Reissue of the Week: 92 – “Cenzura/Cukrarnar”


August 19th, 2015 by

92 – “Cenzura/Cukrarnar”
The travel back in time continues! Next stop: Ljubljana, Slovenia circa 1978. Like many bands from former Yugoslavia, 92—who get their name from the police’s phone number, the equivalent to 911 in the US—fuse new wave sounds with reconstructed regional and traditional musical elements, all filtered through punk with a keyboard twist. 92 were informed by, but not dependent on or limited to, bands such as the CLASH, SEX PISTOLS and STONES, and concepts such as nihilism, Dadaism and social critique. Their logo of the number 92 inside a triangle charms and perplexes me despite its simplicity. This results in upbeat tracks with layers of choppy and grazing guitars, dancey drums alongside swelling bass, and soulful, raw organ riffs haunting the whole thing. The lyrics are critical and sharp. “Cukrarnar” (“Sugar Works Man”) tells the story of a “raged vagrant on the street […], he’s dirty and full of trash, in sugar works every night he spends, but then he wakes up on the bench.” “Cenzura,” which discusses the issue of state censorship, is slightly darker, with its dense opening riff and staccato keyboards. “Basically you corrected everything on your own.” The keys are wonderfully expressive, tying this whole concept together in a unique manner; at times sounding almost like a child’s melodica, at others more like a breezy church organ, or carrying the frenetic beat in an almost accordion-at-the-fair fashion. Their collected works LP, which was released in 2013 also by NE! Records and reviewed in these pages, is definitely worth checking out if you have an interest in early European punk, but this 45 works as an excellent introduction to this extraordinary band. Two tracks that are equal parts vibrant demonstration as they are creative exuberance. As always, comes in a beautiful packaging, with lots of pictures and translated lyrics. Check out their interview in MRR #378 and hvala NE! Records for doing such a great job! (Lydiya)
(NE!)

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