Thursday, 10 April 2014

Gas Rag - Beats Off MLP

Gas Rag Beats Off. Gas Rag breaks in. More brisk whirrs of hardcore punk, ravenous in its eradicative wants, disgusted in its truths, raw with the crepitus of the world's broken bones. Biting fiercely at the drugwar apathy with gruff blunt repetition: "SIXTY THOUSAND DEAD. SIXTY THOUSAND ARE DEAD." on Drugs and Violence. Life traps catalogued/struggled with on The Clock: "LIFE BY THE CLOCK, IT'S A TIME BOMB" and Criminal Gas: "GOT CAUGHT, HANDCUFFED, A NEW COURT DATE/MAYBE COULD HAVE ESCAPED, NOW IT'S TOO LATE". Death worship drawn and trashed on Endless Vietnam, Mass Grave and It's a Gift. Beats Off runs at sex with the same dry sharp rush as it runs at war evils on the title track: "BEAT OFF AND FEELING FREE", self-abuse as self-demarcation, brief relief from those traps, from that pain. It smacks down the ugly smugness of twee science fetishism as easily as it rips up the vast hypocracies of religion on Annihilation: "ANOTHER WAR IN THE NAME OF RELIGION AND WE ARE THE PAWNS/BUT'S IT'S FUCKING SCIENCE THAT GAVE US THE BOMB."

These ills and more laid down hard in short hardcore punk cuts that might lean into powerviolence territory in their brevity, but keeping it firmly in the sharpened punk claws of 80s snotheads like Dayglo Abortions or 90s terminal velocity burnthrash like Death Wish Kids. For in all it's rage it rarely flirts with chaos, these songs aren't crashing into themselves and exploding, not squealing manically into noise tantrums, these venoms are tightly controlled, tripwire taught, toeing a shock-collar line of nervous form, corralled and driven onwards by the piston drumming, like a coin whirling around a table in a spin, the speed maintains the poise, the ferocity spat out with presence and furious tightrope grace. A few times this tension breaks, it wails away on Annihilation in a scratching addict itch and whine, it wriggles out on It's a Gift, but for the most part this anger, just and terse, is aimed true. Spasms of pith and hard rancor and speed, outlining the aches and woes of the living and carrying a deep rage for the unsettled dead.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Voco Protesta - Neniam Konfidu al la Stato

"I do believe in the necessity, and indeed in the inevitability of an universal language; but I do not believe it will be brought about, or even hastened, by smaller races or nations consenting to the extinction of their language. Such a course of action, or rather of slavish inaction, would not hasten the day of a universal language, but would rather lead to the intensification of the struggle for mastery between the languages of the greater powers.

On the other hand, a large number of small communities, speaking different tongues, are more likely to agree upon a common language as a common means of communication than a small number of great empires, each jealous of its own power and seeking its own supremacy." James Connolly, 1908

Raw punk from Japan screamed bitterly in Esperanto, a melding of form and content, a language built to erase borders, unify humanity in one tongue, one language. The use of Esperanto harkens back to movements of the early 20th century, futurists as optimists, the wide open possibilities of revolutionary camaraderie spanning the world, before futurism played its hand as fascistic ugly machineworship, Esperanto is new rules as new loves, new grammars as new communities. It's an old-fashioned idea, because the imposition of new languages is now synonymous with the erasure of old ways, those "smaller races or nations consenting to the extinction of their language" that James Connolly wrote of, the native kids taught English or Spanish or French and punished for using the words that connect them to their heritage, it's been a severing, controlling tool, a cleaver, so that the more revolutionary act is one of reclaiming lost tongues, preserving languages sitting on the brink, crafting literature and poetry and song in a voice that speaks to your family but not the majority, that you hold tighter, make those who wish to see and understand you have to work at it actively engage with your voice, the intimacy holding back the malicious hegemony that globalisation carries with it. Charu Nivedita's Zero Degree written in Tamil not Malayalam or English, Der Nister's The Family Mashber in Yiddish not Russian. Punk bands across the world letting loose enraged rants in every language under the sun. Esperanto is seen as an odd utopian relic.

Voco Protesta embrace this revolutionary tradition of the language fully, although it is a far from utopian perspective expressed in this album, a raw graze of violence and struggle, pain and burning, capitalism, bureacracy, police violence, profits and nuclear fallout, a litany of illnesses poisoning the planet. The unifying force of Esperanto here is the unity of struggle and the promise of anarchism, the reaching grasp of hunger and unhappiness, in this we find a makeshift communion with people across the globe, and languages so steeped in blood as English or Japanese, though they are capable of great beauty and truth as all language, are unfit for purpose to lay this struggle bare. Reach back into the past to find this half-forgotten thing to blast apart bureaucratic nightmares and nuclear traps.

The brutality here, as in the works of Pichismo, an Esperanto punk band hailing from Ukraine, is fully alive in the music, blistering and violent, underpinned by a radiation hum, exploding out of tension on Kontrauatako, setting up moments of respite from the thrashbuzz, sweet woundings on Divido Kaj Konflikto, jaunty marching on Vivas Morte, only to kick them in with unnatural forces of distortion. Only to crash onwards.

Eight years after he penned the words at the top of this review, James Connolly was standing before a British firing squad for his part in the Easter Rising. In word and deed, commitment to a better world is what we all aspire to, and almost always fall short of, battered by the blows of an unjust world, tugged down by the human compromise, but we can find moments and small places where these revolutions live, in protests, in voices, in the shape of the language we use or refuse to use, in art and in song. And for some of us, in the warm savagery of noise.

On La Vida Es Un Mus.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Tom and Boot Boys - Stupid And Naked Punks Are Running In My House

Responsible for some of the greatest dumbest fulltilt pogo punk ever with classics such as Punk Parade and 30s Punx Go For It!, Tom and Boot Boys return with their first blast of fresh pogo beauts for a couple of years with a seven inch that practically screams "The fucking pogo cunts are back!". It also literally screams that at the start of the record. Subtlety is for boring people. You gotta kick everything to pieces with roaring runs of pogonoise, popping bouncing silly convergences of singalong glory, Chaotic Dischord covers, Oi!s and sweary bedlam.

Song titles as almost the entirety of the lyrics. Lay it out straight, smash it in with amphetamine glee. I Don't Wanna Spend My Fuckin' Money For Your Fuckin' Cunt with emotionally stunted cheapskate desire "I don't wanna pay for your fuckin' cunt. Now I don't have money so fuck me for free." and in the second verse "I don't wanna pay for your fuckin' cock. Now I don't have money so fuck me for free." Equality in inanity. Oi! goes Oi! Stupid and Naked Punks Running In My House blasts a riotous punkhouse ode, I Hate Suit Men giggles uncontrollably with normloathing joy. A reaffirmation of all that's silly and great about punk rock, all that's certain and undeniable as you runaround in noisy madcap vandalism, hating on cityboys, shouting along with other eejits, breaking things, breaking bones, just holding it together with the sheer propulsive energy of a screaming firework. At home in this madness, with the sillyshit morons and the bouncing ceilingsmacking dance energy. Looking like utter messes but knowing that in this puerile pandemonium that I AM OK, YOU ARE FUCKER.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

La Misma - s/t 7"

After last year's demo and a track on the Toxic State Ground Zero Hardcore comp, La Misma, part of the always killin/never chillin bunch of noisenik scumpunx currently bursting out of New York with the finest in weird bent and buckled punk chuckles, release their first seven inch. Portuguese language, all female. The songs come on in bursts and trips, the vocals a heady torrent that move forward in outraged yelps and panicked rushes, the guitars, somewhat defuzzed from the demo, still writhe with livewire menace, chopping like blades, squeaking like shoes. The songs snap onwards, shredding the personal and the epic, shaking with images of dark parts of the world, biblical tortures, sacrifices, bloody parts and leaking stumps, sanguinary histories drawn on skin, war to war and onwards. Arete: "He skins them of dreams to live freely. In meadows so green. Content they are to suffer. In form you suffer." Secespita: "Worlds away but your body is at the point of the secespita. The secespita screams." Guerras Silenciosas: "Barriers we erect within ourselves prohibit us from refuge." "Intent is much deeper than any wound and will is our only weapon." Identifika O Xintimento: "Identify. In the silence that is time we see old ways disintegrate to give way for vitality." The songs move from the sinister pastures and corrupted idyll of Arete through emptiness to the stamping Secespita, shrouded in visceral violence and rituals, Guerras Silenciosas pulls that knife out and draws a plan for strength and change in the blood, Identifika O Xintimento enacts this, rises up and out with a self-possessed shiver and skip, returning to blood, but this time pumping to hearts reaching to love, not spilling in the futility of tradition. Worlds in each song, anger and screaming hope, ways and movements, shifts, old pains, new salves.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Anomaly - demo

Scorched-earth queer feminist d-beat from Chicago. Channeling pain into sonic murder, twisting and turning on the tipping point when the aggregative weight of constant frustration and oppression snaps into violence. They are incredibly, monumentally tired of your bullshit, and sometimes that manifests as a pure rager, Chronicles of an Apologist or TLC No Scums, which run with the unstoppable abandon of violence long-suppressed, other times that turns into a dry dismissiveness, tossing the shitty, the unthinking, the self-righteous poser fuckheads carelessly aside, as on the untitled second track, sourly intoning "I know you are well read, I read your zine on inclusibity and how you don't eat honey but I'm still not impressed." over an ugly noise track, disgust as ambience, peeling feedback. No quarter given, brutal realities, jock arseholes, worlds of unacceptable shit, cathartically burnt in the lyrics, fantasies of violence enacted in the music, bats to knees, revenge kills, street justice, blood worn as triumph and trophy, all that dirt that you swallow daily vomited back up here in a hatesick purge, in stomping thick noise-punk crunches, in searing crashercrust flurries, in perfectly vicious shifts of tempo and kicks of squealing discord, muddyboot bass tones. PS I Love You is the one that pulls this violence into positive force, affirmation, and even then the music kicks itself apart and then gets dragged back out of the chaosmurk and disorder by the hardhearted drive of the drums. "You are real and you are not a burden/Your anger is valid/Her feelings of inmasculinity/His insecurities and our queer identities//Nobody knows your body more than you do/and nobody has the right to control you." Powerful shit in every way.