X-Ray Spex's neon dystopia of plastic airtight repression was flash-frozen in time on Germ Free Adolescents. Notable right off the bat are the squealing, in-and-out of tune saxophone and the distinct wail of singer Poly Styrene. Poly's obsession with consumerism, disposable culture, and the air-conditioned nightmare informs her lyrics, but her soulful voice and sharp sense of humor keep it cheerfully surreal. The band released one more album after this, but it was underwhelming and overshadowed by Styrene's growing mental illness, UFO sightings, and adoption of Hare Krishna. Sadly, she died earlier this year after recording a fairly promising handful of new songs. Still, this album stands as tribute to her Orwellian love and pessimism for the human race.
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