Capric​ö​rn Sink in Tears LP

French D-beat punk that sounds a whole lot like MOTÖRHEAD. The production on this record sounds great—thick bass lines, drums straight up front, and clear vocals. A “Road Warrior” clip starts us off, and then it’s ten fast and earnest rockers about goats, Satan, beer, and Satan again. There’s an OZZY clip at the beginning of “Sober is Bullshit,” who is either the best or worst spokesperson for the cause. Gang choruses and some call-and-response vocals give the album a fun, live feel throughout. If this kind of speed-punk/metal mix is your jam, you’ll like this.

Crossczech Partie Bez Ví​t​ě​zů LP

Prague SHARP skins released the follow-up to their debut a full decade later, so clearly not one for rushing into things. Forgive me for being a critical Christopher here, but one might have fairly assumed if you’ve taken a full ten years to work on a sequel to your first LP, you might have used some of that time to become better? However, this is much the same from this bunch, a relatively nondescript blend of watered-down Oi!, street punk, and some absolutely terrible ska. Perfect for after seven to twelve pilsners so you don’t really care what it sounds like. Despite all this, I will give them enormous credit for being openly left-wing in a scene where weirdo loser flag-botherers are getting more prominent and need stamping out.

Excluded Legion of War LP

A hefty hunk of Mexican street punk here from the fellas in EXCLUDED on their fourth release, a pleasingly quixotic mix of Oi! and hardcore both in English and Spanish. It took me a while to get fully into this, and while they don’t quite grab me in the way that their contemporaries and compatriots MESS do, for a take on the genre it’s a lot of fun. Gang vox, ramshackle riffs that feel like they could derail at any point, and drums that sound like someone knocking the absolute shite out of some bin lids, it’s an enjoyable way to spend your time.

Feral Kids Feral Hits! 12″

This recording opens with a soundbite lifted from Mad Max to let you know this is the music you’ll play while causing chaos in your Durango 95 (no apologies for these mixed movie references). Classic thrash metal for ne’er-do-wells, FERAL KIDS offer big lead guitar riffs, raucous vocals, and that sound that only comes from being a part of the road crew. The song “Dusty Breeze” is about as chilled out as FERAL KIDS get, and even then they’re still shredding and thrashing.

Illegal Corpse Riding Another Toxic Wave LP

Hard, tight crossover leaning more on the hardcore than the thrash side of the scale. The cover art, songs about beer, and sick riffs all spell “thrash,” but the aggressive breakdowns and brutal attitude will have you throwing elbows and picking up change in the pit. “Let It Beer” absolutely rips and particularly showcases the insane drumming with double-kicks flying, rolls and fills, and hi-hats crashing all over the place. There’s no fat or filler in any of these thirteen tracks. Impossibly fast and in-your-face like all the best crossover should be. Fans of MUNICIPAL WASTE and GOATWHORE, take note.

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!!!

Kritická Situace St​á​le Na Út​ě​ku LP

A key piece of Prague’s punk history, filled with melancholy and angst, screaming for freedom and against mandatory military service and state oppression. This sixteen-track LP includes KRITICKÁ SITUACE’s second demo, originally released in 1989, and represents a great musical archeology effort to bring back a classic cult Czech band by mastering and releasing such an album. Raw punk and some primitive D-beat and crust, and even some proto-hardcore nods (which Czechs like to call “motörpunk”), delivering an example of primitive classic Eastern European sounds. Low quality on the instruments and recording gear, but that doesn’t really matter here. Time-resistant material filled with diminutive distorted guitars, ranting drums, and some good anti-war riffing with nods to militia-related cadences, but taking them as a method of resistance to establish their own war. This second demo from KRITICKÁ SITUACE offers some context regarding the almost-achieved early ’90s abolition of compulsory military service. “Still on the run from the limitations of our own fellow citizens. Still on the run from the madness of war.” Anti-militarism, pacifism, criticism of one’s own ranks. Pure raw punk energy catalyzed in vagueness, inexperience, limited skills, and greatly limited options for own equipment. Hate militarism? This might be an inspiring album for a revolt.

Out of Control / Prisoners of War War Control / Out of Prison split LP

I don’t like to be mean about DIY punk bands as they are the fabric of all local scenes, the lifeblood, the passion, often what unites us. They are our culture. A place without punk bands is a dead place. It does not mean, however, that one should embrace everything uncritically. In fact, you could argue that the intentional lack of a critical perspective on any given punk work is insulting. All art deserves to and should be critiqued, in context, fairly and honestly, and, in the case of punk music, with the idea to support and encourage and create bridges. Now that I’m done with all this hippie bollocks, let’s just say that I was unable to listen to the split LP between Czech bands OUT OF CONTROL (from Hradec Kralove) and PRISONERS OF WAR (from Omolouc) in its entirety. If you are into beefy, American-styled, hardcore-tinged street punk, this would probably be your thing, but it is a style I do not relate to at all. OUT OF CONTROL may be a little more on the Oi!-core side, while PRISONERS OF WAR are more aligned with the sing-along hardcore-ish street punk philosophy (if I had to pick one, it would be them). The production is very clean and I guess the two bands are dynamic enough.