A Touch Of Class

Class War Music – US micro-label with impeccable attitude

I recently came across American streetpunks Bonecrusher and liked what I heard on their MySpace page a lot. So I had a quick look around the web to see who was selling their material. I found a UK distro with some older releases, and a couple of German distros were offering new stuff, and it would’ve cost me around £10-12 a disc to buy from any of them. But I decided to check out Class War Music, the label that’s released their most recent CD’s. And I’m really glad I did.
Class War Music logo & Bonecrusher CD cover
It turns out CWM is run by the band (or at least one of ’em), and they’re offering their own releases for only $5 each including postage in mainland America. With the current exchange rate, that’s only just over £2.50 a disc! I decided to order ‘Tomorrow Is Too Late’, but there was no info on international postage. So I added an extra $5 to the order and sent a quick email to ’em offering to pay any more if needed.

Within a couple of hours, George (from Bonecrusher) dropped me a line back thanking me for the order and offering to include the ‘Sixteen Bullets’ live CD for free! This CD is selling for $5 too so basically I’m getting two CD’s at US prices with free airmail. Now how’s that for service?

When punk can sometimes appear to be just another commercial opportunity, it’s heartwarming to come across people who really are doing it for the kids (no matter how old those kids might be). Respect due to Class War Music and Bonecrusher (especially George) for being such a lovely label and band to deal with.

OP’s opinion: Five

Download sample track – ‘Bonecrusher – Tomorrow Is Too Late’

Hard To Stomach

Masterfoods, the company behind brands such as Mars Bars, Twix and Bounty, have been using rennet from calf stomach in many of their popular chocolate and ice cream products since May 1st (at least in the UK anyway). Many vegetarians eat their products but may not be aware of this change, as Masterfoods don’t seem particularly eager to publicise it.

As a vegan, this doesn’t particularly bother me. What does irk me big time is the fact that the company, in their statement, think that ‘less strict’ vegetarians won’t have a problem with eating part of a calf’s gut.


People who merely give up red meat are not vegetarians. People who eat fish are not vegetarians. People who eat dead baby cow stuff are not vegetarians.

Vegetarians do not eat flesh, fowl or fish or anything that comes from ’em. It’s pretty fuckin’ simple, yet these multi-national idiots still think they can get away with it. A quick straw poll of my veggie mates in fact showed that 100% of ’em thought Masterfoods could fuck right off. The morons from Mars should’ve done their homework a bit better.

Oh yeah – GO VEGAN TOO!

Gotta Lotta Bottle

Stage Bottles(We Need A) New Flag
Insurgence Records / Knockout Records

New Flag album coverAlthough this is not a new release, it is the latest offering from German Oi! mob the Stage Bottles, and a fine affair it is too.

Musically, the influence of The Blaggers, The Business and The Clash are all prominent in the mix, along with a hybrid ska-meets-X-Ray Spex sax, a dollop of Rancid gruffness and even The Jam in some of the bass and drum rhythms. It’s powerful, punchy stuff, well polished but with a raw street energy, no more apparent than in Olaf’s vocals. And the voice was made to match the words, of that there can be no doubt. Although the band are German, they sing in English and this adds lyrical interest to their songs. Trying to construct a socio-political polemic in something other than their mother tongue leads to a new kind of linguistic dexterity, a new perspective if you like, and is a welcome break from the monotonous misery of some of the more dreary and less imaginative anarcho-punk brigade.

Stage Bottles April 06

Olaf, Easy, Kimba, Marcel, Till, April 2006 (© Stage Bottles)

The SB’s wear their credentials on their sleeves, no more so than when they’re belting out their anti-fascist anthems and reclaiming skinhead culture from the Nazi boneheads who’ve tried to infest the scene. ‘Real Skinhead’ puts the posers and losers firmly in their place, reminding them that ‘you’re not allowed to switch your brain off’ when you put on the boots and braces. ‘All You Need Is Hate’, ‘Hooligans’ and ‘Bad Boys’ continue to unashamedly put the substance into the style and the boot into where it hurts.

And their pro-prole position sees them just as happy to mix it up with the strait-jacketed Statist Left who condemn the straight-talking working class, even as they seek safety and protection behind the street-fighting hooligans who carry the spirit of revolution in their hearts and live it every day (‘PC Idiots’). ‘That’s Where It Comes From’ is a balladic reminder of those who’ve fought and died for us, something these pseudo-Reds wouldn’t know about. And I should imagine the fact that Olaf would ‘like to have rude sex’ (‘I Wanna Break Out’) will get up quite a few po-faced Stalinist noses too.

The corruption of society by capitalism is also tackled head on, with ‘Millions Of Stupid People’ condemning the herd-like mentality and ignorance of so many, while the remedy is proposed by the ‘New Flag’ of the album’s title – ‘So we’ve got to resist, we’ll build a new base, we’ve got to fight’ throwing down the challenge to our class straight and direct.

With a couple of tracks capturing the daily grind (‘I’ll Calm Down’) and how some of us escape from it (‘Punk & Disorderly’, ‘It’s Your Kid’s Life’), along with a singalong terrace chant that rails superbly against the money-men who are destroying our game as they fill their pockets (‘Kick Out The Parasites’) – ‘What about me, am I just a currency?’ asks Olaf, speaking out on behalf of every true fan – this is both uncontrolled fury and uninhibited fun of the finest kind.

OP’s opinion: Five

Download sample track – ‘Real Skinhead’

There’s No Justice, There’s Just Us

I’ve received the following via a friend from the A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition. If you can take any action whatsoever to support their aims, please do.

Dear Friend and Supporter of Justice,

Last week, the Bush Administration—which pretends to be fighting a “war on terrorism”—allowed the release from prison of the leading self-confessed terrorist in the Americas, Luis Posada Carriles. The release of Posada, wanted in Venezuela for organizing the bombing of a plane in 1976, which killed all 73 persons on board, has created a wave of outrage in Latin America and around the world. Quoting Bush’s hypocritical words back to him on April 19, the day of Posada’s release, a Cuban youth leader said, “If you harbor a terrorist, you are a terrorist.”

On May 11, 2007, Posada is scheduled to return to El Paso, Texas for a trial on minor immigration charges. The Bush “Justice” Department, headed by Alberto Gonzales, has refused to bring charges of terrorist activity—including murder—against Posada despite the existence of mountains of evidence against him. Bush and Gonzales have refused to extradite Posada to Venezuela, despite a legally binding extradition treaty that country has had with the United States for more than 80 years.

We, too, will be in El Paso on May 11. Together with people from across the Southwest and beyond, we will be there to demand justice for Posada’s victims and his extradition to Venezuela to stand trial for his horrific crimes. We are asking for your support in organizing a demonstration and press conference outside the courthouse in El Paso and in other cities across the country on that day. We must raise thousands of dollars to organize transportation to the El Paso demonstration, including for the families of victims of Posada’s murderous acts over the years. Their suffering has not ended and their voices must be heard.

The bombing of the Cubana Airlines plane on its way from Caracas to Havana, was far from Posada’s only terrorist act. In a 1998 New York Times interview, Posada admitted organizing and paying for a series of bombings of tourist hotels in Havana. One person, an Italian tourist named Livio Di Celmo, was killed and dozens wounded. In November 2000, Posada organized an assassination attempt against Cuban President Fidel Castro when he was visiting the University of Panama. The plan, which was thwarted by Cuban security services, called for blowing up—using 33 pounds of C-4 plastic explosives—a packed auditorium filled with 2,000 students while Castro was speaking. The death toll would have likely been in the hundreds. After a short prison term, Posada and his cohorts were pardoned by U.S.-dependent Panamanian president, Mireya Moscoso, on her last day in office.

At the same time Posada walks free, the Cuban Five—five men whose mission was to stop terrorist attacks emanating from Miami against their homeland—remain locked away, three of them serving life sentences in U.S. prisons. Nothing could highlight more clearly the injustice suffered by these five men than the release of the arch-terrorist Posada. The freeing of Posada is a declaration by the Bush administration of its intent to continue the 48-year undeclared war against the small neighboring country of Cuba.

We are appealing to you to join and support the campaign for justice on May 11 and beyond. Please click here to make a much needed donation today.

Yours for Justice,

Ramsey Clark, Gloria La Riva, Cynthia McKinney

To see the most recent list of May 11 protests, click on this link:

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition

Email the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
National Office in Washington DC: 202-544-3389
New York City: 212-694-8720
Los Angeles: 323-464-1636
San Francisco: 415-821-6545
Chicago: 773-463-0311
Seattle: 206-568-1661

If The Kids Are United

Happy International Workers Day. In 1887, five anarchists were murdered by the American state for nothing more than helping workers to organise. Today marks the day when we celebrate their struggle. Their deaths will never be forgotten and remind us why we must never forgive. In the words of August Spies, one of the martyrs:

The time will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today.

So relax, fiddle your time sheet, skive, slack, phone in sick, throw a spanner in the works, stand together and reclaim your life. It’s YOUR day, do what you can to remind yourself that, if we keep fighting, keep struggling, keep loving and raging, life could be like this every day.

Arise, ye workers from your slumber,
Arise, ye prisoners of want.
For reason in revolt now thunders,
and at last ends the age of cant!
Away with all your superstitions,
Servile masses, arise, arise!
We’ll change henceforth the old tradition,
And spurn the dust to win the prize!
So comrades, come rally,
And the last fight let us face.
The Internationale,
Unites the human race.
So comrades, come rally,
And the last fight let us face.
The Internationale,
Unites the human race.

No more deluded by reaction,
On tyrants only we’ll make war!
The soldiers too will take strike action,
They’ll break ranks and fight no more!
And if those cannibals keep trying,
To sacrifice us to their pride,
They soon shall hear the bullets flying,
We’ll shoot the generals on our own side.
So comrades, come rally,
And the last fight let us face.
The Internationale,
Unites the human race.
So comrades, come rally,
And the last fight let us face.
The Internationale,
Unites the human race.

No saviour from on high delivers,
No faith have we in prince or peer.
Our own right hand the chains must shiver,
Chains of hatred, greed and fear.
E’er the thieves will out with their booty,
And to all give a happier lot.
Each at his forge must do their duty,
And we’ll strike the iron while it’s hot.
So comrades, come rally,
And the last fight let us face.
The Internationale,
Unites the human race.
So comrades, come rally,
And the last fight let us face.
The Internationale,
Unites the human race.