Anti-Cimex The 7″ EPs Collection 4×7″ box set

A sharp set re-presenting a few of the best Swedish raw hardcore records, the ANTI-CIMEX 7” EPs Collection box set contains the band’s legendary first three EPs as well as the 1992 Fucked in Finland live 7″. Each of the reissues included in the set is presented with keen attention to detail, staying faithful to the original artwork and packaging styles. With an A-side that’s more driven by thumping guttural bass lines than the band’s signature drum style, and a more pronounced primitive D-beat pounding on the flip, this press of the band’s debut Anarkist Attack EP has a crisp, crackly crunch to it that’s more satisfying than the entire Lay’s catalog combined. Translating the lyrics into English to discover that the songs, while savage on the surface, are actually violent demands for peace, adds another appealing layer to it. The much-revered second record is where the band establishes their trademark “wall of noise” sound, marking the switch to English lyrics and giving us the debut of Jonsson moving up from bass to vocals, as well as the iconic “War Machine.” Their third release, Victims of a Bombraid, is peak CIMEX for me, and pretty much a perfect punk record in my opinion. It’s a hard act to follow, but the live ’90s-era EP performed in Finland sustains the energy surprisingly well. The records are accompanied by a 24-page booklet of photos and interviews spanning all phases of the band’s history, from the beginnings to postmortem. Here you can find the band revealing how they took their name, recalling near-death experiences, and confessing their appreciation for BLONDIE and BILLY IDOL, but my favorite exchange might be this one: “Q: Do you want anarchy? A: Yes.” These powerful discs paired with the book make for a pretty immersive experience. To follow it up properly, you’re going to need the Demos ’81—’85 LP, and a few hours to burn on the archive at and the Victims of a Bombraid blog.

World Burns to Death The Sucking of the Missile Cock LP reissue

This hardcore classic has been re-mastered (though seemingly still with a layer of mud caked over the speakers to maintain some authenticity) to remind us of what the state of hardcore was in 2002 right after 9/11 when George W. Bush was in office. The anger and disdain is visceral, likely leading to the staying power of this album. Everything on here is so perfectly put together that it sounds like it could have been written and recorded last week. “Whom the Gods Destroy…They First Make Ridiculous” is a face-bludgeoning anthem that sticks with you. “The Dead Sing This Hymn” has a ridiculously strong intro that is likely to cause you to thrash around whatever room you happen to be in. Perhaps it’s a good idea to put away any fragile items before you put this one on. Even if you played this one a thousand times twenty years ago, it’s time for a revisit. This album also reminded me that it’s been a while since I’ve pulled out any SEVERED HEAD OF STATE records, so I’m going to get on that, too.