Rudimentary Peni


Rudimentary Peni Cacophony LP reissue

To review a classic record is a difficult task. Ideally, a serious reviewer should pretend to be unfamiliar with the work before writing about it in order to be somewhat objective and maybe offer something fresh. The risk of being in awe before a canonical record and therefore unable or unwilling to think critically about it is also serious. After all, there must have been dozens of reviews about Cacophony in the past 35 years, and most people already know about the record. Why bother when I could just binge-watch a mediocre series that I will inevitably forget about? Originally released in 1988, Cacophony is one of RUDIMENTARY PENI’s most famous recordings and some people rate it as the band’s best work, but I am not one of them. The band’s uniquely deranged, bizarre sound, magnificent creepy aesthetics, their reluctance to play live, and the mystery surrounding them have clearly created a legend, and few bands can claim to be as cult as PENI. There is no doubt that reissuing Cacophony is a brilliant idea and a necessity, as it is a classic album that just should be available. More than a collection of songs, it has to be listened to as a gothic trip, if not a descent, into the life, psyche, and oeuvre of Lovecraft, an uncanny world governed by fear, madness and eeriness. It is as strange as it is particular, unlike any other punk albums. To be honest, I like Death Church much better, and I think Cacophony makes more sense if you take PENI’s previous output into account, as it is a clear departure from conventional punk songwriting, if not from the classical definition of punk itself. Taken individually, the 30 songs that made up the LP are not particularly meaningful—it is only as a cohesive whole, as a full narrative, that they create deep meaning. Musically, Cacophony is hard to describe. Polyphonic, versatile, dark, free, macabre, insanity-driven, undead, strangely sensual, anguished and tortured, creative asylum punk rock. It is great, essential even, but I am still struggling to know if I love it or if I am just fascinated. Whatever the answer, we should all thank Sealed Records.

Rudimentary Peni Media Person EP reissue

I love witnessing the early flashes of bands as transgressive and iconoclastic as RUDIMENTARY PENI. This is the reissue of their stunning debut EP, originally recorded in 1981 and released on their own Outer Himalayan label. Twelve songs in twelve minutes,  absolute glory remastered from the original tapes. Obviously this 7″ is a sample of a searching period of Nick Blinko’s project, where lines are thrown into dark areas of the psyche that the band would later explore in their sound, but where influences and youthful impetus are also noted, manifested for example in an unabashed love of speed.  The songs are short outbursts full of creativity and precision—you can already see the intention to create a private universe, a mental map, so to speak, that can be expressed through an assault on sounds. “Teenage Time Killer” and “Media Person” already point to the Death Church sound, while the rest inhabit a place where an abrasive, dark Pink Flag exists. This is a cultural artifact that deserves to be in our collection.

Rudimentary Peni Death Church LP reissue

One of the most influential albums in punk history. But you already know this. This is the prototype from which the discographies of entire bands and even world scenes were created. But you already know this. We can also see it as a master plan for a suicide mission: to expose the farce of the great civilizational institutions and destroy tropes deeply rooted in our minds. Let’s say it is also an initiatory journey where the medium is the message and the medium is these 21 songs that expose the topographical record of a particular spirit, that of Blinko. A notoriously sensitive spirit that generates images that can be brutal and cryptic but powerfully vehement lyrically. An album that invites you not to be a mere passive recipient of riffs, but an active participant in a process of psychological and existential transformation, of the opening in the middle of a dark forest, a path of mental resistance. And besides, it just slaps.  Consider it a unique opportunity to own a piece of history.


Rudimentary Peni Great War LP

Holy shit! For the first time in 26 years, RUDIMENTARY PENI have released a full-length, although Great War was recorded some years ago before the mysterious hiatus of the ever-shifting project. It works along the tracks of the 2009’s Wilfred Owen the Chances single, in which they take a more dehumanized bleak approach which just adds to the nightmarish sound that plagues their soundscapes. Once again the overlying theme and lyrics deal with anxiety and the ugly face of mental illness in this constraining world. The artwork is amazing as expected and has the ability to turn a record into wall art. One of the most amazing bands to come out of the UK´s anarcho-punk scene for sure, Nick Blinko has cast a shadow on punk music that will take a long time to disappear.

Rudimentary Peni The E.P.’s Of R.P. LP

This re-release of the band’s two EP’s on one record is a definite treat for those who missed out the first time around. Both sides are packed full of the intense, harsh sound that this English band was known for, as well as more of Nick Blink’s cover act. Not for tame ears or eyes.

Rudimentary Peni Death Church LP

At long last, a RUDIMENTARY PENI album. The band delivers the essence of total imagination into their music, lyrics, and art—complete originality. Fast, creative, and haunting, the fascination continues with this overwhelmingly intense display of lunging vocals, screeching guitars, enticing bass, and roaring drum abrasiveness. Once again, the brilliance that is RUDIMENTARY PENI.

Rudimentary Peni Media Person EP

One of the truly magnificent records of 1981, which inexplicably received almost no media attention. 12 thrash garage tunes (a new subgenre) like the best of the MEAT PUPPETS, but with political themes. It’s really too great for words, so get it if you can find it.