Wlochaty Zmowa 2xLP

This band has produced a ton of material to sink your teeth into in their 30+ years of existence, but today we’re focused on the reissue of their fifth album which originally came out twenty (!) years ago. Zmowa (“Collusion”) holds a massive amount of music and retains many of the qualities I recall from the couple records I’m most familiar with. Frequent intros and outros elongate many of the tracks, and the additional instrumental interludes stretch it out even further, hence the double-LP format. At the center of each song is usually hard-hitting, fast melodic punk, save for a squat-skankin’ ska breakdown here and there. Their style is very long-winded, passionate European anarcho-punk…I think of them as the CONFLICT (UK) of Poland. I can see that as a turn off for many punks these days, which I totally get. I have a deep appreciation for and connection to this style of contemplative and poetic socio-political punk, despite the fact that I typically crave something more direct. This is the first time Zmowa is on vinyl, with a gatefold jacket and insert slathered with photos and all of the anti-state, animal rights, anti-war lyrics in Polish and English. 

Wlochaty Wlochaty 2xLP

Poland’s WLOCHATY (“Hairy”) originally released this nineteen-song recording on cassette in 1994, sold an astounding 20,000 copies, and then re-released it on vinyl in 1995 as a condensed fifteen-song LP, with an added saxophone track (?) in the mixes of the songs. This deluxe, double-LP version presents the original recording—without sax—with strong remastering, deluxe presentation in a gatefold sleeve, and lyrics in English and Polish. As a debut record recorded 25 years ago, this long-standing veteran band was still defining their sound, but this classic is such a expansion on the genetic blueprints of the crucial elements of Polish hardcore: pogo-ready punk stormers, odd experimental avant-garde turns, unexpected reggae influences, melodic acoustic passages, brute cold wave harshness, and scathing hardcore as their vocalists ramble and shout poetic, thoughtful political lyrics. Tandem choruses by male and female backup screamers punctuate and stoke the chaos. Engaging, challenging, and ultimately rewarding—a fantastic re-release!