Reviews

Black Konflik

Affect Fucked Reality cassette

Well, you got that right, AFFECT. I first played this tape well into the evening, after a few park sodas, and said to myself “maybe I’ll listen to this again over the weekend, and it won’t sound so much like DISCLOSE.” AFFECT are a Swedish band, and if you love DISCLOSE and GLORIOUS?, this is a perfect addition to your Dis-collection. Dis is absolut raw chaos punk noize for reality fucker. And the best part: it’s done by two people, yet sounding like a catastrophic cacophony of several more. The percussion is a bit heavier than is standard, as is the galloping stomper track—my favorite—”Bleeding.” The words are lengthy and well-paced, nicely understated, throughout the tracks, and my only complaint is that I’d love to have some printed lyrics. The tan-on-black cover art is also excellent. AFFECT goes from “eh” to “hmm, well, OK!” with each subsequent listen.

Affect Profit Victim cassette

Noisy D-beat raw punk from Sweden. Five songs of frantic, chaotic, crusty punk with vocals barked over top and a constant squeal making me think my tinnitus was acting up. I was equally as shocked to read in the insert that this was actually recorded at a studio, not on a boombox, as I was to read that the band has only two members, the vocalist also playing the drums. I’m not sure if this is just a recording project or if they play live, but the songs are pretty cool and I would certainly like to see two people pull this off live.

Anti-Cimex En Product Från Dagens Skitsamhälle CD

This demo recording from 1982 is Anarkist Attack-era ANTI CIMEX, and it sounds great. It was originally sent out to zines and friends and hasn’t been available on CD before now. I have some of these demo recordings on the Demos 81-85 comp, but not all of them. Harsh, warbling and heavy, Nils delivers broken vocals with adolescent intensity, before Tomas took over with a gruffer, more matured sound. This features a DISCHARGE cover and a few impromptu instrumentals, and several rarer tracks such as “Eibon” that are only on demos. This is a powerful and raw ANTI-CIMEX disc, like a table saw that delivers.

Black Uniforms Faces of Death CD

Splattering metal punk from the Scandinavian hive of hardcore: Malmö, Sweden. BLACK UNIFORMS play motörcharged D-beat raw punk for all the moonlight rambling crashers. You get G-ZET, INEPSY, NAILBITER, and DIS-BONES style bammers, and heck, it even sounds like AMEBIX at times. This CD has both the original 1989 version of Faces of Death and the 2001 remastering. You know you want it!

Black Uniforms Splatter Punx on Acid CD reissue

OMG, I almost typed ”Splatter Punks”… This is thrashing, metal-soloed Swedish D-beat by the ultimate Splatter PUNX! On Acid, apparently, because there are plenty of bizarrely psychedelic moments, MotÁ¶r-charged punk’n’roll, leather-reeking athemic riffs, and obscured samples—BLACK UNIFORMS always play with a grandiose Swedish vocal power, recalling parts CONFLICT in conviction and lyrical content, parts KAFKA PROSESS, parts SODOM. Get this CD and Faces of Death if your heart beats punk vitriol but your breath smells like greasy metal!

Bombanfall Åsiktsfrihet CD

It is remarkably bittersweet to be writing my final reviews for the print edition of MRR, but what a distinct honor it was to receive this reissue of one of the greatest Swedish hardcore EPs ever…that was followed up by nothing. As far as I’m concerned, this is pretty much the epitome of Scandinavian hardcore that captures both a melodic legendary folklore sound, and despairingly raw punk fueled with grandiose, godless hammering. Unless you want to spend $150 on one of mine, you absolutely must pick this up. It’s pretty much a flawless, organically played, sincerely furious, monstrously echoing, pulpit-orated, masterpiece of extreme/DIY music history, which inspired so many future compositions. I know that’s a lot of praise to print. Well, here’s my chance.

Chaos UK Stunned to Silence CD reissue

Indeed, this is a stunning racket of CHAOS UK classic ripper punk. The first fifteen tracks are a grisly, minimally tracked echoing rehearsal take, slightly edited between songs in all its crudity. Super washed-out with pulverizing drums and brash vokills from Mower.  Portishead, England must have had their windows insulated that night. Classic raw ’80s hardcore with vocals, drums, bass, guitar—all arguing together and sounding like absolute cohesive chaos! Some of the more mid-tempo songs are awesomely punctuated for the production quality. The second fourteen tracks are a live gig at Rokumeikan Club in Tokyo. Much heavier production, scrapping guitars, grumbling drums, this half is even more distorted. For punx, by the punks, CHAOS UGHH! This is an expensive cassette, so here’s your chance to get it much easier.

Concrete Sox Sewerside CD reissue

Fuzzy crossover metal punk from Nottingham. Short mad burst of thrash punk fury while at its core is A-political stenchcore riding the wave of the late ’80s thrash explosion. That’s the real standout here: the Anarcho-punk stench is unrivaled through snotty coarse vocals, fanatically harsh D-beat/thrash drumming, and melodic breakdown with dirgey subterranean riffs carrying them through. Like the grooves of S.O.D. with the importance of C.O.C. Messy and punk technical thrash with Scandi-style ten-second guitar solos. This is actually a really fun listen. It’s aggressive, has bizarre samples, the lyrics are smart, the metal is up your arse and the punk is in your face. I first heard CONCRETE SOX on the Endless Struggle 1-in-12 comp and they sounded like DOOM meets OI POLLOI. Every time I got into a “new” CONCRETE SOX recording, it’s something new to experience. Anywhere from SORE THROAT to SUICIDAL to GANG GREEN. Sometimes that can seem confusing. But in their case somehow it is exciting. Keep it salty, keep it strange.

Crow 1988.2.28 Antiknock Live CD

This recording of CROW is crude, and captures the fury of punk that CROW was live. Some of my favorite CROW songs stand out on this anxious recording: “I’m Looking Out Over,” “Give Up All Hope,” my personal favorite “Bloody Earth,” and so on. The raw anguish and passion is captured in the racket, as CROW does not wait up for anything between songs. “The Day of Annihilation” into “Bloody Earth” into “Storms of Despair” into “Is Fiction,” right around the middle, just brings me to a moment of how relentless this show must have been to witness in person. A blast-through of a fire set that sounds like 25 people are in the band melting everyone’s face off.

D.N.A. Retrospective CD

Retrospective comprises all of this guttural Swedish D-beat band’s output. They have the vibe of early ANTI-CIMEX and the heaviness of SVART PARAD or BOMBANFALL, with funks-not-dead baselines that come to the forefront, and some slower-knuckle dragging ghostly rhythms as well. Think ATTACK SS, late-era RUDIMENTARY PENI, or even RADIO BIRDMAN, with macabre twists, turns, and gothic mangel. They cover “Green Onions,” for crying out loud. And the hardcore parts are raging. Not-as-talked-about 80s Swedish skit punkers, but certainly recommended.

Deviated Instinct Nailed CD

A hammering, high-production level EP on CD with classic hardcore metal riffs, breakdowns, and sinister vocals, the latter from Mid who coincidentally provided a ton of great punk art for NAPALM DEATH and EXTREME NOISE TERROR. Double-kick-pedal-driven death crust riffs, escapist vibes, cyber-industrial landscape effects—this reissue of DEVIATED INSTINCT Nailed longs for a lazy summer day under the trees with a gang of your best squatter buds. In a world where such things are no longer recommended! “OOH!” Just going to have to thrash on my roof. Tangent aside, if you’re not that familiar with DEVIATED INSTINCT, Nailed is the perfect example of terminal filth stenchcore. It’s killer. “Slow Death Suck” is a must hear death crust track. For fans of SKAVEN, BURNING WITCH, 13… this was a pioneer release when death metal punk was making its way into the NYHC sound as well. “UGH!”

Asocial / Distrust Live at International Youth Center 28/4-84 CD

Here’s a CD reissue of a split live tape that brings the noise all the way back to the beginning. This unrelenting käng chaos will have you dunking your head in model airplane glue and spray painting “DISCHARGE” on a police station wall. The recording is from a live show they played together with MOB 47 in 1984 and doesn’t sound much different from a lot of the studio recording from that era. It’s raw and noisy, but you can hear everything well enough, for D-beat. It also features some live bonus tracks from each band that I assume are from the same show. This isn’t just some collector’s item for Swedish raw punk completists, it’s great for anyone who hates music.

Hellbastard Hate Militia CD

The crustiest raw war metal punk. Loose triplet drumming, doom droning disgusting riffs. Headbangers all the way through. Octaves upon octaves of crust basics that sharpened its axe on the blackened stone of Northern England crust madness. Passionate ecological political lyrics spat over anarcho-metal with a goth-like undercurrent and thrash moments. Rather unique combination at a time when bands with a similar aesthetic were much more stripped down to a CRASS/AOA/ICONS OF FILTH style. The thanks list alone says it all: “To all the animals on earth, all the insects on earth, all the mammals and trees, birds, rivers and seas. Forests, lakes, ponds and woodlands—everything else can fuck off.” HELLBASTARD fucking yes. Full-color booklet of photos and lyrics. This is a nice appetizer, stay tuned for a HELLBASTARD 2020 album, as announced on these liner notes.

Influënzia Kønflik cassette EP

Scorching Malaysian hardcore blisters through five tracks of manically guitar soloed splatter-drummed, echoing distortion with Finnish influence and contemporary depth. Initially the presentation sounds like it’s going to be especially fast, but is surprisingly mid-tempoed with layers upon layers of distortion, harsh noise and grit, and “Ughs!” added at all the right moments. Some longer, lo-fi riff exploration reminds of blackened metal. Constantly ascending riffs pull you higher and higher over the gallows branch. Until it ultimately cuts you off wanting more. I’m reviewing a cassette called Kønflik, from Black Konflik, Malaysia. This rodent of audio media oozes with frustration and organic solidarity. Favorite track: “Isolasi II” into “Kriminal” into “Tragedi.” But they all sort of blend together one after the other. The entire play feels like a story in chapters. An unassuming introduction that grows on you by the end. Well done.

Klonns Vulgar CD

Holy shit. This is my shit—hyper-distorted pummeling D-beat noise. I know, I know… but seriously KLONNS is like the heaviness of COFFINS, the gnarly ferocity of D-CLONE, the driving beat of SYMPTOM and the embittered sincerely of FRAMTID. Fly your brain into the blacked clouds with this brief demonstration of gargantuan hardcore noise and gut-churning death-beat punk. I’ve been so fucking frustrated with this COVID-19 pandemic and our living situations… this was the guttural brain-cooking death punk attack I needed. Desperately. The last track is an ABRAHAM CROSS cover. Killer! Recommended for simple-minded D-beat Tokyo crasher crust romantics. NWOJHC!

Moderat Likvidation Kuknacke CD reissue

I mean, hey hey! Here is a collection of melodic ultra-fast hardcore from young Swedish legends MODERAT LIKVIDATION. This is a no-brainer must-have for noisefucker. Whenever I hear “Hiroshima” or “Enola Gay” my brain and heart melts. MODERAT LIKVIDATION packs the classic ’80s rough fuzz and fury into every track. And might be the ’80s band with the most pairs of glasses on. Fun fact! As a longtime spectacles-wearer, I appreciate how hard they rocked in cable knit sweaters, bleach-splat denim, leather and glasses. What do we want, excessive LIKVIDATION? NO! The CD quality sounds great, and my CD player isn’t even that great. Get this for a road trip or something—LIKVID your life a little! *pushes glasses up onto noise*

Regime Bury Them Now cassette

Blistering D-beat from Moscow, Russia. This tape rips and is pretty timeless. Nails this style dead on. Sure, it’s cliché to compare a D-beat band to DISCHARGE, but there you have it. Five songs will leave you wanting more.

Zygote 89-91 CD

Wow, this is much cooler than I had expected! It is no mystery that ZYGOTE is composed of members of AMEBIX as well as the SMARTPILS. When I first heard A Wind of Knives in the late ’90s (after getting into AMEBIX), I found it much more post-punk, to the tune of KILLING JOKE and even parts early JANE’S ADDICTION. The first half of this CD is much like that jangling industrial post-punk expression. Decent production with muffled gloom and hypnotism. The second half is a live set whose quality is as clear and on the same level as the demo. The low grinding vibe of AMEBIX is much more prevalent here on this raw offering of a more minimal post-punk project versus their single full-length album.

偏執症者 (Paranoid) Complete Paranoid Discography 2012-2017 2xCD

A fuckload (i.e. 50) of tracks on two CDs, housed in a nice digipak with an info booklet. I’m a little confused about the whole thing, with what sounds like English lyrics but with song titles in Japanese by a Swedish band. I’m guessing it’s an aesthetic choice, but I might just be a poser who doesn’t know shit about fuck. As a discerning fan of some noisy D-beat or Mangel or whatever, I still gave most of it up to collect late ’70s/early ’80s punk 45s! There’s only so much storage space in an affordable Bay Area flat, you know? And that was before PARANOID really came on the scene, so I own zero of their records, which makes me the perfect review candidate. I did not listen from start to finish because I don’t have enough alcohol and painkillers on hand, but skipping around randomly reveals that PARANOID is a capable noisy D-beat band with very effective imagery, and the occasionally referential nod to DISCLOSE or DEATH SIDE or any number of other noisy or Japanese things. My highlights are the MISFITS cover and STREBERS cover that isn’t on here (“2 Skott”), cuz it proves we have influences in common besides bands that start with D. So yeah I’m a bastard, but if you are a completist or need all fifty PARANOID songs ever in one package, then your prayers are answered. Jokes aside, Black Konflik = top quality.