01 – Supporting Caste (Propagandhi – Supporting Caste)
02 – PC Idiots (Stage Bottles – (We Need A) New Flag)
03 – Your World (Hellshock – Only The Dead Know The End Of War)
04 – Apathy And Fear (Extinction Of Mankind – The Nightmare Seconds)
05 – Stories of Old (The 241ers – Murderers)
06 – 3 Tone (Los Fastidios – Rebels ‘N’ Revels)
07 – Nazis Killed (Hellbastard – Ripper Crust)
08 – Dogmas Corrode (Wolfbrigade – Prey To The World)
09 – The End Of The War Years (The Fallout – Dismantlement)
10 – Histoire De Skinhead (Esclaves Salaries – Hate the State Vol. II)
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The 241ers – Murderers CD (Household Name)
Jonny One-Lung seems unable to do anything wrong. Everything he gets stuck in to comes out just about perfect. If you don’t know the name, you’ll certainly know the voice (unless you’re one of those weird non-punk norms) – he was an integral part of The Filaments, is a key player in Suicide Bid, a welcome guest with Sonic Boom Six and a solo artist in his own right. Phew! Put him alongside members of The Stockyard Stoics, MDC and whoever else happens to be passing at the time, and you end up with the 241ers.
This offering sees Jonny and friends spit out some powerful acoustic punk with attitude. Don’t think soft jangly guitars and tambourines – this is no-nonsense political streetfolk on steroids. If you took Billy Bragg’s wordsmithery, Ian Bone’s mindset, and The Levellers turned up to 11, it probably wouldn’t be too dissimilar. Definitely one for firing you up on the frontline.
Extinction Of Mankind – The Nightmare Seconds… CD (Profane Existence)
Gruff, northern British crustcore done right proper. If you remember the primeval power of ENT’s contribution to ‘Earslaughter’, multiply it by ten and throw in an atomic bomb for good measure, you’ll be there or thereabouts. Simple but not generic, and with an exceptionally tasty version of that Amebix crust classic ‘Arise!’, this is a no-brainer for lovers of disembodied throats and diabolic noise.
*The Fallout – Dismantlement CD (Insurgence)
These politically-aware Canadians have a mind for intelligent insight and an ear for a wickedly catchy tune. There’s much about this band that reminds me of the early efforts of Stiff Little Fingers, but brought right up-to-date. It’s familiar, like my favourite underwear, but it’s fresh (insert punchline here). The Fallout make you wanna get up, dance and then go and do nasty but well-deserved things to animal abusers / fascists / cops while happily humming one of their delightful ditties.
Hellshock – Only The Dead Know The End Of War LP (Agipunk)
Re-release of the first album (from back in 2004) by these Portland crust giants. Various members have been around the crust scene for quite a while, and they’re obviously infused to the bone with it. This record has the dark atmospheric broodiness of Amebix, the heaviness of Bolt Thrower, the metallic cut of latter-era Antisect, the speed of Discharge and the voice of Satan all cleverly blended into a unique demonic sludge. Lyrics are typically brief, but have a hauntingly descriptive depth that’s sometimes missing from similar offerings.
There are only a few copies of this left on heavyweight purple vinyl (with a stylish matt black cover illustrated by Mid of Deviated Instinct infamy), and I reckon you need the solid plastic and menacing colour to get the very best from this.
Hellbastard – Ripper Crust LP (Agipunk)
Beautifully packaged, remastered from the original studio tape and pressed on decently thick coloured vinyl, this is a classic edition of a classic recording. The sleeve is black with silver block printing, there’s a double-sided poster printed on high-quality card, a glossy 12″ square 4-page heavyweight paper insert and did I mention the coloured vinyl (white with red streaks)? And, IMHO, the sound is even more awesome than the original vinyl pressing (and far better than any of the original tapes that’re still knocking around). It may have only cost £25 to record this back in the day but it’s a priceless crustpunk gem, and this release really shows off its sparkle.
Oh, and there’s only been a hundred of this special edition pressed (with another 400 on black plastic but still with all the other trimmings).
Los Fastidios – Rebels ‘N’ Revels CD (KOB / Mad Butcher)
It seems like this Italian crew have been around since forever (albeit with a few personnel changes along the way), screaming their defiance with no fear or compromise. Like a fine wine, they’ve matured and improved with age without losing that in-yer-face energy and edge that the best punk bands have about them. Although sung (mostly) in their mother tongue, it’s not hard to work out what these tracks represent – truth, integrity, unity and beer. Lots of beer. R’N’R is their best work to date and gives you a perfect taster of what you can expect from Los Fastidios should you have the chance to see ’em. Drink, dance, pump that fist and smash the fash. Lovely.
Propagandhi – Supporting Caste CD/LP/DL (G7 Welcoming Committee)
I long ago conceded that Propagandhi were never going to do a ‘How To Clean Everything’ part 2 (which is probably no bad thing – a classic wouldn’t be a classic if there was more than one of ’em, right?), but I’ve always thought that they’ve never quite reached the mind-blowing potential they so surely have. That is, right up until this little beauty popped through my letterbox. Age has deepened their wisdom (without dulling the clever humour when warranted) and allowed their already mega-talented musicianship to evolve to the point where, it’s safe to say, Propagandhi are just about the most crucial band in the world right now, punk or otherwise. OK, I know that most of the world wouldn’t agree with me, but what do they know?
Hardcore, metal, pop-punk, balladic refrains and cheesy noodling all have a home in this epic punk-to-the-core production. Everything, from the cover art to the recording and mastering, has been thought about and cared for to the nth degree. This is a labour of true love by some intensely smart and profound men who casually dismiss themselves as a bunch of dumb schmucks from the sticks.
Although that still doesn’t stop ’em looking pretty goofy and hick-like.
*Stage Bottles – (We Need A) New Flag CD (Insurgence)
Wolfbrigade – Prey To The World LP (Agipunk)
The third album from Agipunk that I spent my hard-earned moolah on this month (well, the postage was the same whether you bought one album or three, so it made financial sense in my little world). The Scandies took to the D-Beat sound like punks to cider and pretty much made it their own. And Wolfbrigade have taken that, added their own twist and distilled it into the essence of the style. It’s Discharge with knobs on.
In 2004, the band split for various reasons and crusty motherfuckers the world over shed a little tear. Then, from out of the blue, the band announced their reformation in 2007. This album was the result, and it doesn’t disappoint one little bit. It’s a battering ram attack that feels strangely pleasant when you’re in the right mood (i.e. you wanna fuckin’ destroy everything that’s wrong with this world).
It’s also another sweet package, this time on clear-with-silver-splatter vinyl and a slick cover to set it all off nicely.
*VA – Hate The State Vol. 2 CD (Fire And Flames)
Radical German activist label Fire And Flames offer up a second helping of ‘never surrender’ streetpunk and ska to entertain the revolting masses. There’s a plethora of sussed and sharp bands from across the globe and, refreshingly, there’s not one English-spoken song here. With a budget price to boot, that should be all the information you need to go and grab this one.
*available to buy from Iron Column Records
Fire And Flames
G7 Welcoming Committee