English punk rock band that was formed in 1977, which promoted anarchism as a political ideology, way of living, and as a resistance movement. Crass popularized the seminal anarcho-punk movement of the punk subculture, and advocated direct action, animal rights, and environmentalism. The band both utilised and advocated a DYI punk ethnic approach, producing sound collages, graphics, albums, and films. Crass also criticised mainstream culture and attempted to subvert it with messages promoting feminism, anti-racism, anti-war, and anti-globalization.
Crass practiced “direct action” by spray-painting stenciled graffiti messages around the London Underground system and on advertising billboards, coordinating squats, and organising political action. The band also expressed its ideals by dressing in black, military surplus-style clothing, and using a stage backdrop which amalgamated several “icons of authority” including the Christian Cross, the swastika, the Union Flag, and an Ouroboros.
The band were critical of punk subculture itself, as well as wider youth culture in general. Crass promoted the type of anarcho-pascifism that eventually became more common in the punk music scene (seeanarcho-punk). They are also considered involved with the art-punk genre, due to their use of tape collages, graphics, spoken word releases, poetry and improvisation.