Monday, 7 July 2008
2008, Tadpole Records, UK
1. Arms Trade. Death Trade
2. Hate Of The Holy
3. Smash The Labs
The second of three singles released this year. Burnt Cross are a new band comprising two brothers from Brighton. They create a powerful dosage of anarcho punk through the use of computer equipment and drums machines, as I said, they’re a two man band. Due to that fact they’ve been likened to Cress and although I hear similarities they’re not as crusty or industrial, more drawing influences from in your face straight thinking Mortarhate bands such as Conflict and Exit-Stance.
I’ve been constantly impressed by the quality of their out put since their inception. I posted this single because, for me, the first track “Arms Trade, Death Trade” is a future classic. It’s singalong tune brings home the fearsome political distain contained within. It’s particularly pertinent as, I believe, it’s a reference to the Smash EDO campaign. The campaign is against some dirty fucking bastards who are so warped and twisted they don’t really see anything wrong in making missile guidance systems. The campaign has been really successful and has politicised a lot of local residents. As a result, everybody’s favourite little bitches, the Police, have replied in kind with censorship of any sympathetic media, and cowardly violence.
The problem with music like this is that you can not sit at home, listen to it an enjoy it. The only place in entertainment it has is as a theme to some video of rioting. Despite being a cracking little release, I can’t play this without fear of being incited to go out onto the streets and demonstrate.
All three 7”s are limited to 200 copies each. The label, Tadpole, which is a relatively new UK label is download to their last copies, so you better be quick if you want one! Americans should try Hardcore Holocaust.
1985, AA Records, Japan
1. I Can’t Trust A Woman
2. Get The Glory
The irrepressible Laughin’ Nose, one of Japan’s oldest and most well known punk bands. They’ve been going since the early 80s with their music transcending the punk ghetto. I have met quite a few Japanese people in the last year, and of course, none of them are punk. But, most of them know Laughin’ Nose! One girl had even broken her ribs crowd surfing to them back in the day.
I first heard them on the (bootlegged) “Great Punk Hits” (featuring front man Charmy on the cover) and “Hardcore Unlawful Assembly” compilations. Between the blown-out fuzz and metallic thrash styling’s of such contemporaries as GISM, Outo and Lipcream, there was Laughin’ Nose, to break things up and take the edge off things with their own enthusiastic brand of anthemtic, energetic melodic punk rock. These songs are just so damn catchy and fun, and after some seriously intense music, both politically and musically, I thought I could do with lightening the mood.
As I said, they are still going and have tons of records out, of which I have a couple. When I go to Japan later in the year, I hope to find more both easily and cheaply. These recordings come from 1985, but I believe they were originally released on AA as far back as 1980. What’s interesting about this record is the catalogue number states PR for promo, yet there is an 1000 Yen price tag on the sleeve. Charmy, their singer, was also involved in the production of the legendary Punk On Wave magazine.
"Come on nuts, have some fun tonight, oi oi oi!"
Laughin’ Nose Website. Laughin’ Nose Myspace.
Sunday, 6 July 2008
2003, La Vida Es Un Mus Records, UK
1. God Forgotten Place
2. Saving Selfishness
3. Prove Me Wrong
4. Manichean Scheme
6. How Much Really Can I Hate
7. A Minute Of Silence
8. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi
9. No. 3
10. Actually, You Said Nothing
11. Innocent Lamb
12. Save Them From The Abyss Of Forgetfulness
13. Confirmation Killing
14. Something For Nothing (White Cross)
Another one of my favourite records. The third and final release from Israel’s premier hardcore band. Now deceased, all their material has been reissued as a discography 12” on Alerta Antifascista.
This is fucking brutal hardcore, nothing like it. Sometimes it’s so relentless with the drumming it falls into grind territory, and the vocals are something else, thick Hebrew sang from the back of the throat. A highly politicised band, I guess coming from Israel you have to be, with a strong anti-Zionist message. All the songs in some away are related to the conditions in their homeland.
I believe the singer is now in Smartat Kahol Lavan, whose 7” I hope to share with you soon.
Saturday, 5 July 2008
1997?, Peace Punk Records, Japan
1. A Balance Of War
2. Worthless Wars
3. Kids In Africa
Been really getting into the noise/raw punk thing recently, and this is one of the better ones I’ve come across, it’s heavy on the Scandicore sound. Comes in an undersized, 6” sleeve. There’s actually four tracks on this one-sided record, though the last one is unlisted. It’s a cover of a classic old Swedish band. As Rolf would say, can you guess what it is yet?
2007, DIY, Japan
5. Yomi No Utage
I got this sent through with a record trade I did with some geezer in Japan. One of the best things about collecting music is getting something you’ve never heard of, have no interest in, playing and being floored. Despite this being a demo, it’s one of the best releases I’ve heard in the last few years.
I can’t tell you anymore about the guys other than they had a website, but it’s gone, they feature two members of Finnish-style thrash Laukaus, and they’ve now split up. High octane energetic thrash bubbling over with enthusiasm like only the Japanese can do. Would be great to see this on vinyl some day.
Here’s some great footage of them playing live:
1997, Flat Earth/ Rufusenik Records, UK
1. Fortress Europe
3. Bombed Out
4. Scream Inside
5. Seized Up
6. Smoke Screen
7. Strategically Unimportant
8. Spreek Op Of Anders
9. Avenging The Dead
A pretty apt follow up to the last post. Made 10 years (approx) after Generic’s debut, this record features on guitar, previous Generic/ One By One member Mickey.
It’s hard to pick your favourite record as there are so many out there - but after years of careful deliberation, I decided that if I had to go somewhere and could only take one 7” and one 12”, this would be the EP! For me, it is everything a hardcore record should be, it sets the standard. The packaging is incredible - a 16 page card booklet full with the beautiful cut and paste artwork and pen and ink drawings. The lyrics are highly intelligent, critical and political with out being dogmatic or mere sloganeering, and the music, well the music is something else. The booklet, which is worth the record alone, is fully scanned and included in the download.
This was one of the first hardcore records I bought. I remember been blow away by the sheer pulverising force of the first track, “how is this punk rock?” I remember asking myself. From start to finish it is just one intense stream of passion, each song perfectly leading into the next. Try singing a long with the words - I can get maybe half way through the first song before loosing it completely. The vocalists, yes there’s two, have some weird smokey Darth Vader-ish sound going on. There’s even a jazz piano kicking in towards the end! In later records they were to sample extreme-white-noise/power electronics.
I believe there’s 3600 copies floating around in various pressings. The initial 3000 on Flat Earth/ Enslaved have the brown sleeve as shown above, but there was a later repress on Enslaved, which had two different variations. 100 copies had the same artwork but screened on black in blue card, while a further 500 had a new gold design on blue card.
Nick, one of the singers, ran Enslaved records and later went onto sing in Boxed In, while Karin, the other vocalist had previously served time in One By One. Jonathon Lobster, the guitarist, sadly passed away last year. Before that, he recorded with Southampton based thrashers Minute Manifesto, who I hope to share with you sometime in the future.
1986, Flat Earth Records UK
1. Making A Killing
2. Join The Conspiracy
3. Caught Like A Rat
4. The Oldest Trick In The Book
My first post, and a great place to start; the first release from what I consider one of the most important punk labels of the 90s? Of all time: Flat Earth Records.
A classic, often over looked slab of wax that is debatably one of the first UKHC records. It’s often argued that Hardcore was started by the Americans, who took what the Sex Pistols led ‘77 punk movement had and speed it up while they dressed it down, playing a faster more aggressive style. This wasn’t just punk, this was “hardcore punk.” A couple of years after punk reared it’s monstrous head in the UK, a second wave of bands, such as Discharge and Abrasive Wheels appeared playing music faster, rougher and more politicised than in the Sex Pistols’ day yet they kept their punk tag. For me it’s all hardcore, but with this record, Generic’s first after a (cracking) demo tape, they demonstrated that they were one of the first UK bands to step away from the Riot City/D-Beat formulae, and create something that traces it’s influence from many different musical places.
On this record you’ll hear furious thrash, filthy throat-cancer crust vocals, intense heavy bits and thoughtful ambiance all speed up and slowed down, mashed up all over shop, when these guys felt like it. They went on to progress their style incorporate influences from heavy/prog rock (they even covered Pink Floyd’s “Wall”!) but always kept their political-protest edge. Two more 7”s and two split 12”s (with Electro Hippies and Mortal Terror) were to follow. This 7” was put out in two identical pressings of 1000 copies each.
This record is not only important because it’s a powerful cut of music, but because it was the first release on Flat Earth records, a label that went on in the 1990s to document a some incredible English/Scottish bands (aswell as international) and release some of the most important records of that decade. Micky, the guitarist and Sned the drummer, who had previously released a split flexi as Blood Robots went onto to form One By One, and after that, many other classic bands.
Flat Earth closed it’s doors to releasing records a few years ago, at the time a Generic discography was planned. It still exists as a distro: http://www.flatearth.freeonline.co.uk