A Culture of Killing


A Culture of Killing Dissipation of Clouds, The Barrier LP

Really unique sound coming from somewhere vaguely in Italy—A CULTURE OF KILLING brings in elements of goth, post-punk, anarcho, peace punk, and even dub. Vocals come at us with call-and-response male/female parts that harmonize on choruses, keeping us engaged the whole record through. Guitars also call and respond, arpeggiate, jab, and blare into crescendos that has everyone on double-time. Bass does not merely toe the line, and is in fact front and center on a lot of the tracks (check out “Speculations”). I also hear a guiro (I think?), some other odd block percussion, and a xylophone somewhere. The drums provide a rhythm seamlessly transitioning between pared-down, stark post-punk, to groove-centered dub beats that gather the band into a potent force, never devolving into a belabored “jam,” while providing endless fun. A CULTURE OF KILLING mentions ZOUNDS, the CURE, and CRASS as some influences, and while I hear pieces of each, they have truly formed their own breed of punk. This is their third album, and first with Drunken Sailor, and I’m equally excited to listen to their past two LPs as I am to see what is next.

A Culture of Killing The Feast of Vultures, The Cry of a Dove LP

Italian peace punks A CULTURE OF KILLING do an impeccable job in channeling the British anarcho-punk movement. Nostalgic feelings of listening to the MOB or CRASS run through every song on this record in a well-achieved way. Catchy and well-crafted songs about modern life in this decaying system. Taking the record name from investigative journalist Josy Josef’s dissertation about corruption in India’s democracy “Feast of Vultures,” it is filled to the brim with strong political views.

A Culture of Killing A Culture of Killing LP

This ain’t how you usually expect anarcho-punk to sound. This band from Italy goes epic: they take the icy guitars, melodic basslines, and baritone from early ’80s post-punk and mix it with anarcho themes and sensibilities. Think of short-haired the CURE, SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES, the CHURCH, and the MOB, the latter whom they cover (go straight to “Mirror Breaks”) on this LP. I couldn’t find that much information about these guys but it doesn’t matter, this record is full of hits. A CULTURE OF KILLING’s songwriting takes you places. Overall they sound dark but not bleak, dynamic yet really melodic, almost thrilling. “War” and “We Can Never Go Back” are two beautiful gems, a pair of chart hits from an alternative timeline in the ’80s. Perhaps what I’ve said so far might make you think these guys are fixated on the past, but they do have their own style and their lyrics are completely focused on the tribulations of these times. These eight songs were originally released on tape and now as vinyl. I hate to tell ya, though, the record is so good it actually sold out. Hope there’s a new edition we can get our hands on very soon.