Siekiera Demo Summer ’84 LP

Warsaw Pact just keeps on delivering, this time with the elusive and incredible 1984 demo from Poland’s first hardcore band. Almost forty years later, and these songs still give me chills—had they released vinyl at the time (or, let’s be honest, had they been from the global West), they would be mentioned alongside CIMEX and RATOS and STALIN, because these recordings are every bit that fierce, but instead they passed from cassette to cassette for decades before creeping onto a couple of small-run reissues (that already fetch collector prices). But this is how they are supposed to sound, how they are supposed to feel…primal, fervent, aggressive, honest, intense hardcore punk. The presentation is gorgeous, packed with photos and images from the era—this is as close to “essential” as anything you’re going to read about this month.

Siekiera Jarocin ’84 LP

Polish punks SIEKIERA are best known for their Nowa Aleksandria post-punk album, but before that genre switch they were an intense hardcore punk force. Jarocin ’84 is a legendary live recording that took place at the Jarocin Festival. The recording has two parts; the competition and the final set. Rumour has it that when they played there, the audience responded with the biggest pogo ever in Poland. This is a piece of Eastern European punk history, and even if you are more inclined to their later post-punk stuff, you should check this one out. A freight train of hardcore punk in the vein of CHAOS UK and DISORDER.