Sunday, 12 January 2014

OTAN - El Indominable - 7" - 2006

OTAN hailed from Barcelona and who over the years have become regulars and good friends in my life. This ep hit me like a brick when I first played it and it hasn't lost any of it's impact. A record you play to those mates who have been scarred over the years by pretend-radical bands spouting what proved to ultimately be insincere slogans. Whether you happen to speak Spanish and are able to follow the lyrics word for word or not won't matter. The rabid passion and utter sincerity will be apparent to all from the second the needle meets the vinyl and it's obvious this is music played by punks who put their absolute whole into every single track. Punks who don't feel the need to hide themselves behind elaborate caveats, increasingly non-sensical methaphors or purposely vague lyrical "poetry", but who instead continue to proudly proclaim their total belief in their anarchist politics and the rightness of their cause through the sharp short shocks medium of punk and everything else they do. As far as I know, Otan is sadly no more, but their impact is continued to be felt in their home town and on increasingly far away shores.
¡Viva la revolución social! !Viva la anarquía!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

SOLPÄÄTOS - 7" - 2013

By now there is quite an established tradition of punks taking being inspired by a scene in another place and/or time to the extreme; not only copying the sound, but even singing in the same language, often one very different from their own. A wonderfully crazy, fun and life-affirming thing if you ask me. Don't you just love the human race and establishly the subspecies called "punk"?!  The practise appears to be especially popular in Japan and like LAUKAUS and POIKKEUS (1st ep & Konton Damaging Ear Massacre-era) before them, SOLPÄÄTOS take their cues from the 80s Finnish hardcore punk scene. Don't be lulled into thinking this is somehow some throw away sub-par copycat excercise though. This is absolutely top tier hardcore punk and while the influences are definitely worn proudly on their (studded jacket's) sleeves, they are being dragged into 2013 with impressively devastating effect.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

ENEWETAK - The Easyrider Sessions Vol 1 - 7" - 1996

Enewetak's classic 1996 7". I've been digging this out a lot again the last few weeks. Still raging. Fellow travellers of the likes of Unruh and Gehenna so if you can hang with the more metallic waves that started hitting the hardcore punk shores in the 90s, have a listen.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

SEX DWARF - Full Av Aska - 7" - 2013

Stockholm-based hardcore punk powerhouse. Brilliant name, all ye old-timers will no doubt fondly remember the controversy that song-title originally caused. No surprise then this band isn't made up of a bunch of teenage kids, but done by a bunch of absolute lifers. Many people reading this will remember Per Thunell, who's new band this is, from his earlier bands Filthy Christians, Protest Bengt and Bruce Banner. This is on D-Takt & Råpunk Records so you know what to expect both style and quality wise. Total rager.

HAIL MARY - All Aboard The Sinking Ship - lp - 1999

When they properly hit the scene in the late 90s/early 00s, Hail Mary very much felt like the natural next step in the evolution of their New York area sound/scene to me, channelling the likes of Born Against and Eucharist, albeit with their own distinct and updated twist. I seem to remember the band expressing surprise at these comparisons in interviews at the time, but whether that was a classic case of musicians focussing on different elements in their music than their audience or a bunch of punks just not wanting to be perceived as copying someone else I don't know. The fact they released this LP on Born Against's Sam McPheeters's  Vermiform records, including artwork done by him, probably didn't help. Whatever the case, most reviewers appeared to make the same connection I just did above, but like me also never saw them as a mere copycat. This felt like a natural progression, and after well over a decade it still packs the same fresh punch it did when the needle first hit the grooves. Despite releasing a string of seriously raging records and featuring members of, at the time well-known, bands like Conniption, Monster X, Dropdead and Limp Wrist, Hail Mary still appear to be somewhat overlooked. Given what a total monster this lp is, definitely something to rectify quickly in case you're one of the people doing the overlooking...

Saturday, 17 August 2013

CRIMINAL DAMAGE - Call Of Death - lp - 2013

Though the innersleeve picture of the band hanging out on some nice park steps, as opposed to the more traditional "leaning against a shitty brick wall", could have been taking in the quiet East Sussex town known for it's high proportion of pensioners, this is not the same band who appeared on the 2nd A Country Fit For Heroes compilation. This is very much Portland Not Eastbourne. Though sharing the same name and many of the same influences, this Oregon-based band with the His Hero Is Gone/Tragedy connection have been a little bit more productive during their time as a band. On this, their third lp, they once again proudly display a very heavy debt to No Future era Blitz, packing it with the kind of top tier proper punk tunes which would have had their 80s namesakes drunkenly dance around to it in approval. Released by the mighty Feral Ward, always a mark of quality, this is definitely one you don't want to miss.

BURIAL - Renegade - 12" - 2013

BURIAL's new (2013) record might have only been released a few weeks ago, but it already has spent a lot of time on my recordplayer. I struggle being concise at the best of time, uttering the phrase "I like the sound of my own voice" at least a few times a week by way of apologyy, so will just quote you the extremely 
apt describtion I just read in a distro list so I can go back to watching the football; "minimal artwork bearing maximum power. BURIAL's best recordings to date developing their very own brand of mayhemic brutality!". Summs it up. I did a gig for them in Brighton the other year, foolishly thinking the punks wouldn't care about the consumer holidays like "valentine's day". I was wrong and turn-out was much too low for what they deserved. They still gave their all. Great band, good people, amazing record.