Unknown Liberty


Grawlixes / Unknown Liberty Chaos NY split EP

If you love CONFUSE, you will adore GRAWLIXES precisely because, just like you, they also love CONFUSE, and therefore loving GRAWLIXES is like loving the love for CONFUSE, if you know what I mean. The band is from Albany and some of its members played in NEUTRON RATS, if that rings a bell. There are four songs on their side, very well executed given the template: it’s fuzzy, loud, distorted, fun, a bit silly and delightfully pogoable. Proper punk music. Ten or fifteen years ago, there were a lot of bands doing the Japanese noisepunk thing (like the WANKYS or SAD BOYS, for instance), and I reckon GRAWLIXES do it with gusto. On the other side, we have UNKNOWN LIBERTY, who are mostly unknown I guess, from nearby Kingston—a band that I had noticed with their rather good Chain of Madness demo tape last year. They also have a Japanese hardcore punk influence, but they don’t rely as much on the Kyushu tradition as GRAWLIXES, although there certainly is a noisy distortedness about them and they do love some feedback in their punk. On that level, I am reminded of CFDL and crasher hardcore bands like (Osaka’s) ICONOCLAST or DECEIVING SOCIETY, but UNKNOWN LIBERTY also has a more versatile side and they do add some nice dissonant guitar leads, not unlike some Italian greats maybe. The vocals are harsh and insane-sounding, and as the crude dove logo suggests, they obey the peacecrust doctrine. This is a split that I would love to own.

Unknown Liberty Chain of Madness cassette

The artwork on this cassette doesn’t really convey the experience you’re in for when you listen to UNKNOWN LIBERTY. My initial expectation was anarcho peace punk, but when I pushed play, I was immediately rewarded with some loud, rough-hewn punk with no care for song structure or musicality. This isn’t straight-up “noise not music,” but more like hardcore punk played by hellions that care, but want to annoy. The six tracks that comprise this cassette are over and done with before you’re ready, so expect to push play again. “Science of Violence” is perhaps my current favorite song off this cassette. The start of it sounds like the band is trying to find the ideal rhythm. Once it comes together, the guitar wiggles around amongst the bass chugging and drum pounding, while the vocal delivery is caustic and baleful. If you’re into punk that jumps in unexpected directions and has the sound of an angle grinder running over a two-stroke engine, then you’ll be very pleased with UNKNOWN LIBERTY.