Artist: Electro Hippies
Title: The Only Good Punk…Is A Dead One
Source: Vinyl 12″ LP
Running time (h:m:s): 00:30:23
Size (mb): 207
Cat. No: VILE02
Things Of Beauty
Gas Joe Pearce
D.I.Y. (Not D.R.I.)
Note: I’ve not split these into individual tracks as they’re so tightly packed they blur into one another. I haven’t got the time to be fiddling around at the micro-editing level.
Back in the day when the only sort of core that most punks were interested in was the sort left behind when turning the outside of apples into cider, Electro Hippies appeared and, along with Napalm Death, brought to the punk conciousness pretty much all of the ones we’ve grown to know and love. The elements of grind, thrash, hard and crust all found solid form in the hands of these mis-named misfits. From slow and heavy growling to whirlwind-powered shredding, they covered all bases with their blend of tight-as-fuck tunes. Lyrics were smart given their brevity, even if you did need a crib sheet to follow the bulk of them.
EH also appeared on what was once (and may still be) the world’s shortest record, making up the other half of the Napalm Death’s ‘You Suffer’ 7″ with their rendition of ‘Mega Armageddon Death Pt. 3’ which, like the flip side, also clocked in at a ripping one second. The single was free with the first copies of the original ‘Grindcrusher’ comp LP, neither of which I have on vinyl any more – the single was nicked and I swapped the album for something better last year.
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These young but well-established veterans of the Canadian punk scene have pulled off a neat trick with their latest release, managing to capture the passion at the heart of our culture and condense it into 12 tracks and 30-something minutes of life-enhancing music. Packed with more energy than a vegan’s farts, the band blast their way through the walls of oppression with their sounds of inspiration. There’s some pretty clever verbal dissection of the multitude of problems that face people around the world but this only serves to reinforce the common ground – we’re all victims of the colonialist mindset of the ruling elites, whether it’s done by invading armies or imposed by our own home-grown governments and their all-seeing eyes. The Rebel Spell do a damned fine job of shining a light into the dark shadows of the fortresses of the power-crazed, exposing them for the cockroaches they really are. Their ability to lay bare the fetid corpse of capitalism is only matched by their desire to get us all to connect the dots and stand shoulder-to-shoulder against the common enemy. The inclusion of radical folk singer Leon Rosselson’s ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ at the very end of the disc is a fitting climax to all that precedes it, the band infusing it with their own unique passion. I’d go as far as to say it’s destined to become many people’s favourite version of this well-loved tune.
It’s really well-balanced when it comes to the musical foundations, perfectly in keeping with the lyrical finesse laid over the top. The bass player double-picks riffs at a speed that suggests he must have some hummingbird genes in his arms, the guitar and vocals dance with the passion of lifelong lovers, while beats are of the solid and hearty variety needed to pull and hold this potent force together. There’s nothing too fancy here, just smart and sharp use of whatever’s within arm’s and tongue’s reach to make a clear and concise point.
The Rebel Spell are the essence of political punk rock, and it doesn’t hurt to be reminded once in a while what a great smell that is.
For people who also like: Dropkick Murphys, The Restarts, the first Propagandhi LP
Download sample track – Feel The Same (FLAC)
The Rebel Spell website
Buy from Iron Column Records / the band / Rebel Time Records.