiring) than the whole “Man, I’m so edgy, I love Skrewdriver. I’m into the early stuff before they were racist.” spiel. It’s 2015, no one gets to freak anybody out and come across as ‘edgy’ by owning this anymore. I love how the article makes a point of critizicing this record by referencing lyrics by Combat 84, a band with well known and publicized racist/right wing sentiments.
    It’s a pretty decent record, makes sense owning it if you’re into 70s punk, nothing more, nothing less.

    Also, there’s no official reissue of this, at least not on Ace/Chiswick as the article states. There are many repro/bootlegs that sport the Chiswick logo/labels, though. Official label websites are your fact checking friends!

  8. William Tuck

    August 4, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Racist or not this record pales in comparison to other bands of the era.

  9. Aaron Porkstick Miller

    August 4, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    I enjoyed that. Thanks for the flashback!

  10. Hugh Iarthar Bhéal Feirste

    August 4, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    All Skrewed Up was shit and on par with the shit that followed it with the only difference being in that which followed Skrewdriver found themselves an ultra nationalist white power niche to latch onto which masked their lack of talent and made them popularly marketable to knuckle dragging neanderthals.

  11. Rick Christie

    August 4, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Fuck Skrewdriver and that cunt Donaldson.

  12. Christopher Peach

    August 4, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    A lot of punks love to argue that if you used to be punk, you were NEVER punk. Why doesn’t Skrewdriver fall into that category?

  13. Ian Kerr Barron

    August 4, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Nazi Punks Fuck Off. Everything about Skrewdriver is wrong and I’d happily shit on Ian Donaldson’s grave.

  14. Spawn Pun

    August 4, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    All ima say is NAZIS CANT DRIVE! B|

  15. Purdy Monroe Ian

    August 4, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    I used to be one of those that said “oh it was before they were racist”. The songs are catchy and shallow. But as I grow older, I have a harder and harder time throwing even unintentional clandestine support behind that dead racist fuck. I’ve been feeling the same way about Burzum lately.

  16. Clancy Ben

    August 4, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    oi oi great record!

  17. Ivana Zeri

    August 4, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    A great sounding disc!!

  18. Re Hab

    August 4, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Alec Eberhardt

  19. Cooper Huckabee

    August 4, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Angelic Upstarts were not a skinhead band.

  20. Timothy D White

    August 4, 2015 at 10:03 am

    I actually like that album quite a bit; it’s every bit as good as any of what their contemporaries were putting out at the time.

  21. Brandon Stench

    August 4, 2015 at 10:00 am

    All Skrewdriver sucks shit.

  22. Gabriel Cardoso

    August 4, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Alan Michel Brasseur

  23. Thomas Proskow

    August 4, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Saw this record at a punk vinyl shop in Osaka!

  24. Chris Mason

    August 4, 2015 at 9:20 am

    I bought a Skrewdriver shirt last week on ebay…

  25. Edwin Oslan

    August 4, 2015 at 9:07 am

    smh, these guys again? Who cares? Their first album is just a bunch of okay, passable Who and Ramones riffs – not worth the time spent unless you’ve exhausted every single other band out of the class of ’76/’77 and I’m pretty sure none of you have heard the Models, the Rings or the Cigarettes.

  26. Cög Stiedy

    August 4, 2015 at 8:56 am


  27. Lau Ra

    August 4, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Guglielmo Domenico Lora

  28. Peter Micanovic

    August 4, 2015 at 8:34 am


  29. Ryan Richards

    August 4, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Why is it ok to listen to GG Allin but not Skrewdriver? Its just music people, stop being a bunch of pussies. If you like it, who cares? If you dont, who fucking cares?

    • Rick Christie

      August 4, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      Because GG hated everybody. He was a misanthrope with severe mental problems. Not just a stupid asshole racist.

    • James M. Oliver

      August 4, 2015 at 4:38 pm

      Yeah GG was a mess from early childhood and deserves a modicum of compassion. Watch Hated it’s clear he was no racist.

  30. Preston Ell

    August 4, 2015 at 7:33 am

    RAC blows and it’s influence on other genres really just baffles me. One of the worst trends for a split second was black metal bands trying to incorporate this godawful attempt at rock music into their music. End result was shit musicianship, shit people, shit records, and a basket of pure fucking irony.

    • Kadesh Le Morte

      August 4, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      like that black and roll bullshit or what?

    • Preston Ell

      August 4, 2015 at 12:19 pm

      yeah that shit sucks too. I’m talking more about early Absurd and their ilk though. They notably got better and less fascist-y after the original members dipped but they still get releases put out through notable NSBM labels.

    • Martin W-ilckens

      August 4, 2015 at 11:24 pm

      “less fascisty”?? He’s still a leading person in ns(bm) scene and its distribution, even more than in the first yeras of Absurd.

    • Preston Ell

      August 5, 2015 at 4:50 am

      Lyrically from what I know it seems to be more ambiguous. In no way are they any less connected to the NSBM shit stains.

    • Luka Sigar

      August 5, 2015 at 12:13 pm

      Shit stains?Classic antifa tolerance right there.

    • Preston Ell

      August 5, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      lol because nazis are notorious for their tolerance

    • Preston Ell

      August 5, 2015 at 12:16 pm

      clean the doritos out of your neckbeard when you’re done.

  31. Jeffery Beckman

    August 4, 2015 at 7:32 am

    Pride (In the Name of RAC)

  32. Josh Barnes

    August 4, 2015 at 6:30 am

    It’s Chiswick records and they never reissued the release

  33. Devlin McCarthy

    August 4, 2015 at 6:28 am

    Also, if you can’t appreciate the hilarity of spreading the message of white supremacy through the liberal application of half-assed Chuck Berry riffs you are dead inside.

  34. Darren Nonversation

    August 4, 2015 at 6:23 am

    Fuck em.

  35. Devlin McCarthy

    August 4, 2015 at 6:19 am

    I’d have to say that “Boots and Braces” is superior to “All Skrewed Up”, and still doesn’t contain anything too outwardly objectionable.

  36. Rondale Miller

    August 4, 2015 at 6:08 am

    I remember that, wow.

  37. Kaje Annihilatrix

    August 4, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Still a better band than Oasis.

  38. Dano Sancho

    August 4, 2015 at 5:19 am

    Walter Mcdonald

  39. Mike Miczek

    August 4, 2015 at 5:11 am

    Glad he’s dead.

  40. Timothy Fife

    August 4, 2015 at 5:08 am

    Great article

  41. Christopher Bickel

    August 4, 2015 at 4:58 am

    Glad y’all didn’t really give them a pass here. I actually have most of their records (a lifetime of working in record stores and obsessively collecting anything “punk” related, coupled with “I’d rather these be in a home where they will be laughed at rather than one in which they can poison minds”). Their “white power” records ARE laughable. The stupid “soulful” singing of Stewart is painful. All Skrewed Up is a *decent* album, that gets far too much praise from people trying to be “edgy” by saying “I love Skrewdriver. I’m into the early stuff before they were racist.” The fact is that the record isn’t that great. There were literally hundreds of similar sounding bands from that time period that were better. People only want to point to this record BECAUSE of the shock value of their later material. Otherwise you’d hear the name, say, Infa-Riot mentioned as much as Skrewdriver among people name-dropping early skin records they’re into. But you don’t, because that wouldn’t attract as much attention. Anyway, this was a good piece. Keep it up, CVLT Nation.

  42. Alexander Argento

    August 4, 2015 at 4:27 am

    y u hatin’?

  43. Corrance Bartholomew OfMoray

    August 4, 2015 at 4:19 am

    Why give this band any attention?

  44. Santi S Iñiguez

    August 4, 2015 at 4:17 am

    As much as tge band offends some, they do have some catchy tunes.

  45. PI Made

    August 4, 2015 at 2:47 am

    omg, dont spread this nazi trash / good night white pride !!!

  46. Ben Schmidt

    August 4, 2015 at 2:21 am

    Man I can’t believe Ian Stuart was a homo sexual! Shame he never had a chance to come out like his best mate Nicky Crane.

  47. Julio Mala Vida

    August 4, 2015 at 2:01 am

    Great album!!

  48. Steve Millender

    August 4, 2015 at 2:00 am

    I have all the Skrewdriver Lps, All of them are Brilliant . Mouse

    • Matthias Iscariot

      August 4, 2015 at 2:30 am

      I suppose you consider Mein Kampf brilliant too. Tosser.

    • Ronald Lhn

      August 4, 2015 at 2:41 am

      Hail victory and the strong survive really sucked, to each is own

    • Steve Millender

      August 4, 2015 at 2:42 am

      I have read it , it is an Interesting read, but the better book is the Turner Daries .

    • Mike McGuinness

      August 4, 2015 at 3:06 am

      Actually, freedom, what freedom? Was the worst album. Imop.

    • Matthias Iscariot

      August 4, 2015 at 3:06 am

      White power fuckheads like you are what’s wrong with this world.

    • Steve Millender

      August 4, 2015 at 3:14 am

      Matthias Iscariot, I’m of No Power for anyone , But you were so eager to judge, not even knowing anything about me , I thought I would goat you and sure enough just like a sheep .

    • Matthias Iscariot

      August 4, 2015 at 4:18 am

      Bullshit Steve. Looking at your page, it’s pretty evident you’re fucking racist.

    • Steve Millender

      August 4, 2015 at 4:20 am

      Separatist, Yes I am , Racist No, I believe every culture deserves its own homeland and village to grow in .

    • Enno Evers

      August 4, 2015 at 4:42 am

      In other words “Foreigners, get the fuck out of the lands and villages you’re not supposed to ‘grow’ in!” ?

    • Marek Žiška

      August 4, 2015 at 4:55 am

      >giving attention to people that dont even know how to use capital lettets

      Y tho

    • Francis Cotton

      August 4, 2015 at 5:58 am

      Your ideology, even if we’re to buy into this ‘separatist’ bollocks, would necessarily involve ethnic cleansing. You are a racist fucking idiot.

    • Harry Bauer-Obstler

      August 4, 2015 at 6:13 am

      Ethnic Cleansing was a great band too.

    • Ian Borden

      August 4, 2015 at 9:54 am

      Hey Steve Millender, how does it feel to know that in 500 years everyone is going to be mixed race and that all cutlures and races originated in Africa? How about the idea that you can honor and respect your own and others cultures whitout separating them?

    • Ian Borden

      August 4, 2015 at 9:55 am

      Also you’re a dickneck.

    • Patrick Carabin Gardner

      August 4, 2015 at 10:13 am

      Ahhhh, fighting bigotry with bigotry. Awesome stuff.

    • Slade Garrett Croy

      August 4, 2015 at 10:32 am

      my children are pakistani,black,white and mexican. did i just accidentally a war?

    • Steve Millender

      August 4, 2015 at 11:15 pm

      Look folks It is great you believe in what you believe in, I believe in what I believe in, Your opinions of me will never change what I believe in neither will the name calling and all other nonsense , just like I could sit here and say your all Leftists Pieces of shit , But I won’t because it would do no good . So thank you and Move on with your lives , I know I will. Hail Skrewdriver!!!

    • Tony Martin

      August 4, 2015 at 11:19 pm

      Everyone has a right to their own beliefs. Some people just “hate” that.

  49. David Marote

    August 4, 2015 at 1:38 am

    Christophe 😉

  50. Steve Härländ

    August 4, 2015 at 1:20 am

    Garbage, no one would give it a second glance if it wasn’t for the ‘sketchy’ aspect of it owing to the direction Skrewdriver took with the whole ‘RAC’ shit

    • Matthew Arīmanius

      August 4, 2015 at 3:32 am

      I own it fully understanding that the later albums are unfortunate and quite bad – and I despise fascism and NS quite virulently.

      I do think however this is a highly enjoyable punk album, what is so unbelievable about that? Why ignore the other band members who were more than the sum of their parts and managed to create a pretty good record?

    • Marek Žiška

      August 4, 2015 at 3:45 am

      Because punks have a pavlovian reflex to anything that could have something in common with nazis. Their brains just turn off and they go into full Gumby mode.

    • Steve Härländ

      August 4, 2015 at 4:17 am

      Not at all I just do not rate it

  51. Matthew Arīmanius

    August 4, 2015 at 1:08 am

    Terrific album.

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