Reviews

Bomb-All

Death Sentence Death and Pure Destruction EP reissue

Not a life-altering reissue of DEATH SENTENCE’s first and only 7″, which was originally released in 1982. Hailing from the UK, sounding a bit Riot City-ish with straightforward hardcore tracks, tireless drumming, and a lot, lot, lot of chorus vocals. I bought this record because I liked the drums, which remind me a bit of VORKRIEGSPHASE, although the rest of the music is generic. The best feature of the drums is the efforts turning into interesting failures. Other instruments do not show such vulnerability, rather performing well as machines. Dry, didactic angst blasts from the vocals and the accidental distortion on the guitars, which makes them barely identifiable, help to remember the rush through each song. This 7″ fits the dictionary definition of hardcore but you have to use your imagination to find anything special about them. Therefore, Death and Pure Destruction is an okay record that’s safe to get and put on, but not something you will keep on your selection.   

Call the Cops / Just Wär At War With Cops split LP

This is what I like to call “beer-drinking music” at its best. JUST WÄR from the Czech Republic is a great alternative for all the INEPSY maniacs out there that miss some MOTÖRHEAD-influenced hardcore punk. They really know their MOTÖRHEAD discography like the back of their hands and it shows on their four original tracks, with some extra influences here and there. On the track “Live on Fire,” they venture into black metal territory for a brief moment, but then resume to the street Motör-charged punk they pull off so well. CALL THE COPS from Italy are pissed, angry at everything, and also really love MOTÖRHEAD by the sound of it, but have their own street punk twist. Each band does four original tracks and a cover of the other band, something that is always exciting in splits and shows a sense of unity throughout. MOTÖRHEAD? Check! Hardcore punk? Check! Hatred towards cops? Double check!!!

Pisscharge Edën LP

FUCK YEAH!!! Get past the band name and doom metal-looking LP cover. There are so many reasons this Hanover band’s (made up of Brazilian, Chilean, and German band members) debut LP is awesome! First, this sounds so fucking urgent, not in a “we liked and wanted to sound like urgent hardcore from the ’80s” but actually like urgent hardcore from the ’80s, where the emotion, politics and passion of what the band is trying to express fuel the intensity. Second, it doesn’t sound like hardcore from the ’80s, nor is there any particular direct reference point except maybe the experimentation and intensity of later ’90s and ’00s Brazilian hardcore (this is way more aggressive but let’s say… MERDA?), where anything: melody, metal riffage, or simple boot-stomping punk can throw itself in to twist around the fourteen tracks of hardcore steamrolling. Third, it has absolutely wickedly scathing female vocals. Fourth, it is dedicated to the memory of Brazilian feminist and anti-police violence activist Marielle Franco, who was assassinated in 2018 in Rio de Janeiro. “Never forget / Organize without fear!” Fifth, the balance of chaotic looseness and musical competency is perfect, where sandpapery blasts of simple metal riffing charge simple and loose, but there’s still deft thrash. Sixth, songs are sung in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, with a fold out lyric sheet containing translations. Seventh, the punchy recording is mastered well, but also balanced with sounding really raw. Eighth: Q: And D-beat? A: And D-beat. Ninth, the band is self described as “Antifa punk, no grayzone.” I’m sold!

Vex Sanctuary 12″ reissue

Unfairly unheard of, this lone EP was originally released in 1984 through Fight Back Records, a sub-label of Mortarhate, run by the good people of CONFLICT. Thirty years later Sacred Bones released Sanctuary (The Complete Discography), which gave them a bit more exposure and gave them some justice in a sense. VEX knew darkness like no other band, combining the anarcho-punk ethos of CRASS or CONFLICT with the apocalyptic tribal beats of early AMEBIX, KILLING JOKE, and UK DECAY. They were short-lived but made a mark in the underground and the reissues gave them the status of a cult classic, influencing several modern post-punk acts. With a new reissue by Bomb-All, be sure to pick up this criminally underrated gem from the UK anarcho-punk scene.