En Röst För Fred 1984–1986 LP
AGONI of Stockholm was one of the predecessors of modern D-beat and Scandinavian hardcore, playing in the heavier register such as SVART PARAD, BOMBANFALL, CRUDITY, DNA, HEADCLEANERS, ANTIBOFORS, DISARM, or DISCARD…but in some cases, several years prior to those bands. So, if any of that is of interest, this review is for you, and you already want or have this LP. AGONI was fucking heavy and fast, and pre-any of those categorizations. Just hardcore käng (känga “boot” crust) punk. Grumbling, furious bass and a calamity of drumming and distortion. An intonating furnace of vocals. Classic tumbling intros and tempo changes you hear all the time in a D-beat “Dis” band today. Not just today, ever since the mid-’80s, and all over the world! But AGONI, and their Swedish contemporaries, wrote that skit. The freshness is almost palpable; it sounds so sincerely constructed and musically destructed. The remastering of these three demos(!) and a live 1985 gig is outstanding. Not to get too far off track here, but if you watch ’80s skate videos and you see the look on the skater’s face when they are like, “What the fuck did I just do and land?,” you realize they were inventing something raw and powerful and always went as hard as possible —it was their scene to do so. That is what it’s like to listen to this compilation. Beautiful hardcore in its the purest and earliest form. No carbon copies here, actually writing the often-imitated fill stylings and riffs you hear today, seemingly happening on the exact take you are listening to. Those subtle imperfections in timing and dropping tone that make it so fucking punk. Side B (demo three) moves into their more thrash-crossover material, as bands of this style were doing then, but even their take retains hardcore roots in its hooks. This collection is essential! Alas, all the liner notes are in Swedish. Use your translation app or something, it’s not 1984—and don’t forget your band is not AGONI when you rehearse that two-second raw moment they did, but you’re still pretty good.