A Year In My Ears 2011

Although I don’t think I’ve spent so much on new music this year when compared to last, what I have bought has been immensely satisfying. These ten releases have ended up doing multiple revolutions on various stereophonic devices around my house, and have definitely earned their keep.

Amebix – Sonic Mass LP (Easy Action Records). An album that was more than two decades in the making, and one that surpassed every expectation. There were some who didn’t ‘get’ this release, but I wasn’t one of them. Awesome on every level.

The Rebel Spell – It’s A Beautiful Future CD* (Rebel Time Records). Rebel Time have turned me on to some mighty fine noise coming out from the land of lumberjacks, and The Rebel Spell have continued that trend. Brilliantly tuneful and full of energy.

The Astronauts – Survivors LP (La Vida Es Un Mus). While the tracks on this release (a collection of their first 2 EPs and their side of a rare split) may be thirty years old, Paco at LVEUM has given them a new lease of life on this album. Off-the-wall kinda-folk-flavoured tunes for those willing to go on a punk rock adventure.

Burnt Cross – Break The Law, Not The Poor EP* (various labels). Two brothers with a mic, a guitar and a portastudio give Conflict a run for their money. When you want your punk rock old-school, no-nonsense and full-on, the Marriott boys should be near the top of your list. Like here.

Spanner – Crisis LP* (Iron Column Records / various labels). Disclaimer 1 – I have a financial and emotional interest in this. Disclaimer 2 – I can’t be held responsible for any outbreaks of crazy dancing and/or revolutionary activity that may result from hearing it.

ATU / Oi Polloi split EP* (Profane Existence / Nikt Nic Nie Wie). The 7″ single has never been so dangerous! A handful of blitzkreig attack tracks from two of the hardest-working and most genuine bands in the scene, ripping into a range of very legitimate targets. Saw both bands this year and they rocked!

Defcon Zero – Music For Gluesniffers, Terrorists And The Mentally Ill CD* (Pumpkin Records). This would get a place for the title alone. As it happens, it’s also a cracking disc. No-frills rapidfire punk rock delivered with just the right balance of venom and humour.

Misery – From Where The Sun Never Shines DL (self-released on Bandcamp). This took almost 6 years to put together in a punk’s basement, in true DIY style. It was worth the time, for this is a mighty beast that sums up the band perfectly. Soon-to-be available on double-LP vinyl from Inimical Records (limited pressing on grey wax for mail order).

The Freebooters – Ordinary Level Oi! CD* (Distro-y Records). Every time I play this, I end up singing along at the top of my voice and smiling like a loon. Grade 1 Oi! for grade 1 haircuts.

VA – Prisoner Of War Benefit CD (no label). Released initially to raise funds for JJ (Active Slaughter’s guitarist who did time for animal lib activities), this CD is now carrying on the good work for anti-fascist prisoners. A great punk pick ‘n’ mix of tunes by a load of bands who haven’t forgotten what it’s really all about.

Not bad at all, eh?

* available to buy from Iron Column Records

Mixing It Up For The Indonesian Punks!

As mentioned a couple of days ago, I’ve put together a mix for my punk friends in Indonesia. It’s not much, but I hope that someone who’s had a bit of a shit time at the rough end of this theocratic fascism ends up with a smile on their face after listening to it. Same goes for you lot too.

1. Blaggers ITA – Emergency
2. Extinction Of Mankind – Fourth Reich Religion
3. Rudimentary Peni – Teenage Time Killer
4. Inner Terrestrials – 1066
5. Burnt Cross – Mob Violence*
6. PAIN – Propaganda And Information Network
7. Appalachian Terror Unit – Judgemental, Ignorant, Stupid And Blind*
8. Doom – Reasonable Force
9. Bender – People’s Army
10. Oi Polloi – Bash The Fash
11. Restarts, The – Bolloxology
12. Warprayer – White Over Red
13. Jesus Bruiser – Oh Really
14. Propagandhi – Technocracy
15. Autonomads, The – Cloud Song
16. Hellbastard – Massacre
17. SubHumAns – This Year’s War
18. Division’s Ruin – Resist And Occupy
19. Spanner – Quiet Life*

*these are available from Iron Column Records

All in FLAC format. Once you’ve unzipped them, you’ll find that it’ll all fit perfectly onto a CD-R. There are a couple of skips, a few pops and the occasional bit of background noise in places. This is because some of the vinyl is old, not all of it was particularly well-treated in the past, and / or I didn’t have time to give it a deep clean before ripping. Nor could I be arsed with cleaning up the rips afterwards. Keeps it real though, eh?

Some notes about each song (and a bit of showing off):

1. Taken from the ‘Blaggamuffin’ mini-LP, Words Of Warning WOWLP19, 1991
2. Taken from the ‘Northern Scum’ LP, Profane Existence Vinyl Retentive Series VR001, limited edition of 200, split red / black wax, 2007
3. Taken from ‘Rudimentary Peni’ 7″ EP, Outer Mongolian Records BOOBOO1, 1981
4. Taken from the ‘Enter The Dragon’ 10″ EP, Maloka MAL017, 2001
5. Taken from the ‘Break The Law, Not The Poor’ 7″ EP, Tadpole Records tadpole030, Lukket Avdeling Records LAR-014, Loud Punk Records LOUD23, Opiate Records Opiate15, Rawby Records RAWBY008, Active Rebellion ACT021, Arripurri Records (none), Schizo Zine (none), Höhnie Records (none), Rusty Knife Records (none), 2011
6. Taken from the ‘Our Universe Commences Here’ LP, Iron Man Records IMB6003, 2001
7. Taken from the untitled split 7″ EP with Oi Polloi, Profane Existence Exist120, 2011
8. Taken from the untitled 2011 US tour EP, marbled wax, Black Cloud Records (none), 2011
9. Taken from the ‘People’s Army’ 7″ EP, Words Of Warning WOW39, limited edition of 500, clear red wax, 1994
10. Taken from the ‘Guilty 7″ EP, Ruptured Ambitions RA01, 1994
11. Taken from the ‘Outsider LP’, Rodent Popsicle Records RPR105, limited edition of 500, split red / white wax, 2007
12. Taken from the untitled split LP with Morne, Alerta Antifascista AA53, limited edition of 400, white wax, 2009
13. Taken from the ‘A Political Treatise In Six Parts’ 10″ EP, La Société Pue Prod, limited edition of 300, 2009
14. Taken from the untitled split 7″ EP with Sacrifice, War On Music WOM017, 1st pressing of 1000 copies, 2010
15. Taken from the ‘No Mans Land’ LP, Ruin Nation Records BOLLOX024, Mass Productions MASS124, Pumpkin Records PUM022, 2010
16. Taken from the untitled split 7″ EP with Dissent, Torture Garden Picture Company TG-39.0, limited edition of 500, purple splatter, 2010
17. Taken from the ‘Internal Riot’ LP, Bluurg Records FISH50, 2007
18. Taken from the untitled split LP with Easpa Measa, Contraszt! Records #18, Suburban Mayhem 003, Holy Shit Records (none), Distro-Y Records DY05, 2010
19. Taken from the ‘Crisis’ LP, Iron Column Records ICR1, limited edition of 100, split red / black wax, 2011

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Never Surrender, Never Give In!

In recent days, punks in Aceh, Indonesia, who were attending a benefit gig to raise money for orphans, were arrested en masse, humiliated, and put into 10-day religious fundamentalist ‘re-education’ programmes. Their crime? Being punks.

The Aceh state government implements a form of sharia law. Having a weird haircut, wearing black clothes, and hanging out with people of the opposite sex, apparently breaks that law. Never mind the fact that these kids, who generally don’t have much of their own to start with, were raising cash for those with even less. Or that, on the whole, punks tend to respect human dignity, embrace equality and show compassion to the wider world around them. No, the only thing that matters to these religious nuts is blind obedience to their own fucked-up ‘morality’.

In response, punks from around the world (including yours truly) are getting their shit together and doing whatever we can to show solidarity with our Indonesian brothers and sisters.

First off, protest. Most countries will have an Indonesian embassy or consulate that can be contacted. Check out this list for yours. Send them a polite email or letter protesting against the actions of the Aceh authorities. Here’s the one I sent if you need a starting point:

Dear Sir / Madam

I am writing to you to express my concern at this report on the BBC website:


I find this action by the police in Aceh to be totally unacceptable, an affront to human rights that paints your country in a very poor light. I would suggest that the problem is not with the young people, it is with the intolerant people that they have to live among.

I was once a young punk, complete with the haircut and fashion. I am now a 46-year-old adult and would still call myself a punk, even if I no longer look like one (it’s not just about the clothes and hairstyles). As a punk, I have been to university and I am now a youth worker supporting homeless young people. I still love punk rock and go to many punk rock concerts, and I have met punks from all over the world (including from Indonesia). The young punks I meet are, without exception, kind and compassionate people. They are involved in human rights campaigns, many of them are vegetarians, they stand up against fascism and racism and believe in equality and dignity for all. Surely these are values that we all desire to see encouraged in our young people?

I would ask you to use whatever influence you have to persuade your government to intervene in the situation in Aceh, and ensure that the police service allows these young people to enjoy their punk culture and grow into happy and compassionate adults. Instead of imprisoning and humiliating them, I would suggest that people just take some time to talk to them.

Yours faithfully

People are also starting to organise protests at Indonesian embassies / consulates, such as this one planned for the UK next week. Keep an eye on the social networks, or organise one yourself and get spreading the word.

Depending on where you are, other options could be available. The important thing is to make sure that the Indonesian authorities know that we’re watching them while we watch each other’s backs.

Secondly, put a solidarity mixtape / CD-R together and pass it on to the folks at Aborted Society Records. They’re collecting as many as they can, ready to be packed up and shipped out. At some point early in the New Year, they should be off on their journey to punks who could do with a bit of moral support right now.

Making mixtapes for each other is something of a punk tradition, one that I’m proud to have maintained (albeit with more modern media), and I’m putting a vinyl selection together as I type. Once it’s done, I’ll post it up here too.

For an absolutely brilliant insight into the positivity some of these misfits generate, with not much more than a bunch of ukeleles, watch this:
Marjinal Punks doc