Sunday, 20 July 2014

Scumheads - Demo 2014

Discombobulated nitwit noisepunk from Ireland in the Wankys/Swankys/Vaginors/Dislike vein, squawking over fuzz, manic and careening onwards like trollies with jacked-up wheels being flung down hills, mirroring the insouciant chaos and prickling agitation of childish or adolescent needs and impulses. I'm a Dog and Shitty Kitty indulging in animal inanity, like the screeched and tortured remnant's of children's ditties. Smell and Problem sweatsticky squeals of hormone and odours, crashing apart. Stick Fight's a burst of roughly orchestrated violence, Scumheads are the moment when it stops being fun and games and someone loses an eye.  The hopped up glee of Sex Music's feverish pogo "I LIKE GIRLS AND I LIKE BOYS/I LIKE SEX AND I LIKE TOYS/BUT MOST OF ALL I LIKE NOIZE!". The blackly comic stump-punk of Perfect for War: "I GOT NO HEAD/I GOT NO ARMS/MADE OF CHICKEN LEGS/AND BITS OF STRAW/I'M THE PERFECT MAN/PERFECT FOR WAR!" Scumheads writhe around showing off a venereal love for dischord and noise, exhibiting a smile that you know isn't a happy one at a world animalised and bloody, stomping in puddles of shit and phlegm, kicking rocks, breaking the few things that aren't already broken, caught up following the simplistic and inchoate logic of a mind that could be still-forming, or half-dead and acid-decayed.



Friday, 18 July 2014

Los Monjo - La Vida Que Todos Envidian LP

Catchy Eskorbutan punk from a bunch of Mexican brothers (and a cousin) out on Discos MMM and Trabuc Records. Los Monjo are all about getting dug into you with those thick melodic basslines up front, cymbal rattles and guitar swishing away in the back, so low in songs like Herederos De Miseria as to sometimes feel like gentle crackling echoes. The vocals are sharp and mean, drawling, shouting, never mellow but never losing their biting clarity. Al Filo De Una Era chops through a mid-tempo Adolescents kinda groove, the catchy bass and perfect retreat, crouch and pounce dynamics of Adolescents' finest moments is all over this record. Rock Basura snatches one of those soulworm simple guitar lines and rides through on a courageous chug. La Vida Que Todos Envidian is eight new punk anthems to dance and nod to. These songs hit with the sweet tang of punk classics remembered, punk futures kicked into gear.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

S.H.I.T. - Collective Unconsciousness EP

Rushing reaping hardcore punk from Toronto's S.H.I.T., ready to rearrange face and brains, fit for blowing up rooms. Vocals dragged roughly out of throats and echoing away with the dynamo pace, retching over the collision of body and society, mind and matters, writhing and snatching clumsily in flat bursts of alienation, sex negative. Pressing onwards, crashing forwards. S.H.I.T. lay down four punk rippers, exigent, rowdy. Collective Unconsciousness wails on the blankness "SEDATED SOCIETY/APATHETIC INSANITY/SEDATED SOCIETY/CATATONIC REALITY", Masochism is power structures of bedrooms splayed out in the social sprawl, the political game, gimps and kinksters all, whips and taxes and corruption in every corner, and we take it. "POWER IS THEIR PLEASURE AND PAIN IS DIVINE/YOU CARRY THE WHIP AS IT EATS YOUR HIDE". Nobody Knows Anybody slams at the barriers between and on The Stimulator, S.H.I.T. get physical, crawling with desire, stamping out a minute of lust in the guitar churn "I NEED SENATION/I NEED A CHEMICAL REACTION/INFECTIOUS CRAVING STIMULATION" disgusted with both its wants and its inability to channel, process, said wants. There's a lot of creeping grief in the world, a lot of uncomfortably empty spaces and formless evil shit waiting to fill in the gaps, S.H.I.T. see that. S.H.I.T. show it off. S.H.I.T. body it.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Various Artists - Who's A Punk? The Very Best of British Punksploitation LP

"You sold your leather jacket
You sold your DM boots 
Took a ride in to the city
Bought yourself a three-piece suit
PSEUDO PUNK!"
- O-Level - Pseudo Punk

"CD reissues of unknown gems, and the internet-driven mass availability of everything instantly, mean pop culture's past is growing more rapidly than its present. Our sassiest sons and daughters are beyond our command, foraging far from whatever is drip-fed to them by broadcast media, and digging all manner of cross-generational guff." - Stewart Lee

As so many tedious cunts are fond of telling us, in talking head TV shows, in heavy farts of serious proclamations in broadsheet newspapers, bad memoirs: "PUNK CHANGED EVERYTHING!" The call of '77 holds a powerful pull. It gave said tedio-twats a new ground zero to base their reductive turning-point culturual histories on. You can find endless musings on the influence of the Clash, the Sex Pistols, the Ramones, the Damned, the New York Dolls, thousands upon thousands of words fixating on this point in time, reciting the same anecdotes about the 100 Club, the Bromley Contingent, the Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall, the King's Road.

When rock music MEANT SOMETHING, when it thugged itself down to its base impulses, the raw pop, the two-minute scuttle, when it smashed the self-indulgence of prog to shit bits, before it built itself back up into the self-indulgence of cock rock. That brief moment when we were free, bright and colourful in the dingy gloom of the late-70s, before it all became homogenised, safe, stolen. Before punk died.

Ah, fuck off.

Yeah it was big thing, evidently, it was a glorious great fucking thing. But to strip it down to a few choice singles, to dress it up as a clean narrative of Anglo-American whiteboy cool that burnt itself out immediately, is to gussy it up in the most boring way. Killing history, and not in the cool way of killing history like nutcase futurists wanking off over concrete and machines did, but just stuffing the mess into a tidy digestible nugget, to swallow, to file away, to put on a pedestal and forget. Cos there was that, there was the shit everyone and their dog knows about, but there was so much more. In any cultural shift, any explosion of genre, the hanger-ons abound, the squealing wannabes,  the forgotten geniuses too weird or strung out to put it all together for more than one short blast. Swirling about in the cultural detritus of punk rock. Punk rock, with its obsession with fleeting joys, with ineptitude and idiocy, secret histories in limited pressings, ritualistic violence in reclaimed spaces. The perfect genre for the dumb ephemera to gets its due.

Such cultural disposables are what KBD comps are made of, leading to carboot cratediggers flipping through disc after disc, box after box of passable and bog-standard boogies looking for that one special moment, when something, some of that teenage hate, love, talent and idiocy combined and punk rock, in all its stabbing freshness, was played right, if there is any right way for it to be played. And then with those incompetent punx savants, you've got the buzzing bandwagon scramblers try to eke out a few sticky quid from its temporary ubiquitousness, the passing and the past-it trying to latch onto a new sound. The fake punks.

So here's Who's a Punk: The Very Best of British Punksploitation, an unofficial comp LP following on Je Suis Punk: The Very Best of European Punksploitation, which puts together some of the most brazen scampunk, the most on-the-nose parodies, to come burbling up in the fag-end of the first wave of punk. Containing songs like Airship's Gimme a Can of Spraypaint (featuring a dude who wrote Eurovision songs) and Radio Active's Alltime Needletime Loser (released on the BBC's record label making it a state-funded punk banger), weird things, offcuts, the finest collection of cash-ins, pastiches and pisstakes that those wild pre-Thatcherite years had to offer and it's so damn good.

It's a comp where the songs mostly strike with the same coherent tones, seeing as they're all based on these media-nasty perceptions of punk, those outside of the snarling amorphous beast that is punk rock have always had a clearer vision of its purpose that those struggling, invested and uncomfortably heartbound, inside its contradictions, these narrow stereotypes of unhinged evil youth, filled with tabloid bombast and chortling scoffs at the idiot kids and their idiot ways.

Punksploitation endures, of course, as punk does, in recent times we've had Riff Raff's Kokayne (off his new album Neon Icon) or that Kate Nash song Under-Estimate the Girl from a couple years ago. Kokayne negating the likes of FIDLAR's entire existence with the perfect pop of it's high-as-hell sun-scoured beach-punk sleaze. "Look who it is: the white Chris Rock." Kate Nash's Under-Estimate the Girl seeming to come from a genuine appreciation of the noisy renegade slop of Riot Grrl and Riff Raff, well who knows why Riff Raff does what Riff Raff does, Riff Raff moves in mysterious ways, ours is not to reason why. Plus they're clearly not cash-ins, they're genre-exercises maybe, but there's nothing obvious to be gained financially from detouring into the sounds of punk, which is no longer some freshly blooming cultural phenomenon with record companies chucking wads of fifties at it by the day, it's another part of the musical tapestry, which you can draw from in earnest, or just snaffle bits of to slice into your work, indie, metal, pop or rap. There's not much to exploit, but on Who's a Punk there's still the idea that punk is a next big thing, an open field ready to give up its filthy lucre if you just nail down the punk life accurately enough, with the right balance of funny voices and aggression, keeping these songs all on a fairly narrow line.



Similarly, the songs follow similar structures, generally breaking down in to chuntering punk-spattered rock, where, despite some valiant efforts it never succeeds at quite ripping the stripped-down drive of punk totally free from its older, slower, fancier moorings, pubrock/rockandroll parts shining through the obnoxion, in the mid-tempo boogies, the melodic guitar solos, classic rock lyrical stutters, shined-up garage riffs punctuated by horn squawks, in the organ peaks and the vocals too sweet and smooth to be the bark of unclean urchins and glue-sniffin reprobates. The fakepunks behind these cuts, people who can actually play their instruments really incapable of totally committing to the ugly rushing clumsy energy that the trupunx require.

So there are echoes of Chuck Berry in Steve Voice's School Days and The Monks' Johnny B. Rotten, one a croon of adolescent breakout yearning, twitching energy bogged down in the stunting grey grip of education, "READIN'/WRITIN'/BLEEDIN'/FIGHTIN'/LATIN HOMEWORK IT'S TOO HARD FOR YOO-OO-OOU/YOU DON'T WANNA LEARN", the other dancing round Johnny Rotten's day-to-day existence as half-real punk icon, struggling with the pressures of fame and infamy. "They think I'm crazy so I tell 'em I AM!"




Cos the songs here are well-up on that poser sheen, songs by professional musicians, slipping on a cloak of new wave slime in order to thrash out a couple simple chords, snatch at a couple of simple quid, they've got a deep suspicion of all fronting with that bornpunk, all those who really believe, so they come at it with the brickbats and belittling, pointing out all the silly inconsistencies in punk's new and molten noise, poking holes in it like a ripped-up punk tee: "I pogoed into town when I picked up me dole, I buy a new wave t-shirt but the weather's too cold, ent it funny how they're charging more for the ones with the holes?" jeers Septimus's Do You Wanna Touch My Safety Pin?

And maybe they've got the inklings of a point, punk icons are self-made, Joe Strummer, a man with some of the keenest sense of self-mythology you could come across (see him in the Ramones doc recalling the first meeting between the Clash and the Ramones as if he was some nostalgic teen in thrall to '77 legend wistfully describing a punx take on the fabled Beethoven/Mozart meetin, rather than, you know, Joe fucking Strummer, of the fucking Clash, punk icon, the actual bloke who was climbing into the Ramones dressing room through an alley window in this story). Uber-punk, his pronouncements on what was and wasn't punk rock, often treated as some sort of unimpeachable stone-tablet truth amongst his hopeful acolytes, but he did his time in fairly generic outfits like The 101ers, who were passable but unoriginal, and covered dadrock favourites like the Rolling Stones, a far-cry from Strummer screaming about how "PHONY BEATLEMANIA HAS BITTEN THE DUST" on London Calling's apocalyptic rumble, and they fall by the wayside in the Stalinist (the Russian prick dude, not the Japanese punk band) revisionism of him as an alpha bornpunk, not Joe Strummer was a pub rocker then-en-en-en-en. Johnny Du Cann was a guy who'd done time in Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Thin Lizzy, and here he contributes the defiant fashionpunk Throw Him In Jail, casting the disdain of punk as pure aesthetic jealousy: "THROW HIM IN JAIL BECAUSE IN THE PEOPLE IN THE PARK DON'T LIKE HIM, AND THE PEOPLE IN THE STREET DON'T LIKE THE WAY HE LOOKS/BECAUSE HE ALWAYS LOOKS SO GOOD/THEY THINK THEY LOOK BETTER!". He was one of those older rock guys to whom punk's furious cutdown purity spoke to (like Phil Lynott, like Lemmy) and maybe in an alternate universe in which the 101ers had a bit more time to get established before 1976, The Clash are just some weird cast-off band made up of washed-up try-hards who cracked out a few great violent punk singles, attempts at capturing this new thing, before they disintegrated.



But that doesn't matter, of if it matters it matters in a way that the screams of "POSER!" or "FAKE!" fail to grasp, all The Clash's riotous politics and Ramones-bitin' pigeon-shootin' pissant scrappiness that is just as true as it would've been any other way. What the skepticism of the fakepunks don't get is that the reinvention is the glory of it. Yellow Dog's Down at the Vortex is the tale of the coolest punk girl in town, hardfaced, cool, no-shit-takin. "She'll wait around the bar til you buy her a drink/Then she'll swig it down, spit out and tell you you stink." But then the final verse drops the chugging punk steam and the rock and roll drawl and flips into a twee chatter of typewriters and overly enunciated formalities "But during the day she's a perfect lady of course/She's typing away at the office of her dear old boss", before snapping back into that punk with a blown raspberry. Yeah it's fun to dig in to that trupunx shimmy, to make like D-Clone's raw noisewall Don't Wanna Become Weekend Punk, but so many of us are weekend punx, slipping the vest on on Friday night, changing from work trousers/work shirt into patched-jeans and Infernoh shirts, finding the real joy when we can grab it, saving the freedom for when it's workable. As Yellow Dog puts it "Every night she leaves her office-face behind, she goes down to the club to be with her own kind." They got it there, just as Richard Newman does in the dancefloor transformation of Juvenille City.


The chief creative talent behind Yellow Dog was professional songwriter Kenny Young, the pen behind literally dozens of songs in various genres, most notably: Under the goddamn Boardwalk, a song so timeless even Bruce Willis couldn't fuck it up that much, that sort of professionalism is why the songs on Who's a Punk have hooks for days, earworms that get their silly, safety-pin and spraypaint choruses embedded in your skull for days, get your feet movin' everytime, doin' that trendhop hop. Vortex was co-written by guitarist Herbie Armstrong, who in the last couple years appeared on Britain's Got Talent, continuing his travails from trend to trend, trying to grab that next elusive thing. And not quite getting it. Cos maybe my favourite line in Down at the Vortex is its most egregiously incompetent one, the chorus which proclaims its heroine to be "PUNKIN' AND A-JUNKIN' DOWN AT THE VORTEX!", such a clearly misguided oldfuck stab at what constitutes the language of the young, shot and missed stabs at punk cants and slang, just splaying themselves out in goofy, it tickles the same spot for me as non-anglophone bands smacking their songs full of untutored English-cool, shattered syntax and garbled grammar, instead here it's fumbled . A lot of these songs have those failures, either in their clear tryhard gusto "IT'S A SILLY SILLY LIFE WHEN YER GOBBIN' ON A COP!" as Wozo has it, digging out crunching epenthesis ("GOBBIN ON DA PEOPLE IS A WASTE A SPIT-AH!") in sub-Rotten drawl, Airship's Gimme a Can of Spray Paint and it's brash chant of "I'm bored, I'm bored, I'm really bored and I'm restless!" Many of these songs just don't get it, or they half-get it, they take that shot and they wing it, and in that they illuminate punk from this angle of misapplied, garishly daubed and distorted tropes, the silly voices of Colin Lloyd Bands's Badly Bruised, Slightly Stoned: soft whispers and crossing yelps, the dramatic groan of Horrorcomic's Jesus Crisis "AM I IN HEAVEN OR AM I IN HELL!?" and High Rise Love, by the vilely-monikered Gyppo, the pseudopunk alter-egos of the Gerry Rafferty Band, a piece of selfish vacant cruelty disguise as bleak urban romance, and you can tell it's not realpunk, cos realpunk is bleak urban romance disguised as selfish vacant cruelty, obviously.



FAKE PUNK! Living on the knife-edge of teenage defensiveness and insecurity, an undue amount of time in my life has been spent worrying about being called out as not being punk enough, nervous that someone would call me out for not knowing some Crass lyrics, not being cognizant of a particular classic UK82 record, of thinking the wrong Circle Jerks album was the best, of sneaking into punk rock through the backdoor of Blink-182 and message boards rather than having been born with a clenched fist in the air and I DON'T WANNA BE LEARNED stick and poked across my throat, screaming Black Easter's What the Fuck with my first words.

It didn't happen obviously, because that's way dumb and everyone was probably living through some version of the same silly anxieties, everybody posin' hard like this thing was born in them, because they're scared of how much it means to them, scared of some dim aphasic possibility that it could get snatched away from them, and most of the "YOU'RE NOT PUNK!" finger-pointing probably comes from those just getting out ahead of that. And by the time skinhead did once get angry at me and shout in my face for not singing along at an Off With Their Heads show, that was at a point in my life when I was way past those worries so instead of slinking away mortified I just laughed, the ghost of adolescent terror slipping past easily in the sweat and heat.

I live without those particular anxieties now, but it's a thing, a big thing for a lot of people for a while, patrolling the borders of this particular subcultural hinterland, keen-eyed for intruders, impostors those who will seek to use it for profit, constant arguments and discussions about what really IS punk. Peruse the fake punk tag on tumblr and you'll come across a mix of knowing embraces of these punksploitation highlights, clips of Mexican genre classic Intrepidos Punks and Pain playing on CHiPs, and then seventeen year olds ranting furiously about posers, hipsters, Green Day, Avril Lavigne and the difference between punk and emo. As it should be.

But punk rock is a construct, a construct containing all this beauty, all this crackling, scrabbling life and meaning. A scatty harebrained collision of rebel hells and progressive workings, scathing nihilistic dartings and caustic noise. But it's still a construct, an obviously made-up thing. We're close enough to its birth to remember its very human origins, to still have the bare foundations visible, but far enough away that's properly embedded itself now, in the cultural conscious and in the lives of thousands across this rock.

A relatively new philosopho-musical contraption of roughly codified teenage hate, teenage love, battalions of saints and guerilla incendiary sabotage mutineers, dumb kids disenfranchised, smart kids with a gritty political consciousness aborning, stomping teenage ignorance, painful teenage knowledge, growing up out of it, growing up deeper into it. Quickly being codified and recodified, pushed and prodded, struggling againts edges and redrawing the boundaries of its own internal limits. You can dig in to the political, the fight, the building of new places, safer places, from which to craft and shape your own community, real and tender, a base to mount the struggle from, to fight against bigotry and militarism and all that fascist blankness. And that is some real good shit, real vital work that makes each show, each song worth it so so much.

But then, there's another way to take it, to blow up the ridiculous aspects of it, to invest in the cartoon and to suck in all the spiky ultraviolence and snotty alienation and play the whole stinking lot for rasping choking laughs. And these discussions go on. And you find yourself jumping from side to side from point to point freely, holding the big twirling mass of contradictions and loving punk for its searing noise, for its DIY ethics, for its endless hope and limitless nihilism at the same time. And I still give something of a fuck about what it is and what it isn't, most of the time, finding myself mildly bemused last week at those getting heated over the bloke from Iron Maiden saying punks couldn't play their instruments when I was trying to avoid being pissed-off the thumping clickbait cunt from Cerebral Ballzy claiming in the sodding Guardian that punks had to be able to play their instruments to be proper punk.

It's nice to imagine that if you can come at a reconciliation of the two you'd find some secret area where it comes together, the present rage shadowing the theatrical nihilism, and once your embrace this idea of protective artifice, then artificiality rings true and beautiful, the gap in sectioned off parts of lives. Hiding the true parts of resistance in the big snarling shell. So fake punk, rejecting that certain earnestness of only back the right-thinking and right-living, and glorying in the stereotypes, PUNK as first-level bad guys in 2D beat em ups, extras in dystopian b-movies, gimmicky dickhead spite and living off it, in it.

Alberto Y Los Trios Paranoias are probably the most well-known band featured on Who's a Punk, the Mancunian comedy-rockers who had been skewering rock's hypocrisies for a couple years by the time punk broke through to give them some more material to work with. Their classic Snuff Rock EP tore apart the Pistols, The Damned and The Clash with numbers such as Gobbin' on Life and Kill. Here's there's the song Fuck You, taken from their Heads Down, No Nonsense, Mindless Boogie EP, which also featured Thank You, exactly the same song but for the chorus. A punk's-dead-long-live-punk stomper, that, despite being an obvious joke, bears a resemblance to Cock Sparrer's Where Are They Now? as much as anything else. Defiant, but self-defeating, living through this great change, this great disappointment, and emerging with fury intact. It's a dumb song, a funny one, cataloguing punk's casualties, building itself up for its epiphany, the grand statement: "I want to be for free, want to be myself. Even though I sound like everybody else. I’ve still got something valid to say, something to tell ya, gonna tell you anyway." then, as you're ready for the revelation, "FUCK YOU!" Man that's such a dumb into-the-wall pay-off (echoes of Life of Brian's long set-up for "I AM THE MESSIAH. NOW FUCK OFF.") but it speaks to something more, times when your idealism and has been submerged in some inarticulate profane rage, you know that you could set the world to rights but instead you can just scream and shout and blast punk music. I feel that. I don't care if this is tearing that feeling apart. This is how it goes, ride a joke out straight and live with it and see what happens.



Though that attitude can't always work, it fails in the face of the true ignorance on show in those early parody rap singles, Kenny Everett or Roland Rat or whatever, that sort of fake rap is the worst, partly cos three chords are easier to learn than breath control and flow, and mostly cos those things are heavy with racist overtones and a smug sense of superiority. No redeeming features there, but here, with fake punk, crucially, a tone of cynical detached stupidity just fits punk rock perfectly, you come at punk rock with a derisive sneer and punk will embrace the sneer, lean into the derision, assimilate it, mold it as part of itself on its own race to the bottom, taking itself to pieces before you can do it to it. Punk rock. Fuck you! And if you think there's no punker title than Fuck You! then just take a look at the Wozo song which is just called Punk Rock. ("WOULD YOU BELIEVE WHAT WE GOT!? PUNK ROCK!"). Once you know something's bullshit you can invest anything you want in it and come away clear. Fake punk, true believer.

And this is far from the be-all-and-end-all of the punksploitation sprawl, which continues to suck in many of those record nerds and giggling punx lifers cos how many got into punk through those cartoon versions? In Star Trek IV and on Quincy, those cool lookin' pierced things, seductively evil, annoying and liberated in their pinned and patched clothes. You see that and it's a whole new fork in the road opening up before you. So maybe you get into punk like that, before swerving away from that into a more diligent political sphere, and then dodging back out, keeping, hopefully, the social-awareness, but ready to embrace again the stereotype, ready to make that space between the dress-up and the real business of living conscious in a capital-fucked racist and patriarchal world, or to hold both at once, idiocy and idealism, ready to pogo along to Who's a Punk or Los Punk Rockers' Los Exitos De Los Sex Pistols, another recently reissued piece of complete punk trash, a cash-in record from a Spanish label who couldn't afford to license Nevermind the Bollocks so they just hired a bunch of people to rerecord the entire album, people who sounds like they first picked up an instrument 20 minutes before walking into the studio and have only the most slippery grasp on the rudiments of the English language. It's a glowing shambles, a tinny unlistenable burble, transmitted straight from the shit headphone dimension, a shameless inept cash-in that sounds like how you imagined the Sex Pistols sounded when you were just a kid who'd heard vague intimations of loud, scary louts who swore on TV.


On the other side of the globe, Aussie comic Doug Mulray (infamous for having a show so bad it was cancelled mid-broadcast) penned the alltime (needletime?) classic I'm a Punk, thick with many of the tropes here, the chugging keys, the deep wastrel pride, with its chorus of "I TAKE DRUGS AND GET DRUNK/I TAKE DRUGS AND GET DRUNK!" Towards the end of last year I submitted a story to a punk fiction collection featuring a scene where a bunch of dumb punx singalong to its utterly brainless jabber, three months later I found myself in a bar where it got stuck on the stereo and the place went fucking off, dangerously swirling dances, punk singalongs, diving off the bartop. The fiction (the fake) made flesh.


So Who's a Punk? Jumping from the fashioncut of Throw Him in Jail, lookin' good, lookin' mean, the young knowledge of Juvenille City, confident and stark, Do You Wanna Touch My Safety Pin?'s warble of uncertainty. This thing tears punk down completely and to some minds it might expose the house of sand that is punk, a thing so shot through of holes, tatterdemalion and unsteady that it lives swaying, endures with some sort of scurrilous poser grace.

It's indestructible, partly due to its amorphous spinning constant redefinition, partly due to the constant wave of kids stumbling across it, each breathing fresh life into those circling discussions and personal definitions. But it really lives cos no matter how hard you co-opt punk, it lives not in its heroes but in its wayside fallers, not on its stages but in its pits, we'll take the dance no matter where the riff was nicked from, no matter where the song was aimed. It lives still cos no matter how viciously attack it, you're not gonna hate it more than someone that loves it, has been betrayed and disappointed by it, has come to terms with it and then fucked it off all over again, and again and again, so within that roiling chaotic dischord you find a genre of absurd sparks and profound hopes so self-lacerating as to live only as scars. WHO REALLY IS A PUNK? It's not real, in so many ways it's not real, intangible, and it means so so so much, as a badge, a label, a journey, a way forward, a media misconception wielded as a weapon, a line-in-the-sand, a lifeforce. And if you disagree, well shit, gimme a can of spray paint, I'll decorate your bedroom wall, I'll write yer some words to tell you exactly how I feel about you all. Fake punk. Fake as me. FAKE YOU!




"WOULD YOU BELIEVE? HOW CAN THEY SAVE YA? IS IT MAKE BELIEVE!? OR IS IT REAL? IT'S UP TO YOU, MAN! IT'S HOW YOU FEEL!" - Horrorcomic - Jesus Crisis


Wednesday, 11 June 2014

In School - Praxis of Hate

Purposeful hardcore punk outta New York spat with bloody finality. With tumbling drums and a thin desiccant guitar sound worked in a relentless moil, scraped up against the churn of the bass, kicking off dry sparks, each instrument distinguishable and hurtling onwards with deadly precision. No noise, just power. Bidi Choudhury's vocals snarl, ferocious, clear and unbowed, digging into lines, repetitions spiralling, screwed down into the mortar. "THE DOGS ARE HOWLING. THE DOGS ARE HOWLING. THE DOGS ARE HOWLING." Each strained iteration eking out more shades of threat and fierce disdain. "APOCRYPHAL SCUM. I KNOW WHAT YOU'VE DONE. APOCRYPHAL SCUM. I KNOW WHAT YOU'VE DONE. APOCRYPHAL SCUM. I KNOW WHAT YOU'VE DONE." From the tugging guitar squeak of Fear to the snap/drawl of Maggot Rot, five tracks of second person violence, scratched out with lucid spite, peeling and sore, grating against bone.