Old Crust For New Bread

Oli of Civilisation Records is putting out a repress of Hellbastard’s classic first studio LP ‘Heading For Internal Darkness‘. Having bought stuff from him before I know and appreciate the time and effort he puts in to producing some really tasty bits of vinyl, and this looks to be no different.

Artwork printing and plastic pressing are in their final stages, but Oli’s still taking pre-orders (1000 are being pressed, 150 on clear vinyl). It’s €11 plus a few euros for postage depending on location and a bit more if you use PayPal. That’s only three and a bit pub pints, and this’ll give me more pleasure for much longer without any hint of a hangover (unless I drink a reasonable volume of cider while listening to it, so maybe a 1-in-3 chance).

Drop Oli a line for more info via civilisation-records [at] web.de

Gobsmacked

WOW.

For the first time in many, many years, I’ve been left speechless. A few minutes ago, settling down with my first cuppa and fag of the day, I browsed to my email account for the site. There was one new message waiting. A quick click, a brief scan and my mouth dropped open. I still can’t shut it.

A ‘corporate’ group is offering to buy my web domain name. For $5000.

I can’t say who they are just yet, but it’s a familiar ‘brand’ in the mainstream ‘punk’ business. The sort of group I’d normally steer well clear of.

But it’s $5000, I don’t have a job and this place only cost me a few bucks in the first place. And, as long as I don’t use a similar-sounding replacement, I’m free to set up a new space elsewhere on the net.

It’s a no-brainer. There’s some paperwork to sort out first but, if all goes to plan, it looks like the new owners will be moving in on May 1st.

I’ll fill in a few more details later on, I’m a bit all over the shop right now, but this is some of the best and worst news I’ve ever had.

UPDATE: Things like this only work if you have any readers that are up before noon on April Fool’s Day, and who are daft enough to be taken in. I therefore declare Ernest the winner.

Class War Kids – Haiti Benefit EP

Received in the post today:

Back in June of 2009, the St. John’s-based band Class War Kids recorded several cover songs before going on tour, but it wasn’t until the recent earthquake hit Haiti that it was clear what to do with those recordings. As of January 28, these tracks have been released on an EP entitled Twinkle’s Last Stand. All proceeds from its sale are going to the Batay Ouvriye Haiti Solidarity Network.

“Originally it was going to be a free download EP to say thanks to our friends and fans for their support over the past two years – that or they were going to be used as exclusive tracks to an upcoming Rebel Time Records compilation,” said the band’s guitarist/singer, Patty O’Lantern.

O’Lantern was listening to CBC on the night that the tragedy happened and felt compelled to assist in Haiti’s relief efforts.

“I remembered Propagandhi helped out after the WTC (World Trade Centre) fell during 9/11. They were out giving blood the next week and encouraged everyone to do the same,” O’Lantern recalled. “We are a political band. I wanted our music to do something rather than just say something. It’s funny because a week or so before us, Propagandhi announced they were releasing a digital EP for Haiti. I actually wrote (Propaghandi member) Chris Hannah and told him we were stealing his idea.”

“It just made absolute sense to do something like this,” explained Randy Rebel from the band’s label, Rebel Time Records. “I would imagine that we will leave the EP up for sale/download indefinitely and rest assured that any monies coming in, no matter when they come in, will be forwarded to Batay Ouvriye. It’s not like the crisis in Haiti will be over in a week or a month or a year, so the needs for funds and fundraising will continue.”

The Class War Kids are asking for a minimum donation of $3 for the four song digital EP or if you just want to download a song or two, a dollar for each track.

“This way if people want to donate more they can, and if they can’t afford much they can still have a copy,” said O’Lantern. “We try to keep everything we make as inexpensive as possible. We’re not in it to make tons of cash; we’re in it to make a difference…I want it to be accessible to kids.”

The album is available on bandcamp and includes the Class War Kids’ take on songs by some great artists such as the Weakerthans and Joe Strummer.

“We can play a ton of covers ’cause it’s fun to throw something into the set when you get bored of the same set list; thus we just chose our faves – ones we kinda really put our own twist on, made them our own and recorded,” said Davey Brat, singer/guitarist for the Class War Kids.

The band hopes that with a little effort, the sales of the EP will help make some difference in Haiti and offer support in their time of need.

“We hope to help alleviate some of the suffering and turmoil that is going on right now down in Haiti,” said Brat.

They chose The Batay Ouvriye Haiti Solidarity Network to donate the money to because they trust that it will get into the right hands with their assistance and actually help Haiti in rebuilding.

“I was excited to think that not only was the money being used to help the people of Haiti but that it was for the poor and working class to organize themselves against the multinational corporations that have helped to solidify the poverty that Haiti is buried underneath,” said O’Lantern.

“One of the biggest issues that the Haitian people are going to face in the wake of this disaster is the cost of rebuilding their country,” said O’Lantern. “When tragedies like this strike, there is a small window between aid pouring in and the voracious feeding frenzy that follows with companies looking to be contracted to rebuild decimated countries. Natural disasters, much like wars, are fantastic for business. The last thing the Haitian people need is to be driven further into the red by greedy North American contractors who will spare no expense.”

It’s clear that this is something The Class War Kids are passionate about, and they really want to make a difference.

“I am hoping that our contribution, however small, will help the working people of Haiti to rebuild their own nation so that they don’t end up incurring a disgustingly large bill from us that they’ll never be able to get out from under,” said O’Lantern.

by Christa Cram, The Troubador

This is yet another blinding piece of pure punk rock from TCWK. They’ve taken some classic tunes and given them a great makeover that’s guaranteed to make your body jerk in a very pleasant way. The fact that every cent raised is going to a genuine grassroots organisation already operating on the ground in Haiti is an added bonus. Not buying this is not an option.

OP’s opinion: Five

If you want a clearer idea of the problems and challenges that are being and will be faced by Haitians over the coming months and years, here’s the appeal put out by Batay Ouvriye:

For us, the Haitian people, the earthquake in Port au Prince, on 12 January 2010 hurt deeply. In fact, apart from the destruction of the public buildings most of our neighbourhoods were destroyed. Not surprisingly they are the most fragile and the most unstable: the state never gave them any service, any attention or helped them consolidate. On the contrary, we need to be able to move, so we have neither time nor capacity to be able to consolidate our position from being precarious.

Meanwhile some capitalists are trying to force the workers back to work in damaged factories, owners of large businesses are opposed to distributing their goods and sell them at a high price, the state proves again, as always, by its absence, its incapacity and incompetence (the only thing they do is steal and maneuver, supporting the landlords, the bourgeois and the multinationals), the national police are absent (they only know how to repress the people) and the imperialist forces are clearly taking advantage of the aid they give. They intend to establish a clear and definitive control over factory workers, workers of all kinds and the suffering masses in general, who are extremely dependent, with this disastrous situation.

Some of the press develops a progressive part of their work as their representatives help coordinate on the ground, several people’s committees are working consistently and relentlessly, giving all their energy for rescue and survival. But! They lack the means and capacity of intervention! Truly, this earthquake, besides having thoroughly physically and morally shaken the population, far exceeds the abilities of people to intervene.

In Batay Ouvriye, even though the majority of our organizers are living, many have lost family, homes and their meager possessions. Many are injured and, while we have to bury our dead, survival is almost impossible.

To the extent that it is possible, we refuse to go through official government channels. But the situation becomes impossible to sustain! So today, we launch an appeal for solidarity to all factory workers, all workers, all progressive people worldwide to help us out of this disastrous situation.

According to an inventory done so far, here are our needs:

Houses destroyed U.S. $50,000.00
Lost Property 20,000.00
Injured 10,000.00
Surviving for now 30,000.00
Solve it for the dead 10,000.00

What is needed U.S. $120,000.00

To which must be added by 40% due to rampant inflation and we do not know how high inflation will go. Then a total approximately U.S. $170,000.00.

After the last major mobilization around the minimum wage, we developed several new contacts brave and consistent worker comrades. They live in different neighbourhoods, sometimes far apart. We also need to reach them with our active solidarity. This substantially increases costs. Moreover, in areas where our members live, there have been some common solidarity actions amongst in the communities. We need to get more involved in them and to take energetically the necessary measures. And, as soon as possible (that means being able to concretely and practically intervene) take new initiatives (where possible) to build resistance to forms of reconstruction proposed by the dominant classes. This will also require money. When considering these types of actions and solidarity, we can say that what we need now is a sum of: U.S. $ 300,000.00

That is what will allow us to survive for now, help other fighters and conscientious workers to try to solve some specific life problems and build a political leadership in the class struggle that is organizing in the rubble. This latter aspect should be developed where possible from the start towards gaining a maximum possible force against another type of catastrophe that awaits us: what the imperialists and the ruling classes and their reactionary state are preparing for us.

We thank in advance all those who intend to contribute. The moment calls for international class solidarity. It takes a character of an additional approach, a further step in our common struggle.

To help you with money, our bank account is:

Bank Name: City National Bank of New Jersey

Bank Address: 900 Broad Street, Newark, NJ 07102

ABA Number: 0212-0163-9 City of Newark NJ

For further credit to:

Account Number: 01 000 98 45
Account Name: Batay Ouvriye
Account Address: Avenue Jean Paul II, # 7

Naturally, we will publicly let everyone know the amount of money we received from time to time, and the cost of each activity or action taken.

(The UK-based anti-sweatshop campaigning organisation No Sweat (which has been in touch with Batay Ouvriye in the past) will forward donations to Batay Ouvriye:

Account name: No Sweat
Account number: 20106269
Sort code: 08-60-01
Add reference: “Batay Ouvriye”

No Sweat will forward all funds received in this way to Batay Ouvriye via the New Jersey account listed above in late February)

Help The Aged Punx!

Profane Existence are drastically scaling back operations, and are having a major distro blow-out to clear the space Dan needs for his family. Not everything’s been discounted (yet), but the price reductions so far have been huge – up to 90% in some cases and at least 50% for most of the others. Dan’s refocusing his available time, energy and money on the mag right now (and a good thing too IMHO), although he hasn’t ruled out the occasional future release if the situation’s right for it.

So support a man who’s supported us above and beyond the call of duty over many years, and pick up a total bargain in the process.

I’d also like to give a big thumbs-up to Nightgaunt Graphics for producing and sending me some mighty fine t-shirts. The quality of the printing on the Amebix ‘Risen’ design is particularly impressive. And they’re easy on the pocket too, with none of the designs costing more than $15.

Finally (and totally unrelated to selling anything), a few people seem to have had problems directly linking to this site and / or using the comments option. I think I’ve sorted out the problem now. If it’s still broken for any of you, use my email address and I’ll have another tinker under the bonnet.

Noise Against Nazis

In a display of mutual solidarity with my friends in Bristol Antifa, I’ve set up a small (but perfectly formed) distro – Ye Olde Punke Shoppe. I hope to raise a few quid for them while spreading that groovy anti-fascist musical vibe – 100% of all money made from this little venture (after costs) is given to Bristol Antifa.

From old Oi! classics by the likes of The Angelic Upstarts and The Oppressed, to the latest punk sounds of The Fallout and Guerilla, as well as a few well-endowed compilations covering all manner of styles, you should be able to find something to tickle your ears. And, all being well, I’ll be adding to the list over the coming months.

So please take a look and, if you’ve got a bit of cash, pick yourself up a little treat while admiring the sweet irony involved in using the capitalist medium of exchange as a weapon against ’em.

The Dead Shall Walk The Earth

Sometime in the new year, The Amebix will be playing in my living room. Not the real live people that make up the band, obviously, but the DVD that the band are releasing in collaboration with Belfast Records. There’s still just about enough time left to pre-order one. This has the potential to be one hell of a film if this short trailer is anything to go by. The band will also be touring in the new year, the first time in over 20 years by my reckoning. They’re doing the States in January and (hopefully) a UK and European leg in the spring. I’m not usually one for trips down memory lane (I’ve got some pretty mental memories), but I’ll make an exception in this case. When they pass through town, you’ll find me down the front with my head in the bass bin and a gallon of rough on my lips. There may even be a bag of glue involved. Come and join me.

Remaking A Name For Themselves

Perfectly proportioned UK punkyska label and distro Household Name Records, run by the suave and debonair Lil and Kafren, have redesigned and relaunched their website. And it’s all very slick and cutting edge (unlike this clunky affair).

To celebrate their ability to remain young and trendy, they’re having a sale. And there are some proper bargains to be had, with reductions ranging from around 20-50% on virtually everything they flog!

In these times of credit crunch and economic downturn, what better way to cheer yourself up than by spending a few of your hard-earned wageslave tokens on some keenly priced noise from a proper DIY outfit?

Averting Tragedy

Mospit Tragedy logoMoshpit Tragedy, purveyors of the mighty Amebix and other worthy noise merchants, are having a few problems with their old web URL. So they’ve bought a new one – http://moshpittragedy.com – which will be their permanent home from now on. And they’re asking their friends to spread the word. So there ya go.

They’re working on resolving the problem with the old address, and it will eventually point to the new site. But, in the meantime, if you link to Moshpit Tragedy (and why wouldn’t you?), please update your link to their site as soon as you can.

Amebix – Monolith DL

Artist: Amebix
Title: Monolith
Source: Studio master
Bitrate: 256kbs
Running time (h:m:s): 00:44:04
Size (mb): 85.8
Label: Moshpit Tragedy
Year: 1987 (re-released 2008)

The BaronThis band should need no introduction. As the official Godfathers Of Crust™ before the term was even coined (credit for that goes to Hellbastard with their ‘Ripper Crust’ demo), they were personally responsible for adding the dark and crushing edge to the punk scene that many of us have come to love. They also had a pretty good sense of humour for such a miserable bunch of bastards.

This was their last full-length studio release and was, in part, responsible for the ultimate demise of the band soon afterwards. While ‘Arise!’ will always be their greatest triumph (at least for this Old Punk), ‘Monolith’ saw the band stretching their own boundaries to create something that, whilst still distinctly Amebix, showed just how much they had to offer.

So what’s the deal with the re-issue? Well, from what I can gather, the band got fucked over quite a bit by the label that originally released it and ended up out of pocket (which didn’t have much in them to start with). In true punk fashion, they’ve teamed up with Moshpit Tragedy Records to make it available again. And the deal is pretty good. Moshpit Tragedy operate a sliding scale payment system for all of the bands on their label. This ranges from free to a maximum of $10 Canadian. This particular download comes with very classy DIY CD sleeve and insert artwork that includes lyrics and a few words from The Baron.

I’ve stumped up the ten bucks (about a fiver in proper money) and grabbed it. I’ve always rated this band as one of the greats and I’m more than happy to show my appreciation for what they’re doing with this. Head over to Moshpit Tragedy and pay (or not, as you see fit) your respects too.

While you’re there, you’d be daft not to check out all of the other fine troubadours touting their tasty wares.

No Gods, No Masters!One final thing: The Baron has recently jammed with his bro’ (Stig – original guitarist) and Roy Mayorga (drummer from Nausea, amongst others) as a consequence of putting together an Amebix DVD. It all seemed to go rather swimmingly, and there is a possibility that a new phoenix may arise from the old ashes. The DVD, including the new recordings, is due out later this year. I, for one, am almost wetting myself in anticipation. This sounds like it will be much more than just a reunion re-hashing past glories (although a bit of that would be most welcome here).

OP’s opinion: Five

Better Read Than Dead

PE55 coverThe other day I spotted what could well turn out to be the bargain of the year, an annual sub of £18 for six issues of Profane Existence (via Active Rebellion, their UK distributor). The last time I picked up a copy of this, it was still a newspaper. Now it’s a proper magazine with a glossy full-colour cover artfully containing the acid-free paper inside (for the collector obsessives amongst us).

As well as an insightful article on water and global politics, there are some great interviews (including one with The Fallout, a top bunch of Canuck antifascists), a couple of pages of tongue-tickling vegan winter warmer recipes, a few dozen column inches from the columnists, oodles of reviews and a bundle of classy punk rock graphics.

Not only that, but each issue comes with a free compilation CD – the latest edition (#55) has 26 tracks of finest political punk rock, from Anthrax (the original UK punkers, not the hairy metallers, natch) to Wolfbrigade. Being PE, it leans towards the crusty d-beat end of things (which suits me just fine), but there should be enough variety in the noise to put a smile on your face at some point. Highlight of the current one for this old punk is a a cover of ‘The Darkest Hour’ (originally by The Amebix, but -10 punk points if you didn’t know that already) by Garmonbozia.

Not only that, but PE are also going to be giving away one of their new releases free with each issue to subscribers. #55 comes with the Murder Disco Experience discography, which sells for a fiver plus postage on its own. The next couple will include noise from State Of The Union and Disgusting Lies.

So, for three quid, you get a top quality magazine packed with words worth shouting, two CDs crammed with cacophony, and a satisfying glow knowing that you’re helping the PE crew stay active.

Result.

OP’s opinion: Five

Download sample track – ‘Y.A.S.S.A.W. (Yet another Simple Song About War)’ by Murder Disco Experience (appears on both CDs)

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