Quickies #1

I don’t always have the time / brain capacity to write full-length reviews about everything I get my mitts on, but there are definitely things I want to tell you about. I figured a handful of brief notes every now and again would be a good compromise.

Appalachian Terror Unit – Black Sands 7″
Profane Existence

Showing no let up in their commitment to tackling the bigger picture, ATU’s latest offering rips into more of the usual suspects. Backed up by their battery of metallic anarcho-punk, Sarah’s vox pin your ears to your head and make sure the message hits square between the eyes. They realise the contradictions that capitalism creates in their (our) lives but don’t shun away from biting the hand that pretends to feed while it bleeds. The brooding black-with-a-hint-of-colour cover art sets the tone, and the fold-out image / lyric packed poster is always a welcome bonus. Nice random marbled vinyl too (mine is a kinda camo-diarrhea combo).

They had problems with the pressing plant over one of the tracks due to the use of samples, and an edited version appears on the EP. Helpful as ever, ATU have made the unedited version available for free online.

OP’s opinion: Four

Buy from Iron Column Records / Profane Existence


Cop Problem – s/t 7″ / download
Prejudice Me / War Torn Records

I’ve only just discovered this band after Prejudice Me gave me a heads-up. Glad they did too. For a very reasonable sum of money, you get 3 tracks of tight, intense and finely-controlled fury that slam as hard as a sledgehammer to the face. The lyrics are intelligent and meaningful, definitely a step above the common clichés often found elsewhere. The whole package is wrapped in a slick fold-out sleeve complete with beautifully disturbing colour artwork and lyrics.

When a great deal of what passes for hardcore amounts to nothing more than macho posturing and hanging out with the bros, bands like Cop Problem continue to prove that it can be so much more. Highly recommended.

OP’s opinion: Five

Buy 7″ from Iron Column Records / Prejudice Me / War Torn Records
Listen / buy download from Cop Problem’s Bandcamp page


Burnt Cross – Mankind’s Obituary LP
Tadpole Records / Active Rebellion / Lukket Avdeling Records / Rusty Knife Records

This is the new album from Brighton’s Burnt Cross. It’s a comp of their last 3 EPs, a track from a comp EP and some unreleased tracks. All in all you get 14 inspiring hits of @-punk fury, mostly original but with a couple of well-matched covers thrown in.

For those who don’t know ’em, BC are a pair of bruvs with a drum machine, a four-track and a shedload of attitude. Don’t be fooled by the simple technology – these boys produce music that holds its own against anything you’d find coming from a ‘pro’ studio. If you like your @-punk à la Conflict, then this is for you!

Only 300 have been pressed and they’re going quick. Grab one while you can.

OP’s opinion: Four half

Download sample track – Mob Violence (FLAC)
Buy from Iron Column Records (last copy left!)


Zounds – Singles & EPs 1980-1984 7″ Box Set
Broken Rekids

This lot should need no introduction to anyone who claims any kind of allegiance to anarcho-punk, and I’m mainly mentioning it to show off the fact that I’ve got my hands on this sweet package. Well, it made sense, given the fact that all of my originals are showing the passage of time and I had some spare cash.

From the spiky debut of ‘War’ to the jangly antipop on ‘True Love’, the tracks on these EPs capture the band from every angle. Lovingly remastered by Steve Lake and with all sleeves faithfully reproduced, this release does away with any kind of need to pay record collector prices for the full analogue experience. Not only that, it’s all kept safe in a specially-designed box complete with 6 badges in a blister pack (the 5 EP covers and a Zounds logo design) AND comes with a download card.

Time to put those originals on eBay, maybe…

OP’s opinion: Five

Download sample track – True Love (FLAC)
Buy from Broken Rekids

Bender – Jehovas Allstars CD

Artist: Bender
Title: Jehovas Allstars
Source: CD
Bitrate: FLAC
Running time (h:m:s): 00:42:30
Label: Words Of Warning (defunct)
Cat. No: WOWCD48
Year: 1996

1. Jackie
2. Over Emotional
3. Going Against The Grain
4. It’s Personal
5. Fool’s Paradise
6. Breaking the Law
7. Rapturous
8. We Rule
9. Freedom Day
10. A Misunderstanding
11. Pipsqueak
12. 154

Thanks to their lovely ex-manager Del and vocalist Alex, I’ve now got my hands on Bender’s final album and permission to share it with you all. You lucky, lucky people.

Picking up where ‘Lost City Of Dalston’ finished, Jehovas Allstars is a natural progression from its predecessor. The music and words have even more punch and depth and carry a real sense of life within them. Imagine the bastard offspring of The Ex and The Astronauts raised on a diet of hiphop, English Romanticism and steroids and you’ll probably be none the wiser. Like the best ‘punk’, it’s uncategorisable.

This is another criminally unknown recording, so take full advantage of what’s on offer. Your head and feet will thank you.

OP’s opinion: Five

Click here to request the download link.

If you are the copyright owner and want us to take down your music, just click here and let us know. We’re really not trying to piss anyone off, we just want to share rare and out-of-print music with people who want to hear it.

Pro Patria Mori – Where Shadows Lie Demo Tape & Lament Of The Damned

Source: Tape
Format: FLAC
Running time (h:m:s): 00:16:58 (Where Shadows Lie) / 00:04:55 (Lament…)
Size (mb): 128
Cat. No: BRITPLOD2 (Where Shadows Lie) / none (Lament…)
Year: 1986 (Where Shadows Lie) / 1987 (Lament…)

Where Shadows Lie Side 1:
1. Where Shadows Lie
2. But A Child
3. Far Too Long
4. The Question (Chains Of Guilt)

Where Shadows Lie Side 2:
1. Intro
2. Clockwork Mind
3. Standing In The Hall Of Vanity
4. Lost In The Voices

Where Shadows Lie tape cover

If the internets died tomorrow I wouldn’t weep too many tears, for I have finally obtained my punk rock Holy Grail thanks to its myriad tentacles. The cousin of the bass player for Pro Patria Mori, the most criminally almost unheard of band in all of @-punkdom, somehow saw a post where I’d mentioned them and passed on the info to his relative. Said cousin, Paul, got in touch, we had a quick e-chat and next thing you know I’ve got my mitts on the cleanest ever rips of most of their recorded legacy (the first demo is still MIA).

The tracks on ‘Where Shadows Lie’ are nothing short of perfectly controlled fury. At a time when the metal edge was being taken on board by the @-punk crowd, PPM set a standard for others to aim for. Personally speaking, I don’t think anyone else did it quite as well. Even Antisect, for all the power hinted at in their later stuff, couldn’t quite hit the spot as sweetly or as competently as PPM did.

The ‘Lament’ track wasn’t brilliant to begin with, audio-wise – I remember Pete (guitar) having a good moan about the quality due to poor studio work. Nevertheless, once your ears adjust to it, the technical skill and lyrical strength on this track (originally intended for a comp that never happened if memory serves me right) showed a promising progression in their sound that sadly remained unfulfilled.

Paul has kindly given me permission to share these almost-unknown classics with you, and I would urge anyone passing through to grab them. Even if you’re one of the few who has/had the tapes, you’ll never have heard the tracks sounding this fucking awesome.

OP’s opinion: Five

Click here to request the link.

Finally, here’s a picture of the band playing live with a very young Old Punk (more hair, less fat) dancing around in the crowd:

PPM live with a young Old Punk

© Russ Snell

I’m the one on the far left. Some things never change.

VA – Terminal Decay LP / Artcore Fanzine #29

AKA ‘Artcore Vinyl Fanzine Volume Five’. Punk rock fixture ‘n’ fitting Welly is back with yet another broadside in his war against mediocrity in the zine scene. And he’s a veteran in every sense – this is issue #29 of the exceptional ‘Artcore‘, an organ that he’s been thrusting into the hands of grateful punks since 1986. But with the printed word becoming harder to sell to the internet masses, Welly’s risen to the challenge and occasionally produces a vinyl fanzine to bring something a bit different to the table. Like this one.

Artcore zineThe mag is as jam-packed as ever and, with Welly’s experienced eye, beautifully laid out. All of the bands on the album are covered within, some with full interviews and the rest with smaller info panels, there are a few dozen quick reviews (I wish I had the ability to be both that brief and informative), a couple of Wellian polemics (the one on ‘knowing your place’ is outstanding), a bit of ranting banter from a few mates, some history lessons (MDC and more German punk), interviews with a range of deviant types (the highlight for me has to be the one with Rob ‘The Baron’ Miller of Amebix), and all tail-ended by some lovely ’50s horror comic style artwork courtesy of Dirty Donny, who also gets to say a few words.

Crammed on to the large round thing that accompanies the mag (AKA ‘Terminal Decay’) are twenty tracks that showcase a load of new(ish) bands from across the punk spectrum who are taking punk forwards on their own terms (whilst respecting the traditions that preceded them). Like any comp, there will almost certainly be a track or two that don’t quite gel with your ears. It’s music, it’s a personal response, that’s what happens. But, to these ears, this one hits the spot far more often than not, and even the ‘worst’ of the tunes is alright.

Other great things about the comp are that the bands represent 12 countries between them, thirteen of the tracks are previously unreleased while, for two more, it’s their first vinyl outing. That’s proper old-school, when comp albums would be made up almost exclusively of new songs and / or unknown bands from all over the place.

Welly wants to keep this deal as analogue as possible, but has kindly agreed to let me upload the title track (as used in the above video). If you want to hear the rest of it (and you’d be bonkers not to), you’ll have to grab this quick.

OP’s opinion: Four half

Download ‘Terminal Decay‘ (FLAC) by Burning Sensation (on hiatus)
Visit Welly’s website
Buy from Iron Column Records

More Misery Makes Me Happy!

Misery cover

Click for larger image

Responding to the earnest demands of aged aesthetes, veteran crusters Misery have had their recent DIY download-only release pressed on to vinyl by the good people at Inimical Records. Not any old vinyl, of course. It’s a double album, cut at 45rpm to ensure maximum heaviness, on beautiful grey splatter vinyl (limited to the first 200 who mailorder from Inimical, plain black after that), with a weighty matt card gatefold sleeve illustrated by Leffer that reflects the intricate monotones of the contents. Grey has never been so dynamic or intense.

The whole deal is only twelve Yankee bucks. Even with the postage across the pond, I got this beast for the equivalent of twenty quid. And that’s a price I’m more than happy to have paid.

OP’s opinion: Five (it gets the extra half an @ over the download for being a proper record with loads of class).

Anthrax – One Last Drop 7″

Anthrax cover

Click for larger image

No, not that one, the proper one.

This is a limited vinyl pressing (300, each numbered) of their first new studio tracks in 25 years, originally released on MCD in 2009. The band have put this out to raise money for Bradford’s legendary ‘1 in 12 Club‘, who are facing large bills for essential safety work on their building.

Which means the first thing you’ll get for your money is a warm glow from having helped out a punk institution.

You’ll also get a heavy fold-out card cover with a piece about the club, lyrics to both tracks and some classic Anthrax artwork. They even include the MCD for free. Oh, and there’s a record.

Never mind the 25 year gap, this is about as fresh as punk gets. The pace may have slowed a fraction but the urgency hasn’t diminished one bit. The A side has a really powerful sound, almost an Oi! feel but with more depth to it. The flip is more traditionally moody @-punk, perked up with a simple semi-acoustic refrain along the way. The whole thing is like the second EP on steroids, and I’m really impressed with the progression. I’d even go as far as saying that, as a whole package, it’s the best thing they’ve done to date.

The whole deal is £4 plus postage direct from the band at anthrax_uk@hotmail.com or buy it on ebay for a little bit more.

OP’s opinion: Five

Squat The Lot!

Squatingt benefit CD poster

I’ve been using whatever remnants of knowledge and wisdom I have in my head to help a young punk put this benefit compilation together. And I’m very excited by how it’s turning out.

There are some great acts involved, covering the whole gamut of punk, ska, folk and other related noise, and they’ve all given their time and tracks for free. Things like this just reinforce why punk will always be a central part of my life and why it’s about so much more than just the music.

Stay tuned for the release date, you’ll hear it here first.

Opposition Rising – Aftermathematics LP

Opposition Rising posterThis is the first vinyl release from the rapidly-expanding Riot Ska Records collective (among others), and it’s a great start for them.

Opposition Rising hail from Boston and band members have been heavily involved with the scene for many years. Their diverse tastes are reflected in the sound they’ve produced here, a pleasant cocktail of sharp old-school hardcore and dismetal with touches of what is probably best described as ska-crust. The production job is crisp without being too clean, very well suited to what they’re doing, and everything fits nicely into place.

The band have matched the noise to some creative and intelligent lyrics, which is exactly what you’d expect from folk who’ve been around the block a few times. There’s an an uncompromising attitude that could only really come from veterans of the social war. They’ve also made some conscious positive decisions about what DIY means to them when it comes to putting out their music in this day and age. It’s nice to see the old guard (still) setting the pace in political punk rock discourse.

Being a vinyl nut, I scooped up the limited edition swamp green version from Riot Ska. The other labels involved – Active Rebellion (UK), Crash Assailant Records (US), Pirates Press Records (US), Rodent Popsicle (US) and Tankcrimes Records (US) – have each got their own limited colour pressings too (and they’re all really nice). There are (not-so-limited) black copies available from the band’s own label, Opposition Records, and all of the above.

You may also be able to track down the free CD version or, if not, you can download it for absolutely nothing from the Bandcamp page.

For people who also like: Varukers, Toxic Narcotic, Mouth Sewn Shut

OP’s opinion: Four half

Opposition Rising website
Buy from the labels or from Iron Column Records (black version).

NB: the band also appear on a 4-way split 7″ with Embrace The Kill, In Defence and Hellmouth, which is also available from ICR.

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