Born Shit Stirrers


Born Shit Stirrers Lester LP

I wanted to hate this at first. “This is just another we can just do offensive grindcore and no one can tell we have no passion’ record,” I said to myself. I was wrong about the passion and the genre. This collection of UK expats in Japan make some super fun, super concise punk jams. They’re the kind of immature and snotty that can only come with many years of experience perfecting immaturity and snottiness. Offensive for offensiveness’s sake is typically a pretty boring choice, and heavily featuring samples from American Beauty and featuring Kevin Spacey as Lester Burnham on the cover seems to be just negatively provocative more than entertaining. However, there is enough going on here to shine through the less desirable choices made by the band. There is some legitimate instrumental and lyrical talent on display here, so taking a couple minutes to sample a few of their songs would not be wasted time. The first five tracks will barely cost you three minutes. “Smash Your Smartphone” rings like a classic X song, “The Worm” is a punk rock joy, and “Kurosaki” is a ska-tinged 90 seconds of movie dialogue before going straight into anarcho-punk aggression for another 30.

Born Shit Stirrers Pure Shite CD

When I picked up a 62-song CD with unrelentingly negative (but really funny!) song titles, I thought for sure this was going to be some kind of RUPTURE clone. The BORN SHIT STIRRERS are definitely not that—they are something much stranger and much more interesting. The songs are mostly very, very short to be sure, but the band’s sound joins the speed and song structures of early DRI to the drunken chaos of UK82, especially DISORDER and CHAOS UK, and the acerbic wit and melodic sensibilities of SCREECHING WEASEL, with female vocals that sound very much like Stacey of MANKIND? and CALLOUSED. VILENTLY ILL are probably the most similar contemporary band I can compare them to, though the SHIT STIRRERS are a full band and are much less influenced by early USHC. The band is based out of Fukuoka, but is composed primarily of expats from the US and UK, which is an interesting dynamic that is primarily played out in the lyrics, which excoriate the punk scene, elements of Japanese society (especially bureaucracy), work culture, expat life. This disc collects all three of their studio recordings and a live set (“At Budokan,” heh) in one handy package, with art and lyrics included. If you want to know more, there’s a fucking hilarious mockumentary about the band called Born to Stir Shit floating around that’s definitely worth a watch.

Born Shit Stirrers Depressed Father’s Club CD

Short blasts of attitude from a crew of Brits living on the north coast of Japan’s southern island. (I’m talking about the big islands. Okinawa and Ishigaki are important and beautiful, but they aren’t very big.) Songs mostly clock in under the one-minute mark, and come off like KICKER and PUSRAD in a blender. Vocals are barked with a rarely rivaled irreverence, and this crew of expats relentlessly assails foreigners with a vicious wit. Top notch release from a group that manages the “tongue in cheek” vs. “fun as fuck” balance brilliantly.