From 2023
ANTILLECTUAL  -  Together LP - Engineer
These Dutch guys have been around a long time now! And while I haven't listened to them in a while  it seems like their “sound” hasn’t changed a great deal,  which is mostly fast skate punk type stuff with a fairly strong but more melodic and slicker Propagandhi sound, and like said band, very left leaning political lyrics, which can be no bad thing I reckon? This is their first album since 2016 and is a compilation of singles they have been releasing since then and some new songs. The album comes in a really nice gatefold sleeve with insert sheet too, the lyrics are printed inside the fold out sleeve with a bit of an explanation under each song which I really like, and it’s on very cool lemon yellow vinyl, very impressive stuff!  
Engineer (si)

ARMOURED FLU UNIT - The Mighty Roar LP - Grow Your Own
“It sometimes seems as if one person can't make much difference. Don’t give up hope. Like droplets of water become a stream and streams conjoin to become a mighty river, our voices and actions combine to become greater than the sum of our parts. Single voices amplified become a million voices justified. Our individual voices together become a Mighty Roar.“
Those spoken words open up this album, and I think it’s important to remember this glimmer of hope as the horrors of the modern world, such as the inhumanity of capitalism, animal cruelty and oppression, are laid bare in the following nine songs. Nath’s vocals and clever lyrics are clear and his venomous delivery perfectly leads the punishing music as it hammers the point home. Animal rights songs are always going to appeal to me, and the likes of McDonalds and KFC selling vegan products is tackled in ‘Liberation Or Consumption’; “Chasing vegan pounds the new burger's animal free / And it’s making lots of money for the death factory.” It’s also good to see a song about the different western attitude to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people than it has for other oppressive, occupying regimes (‘Elsewhere Apartheid’). Musically this has a slightly different feel to previous releases, it’s still heavy, fast and unmistakably AFU, but the is something of a brighter sound, that I really like. Don’t worry, this will still hit you hard and there is still the metallic sound to a couple of the songs, all the elements are here and it’s an album that demands your undivided attention. The cover art also deserves a mention. Obviously, as this is a GYO release a lot of care and attention has gone into the visuals as well, and it’s nice to see a sleeve that is not just black and white. The cover image is a reproduction of guitarist Iain’s painting of a Japanese style dragon, a koi carp and some lilies, which is based on the words spoken at the start. It lays over a blue background depicting a population rising up, and it looks fantastic. 'The Mighty Roar' is a mighty album and I am left, once again, blown away that people I know, my friends, are so talented that they can produce something as amazing as this. ‘Assembly Line of Death’ rounds this album off nicely, and there’s a nice hark back to one of their earlier songs with the final line “this t-shirt kills sweatshops.” Remember punks, get your shit together when it comes to merch. This is more than just an album, this is a call to arms.
Grow Your Own (Tony)

Listening to this is a bit of a bitter sweet experience, the songs are great, but you know that you are hearing the last recording of Mark Astronaut. With that in mind it’s good to be able to sit and enjoy this for what it is, a wonderful record showcasing that unique, British eccentricity that punk has allowed to flourish, and I love the fact that the punk umbrella spreads wide enough to include The Astronauts along side bands like The Cravats and Nightingales, among many others of course, but those two kept coming to mind as I listened to this. A lot of the time I find myself just listening to Mark’s brilliant lyrics, getting lost in his voice and delivery, which isn’t really fair on the excellent musicians who create the musical backdrop for Mark’s personality to shine through. I didn’t know Mark at all, but it makes me sad that we have lost his creativity and that there will be no more new Astronauts records to enjoy. Still, they have released plenty over the years, to keep us entertained, and to keep his memory alive. There are only six songs here, but one of them is over 16 minutes long (although it doesn’t drag at all), and it’s yet another great release from GYO.
Grow Your Own (Tony)

BLIND EYE - Waste Of Time / Nothing’s For Free 7” - Scene Report
Scene Report’s first 7” release only has two tracks but both are mighty slabs of hardcore punk. Cashing drums, pummelling bass and a guitar that not only provides a Discharge style assault to both songs, but also adds the occasional Dead Kennedys style touch to ‘Nothing’s For Free’. The vocals are superb, adding a little melody to the raging music, but keeping a rasping quality too. This is heavy, but the energy Blind Eye generate is perfectly captured, so the sense of punk rock urgency is maintained throughout. This is fantastic. 
Scene Report (Tony)

CATAPHILES – s/t CD - Sabotage
If you’re going to use synths and take your influences from the 1980s, then do it like this. I hate the term, but this could definitely be labelled Goth. Like the best bands who developed that style, the thumping drums, and bass and synth heavy songs zip along at a nice pace, and you can pick out bits there and there hat sound like The Cure, Sisters Of Mercy, Bauhaus and even some of The Damned’s darker moments. A more up to date comparison would be the early Belgrado albums or even, when the guitar is more prominent, Bleakness. These songs were recorded live in the studio, which I think helps keep the energy going, and the duel vocals add to the attraction. I like this. 
Sabotage (Tony)

DEALING WITH DAMAGE - Use The Daylight LP - Little Rocket
DWD are so good they have this melodic punk stuff nailed down perfectly, and without being particularly fast or heavy, this album is full of powerful, beautifully crafted songs. I am sat in an unheated room, while outside frost refuses to melt away as sub zero temperatures hang around all day, but listening to this feels like it’s a Revolution Summer’s day. Musically I think it’s inevitable that when you have someone in the band with such a distinctive voice and guitar sound that there are hints of previous bands, but I don’t mind that  here and there I’m reminded of Sink and even Bad Dress Sense one or twice, but this is more than just a rehash of Ed Wenn’s old bands, there are bits that sound like Fugazi too, as Dealing With Damage are certainly creating their own distinctive sound and this is a mature album of melodic, driving punk rock. Lyrically the songs range from the personal to the political as well as ‘Letter From Yootha’ a song about the Menopause; it’s great that a band of blokes have a song like this on their album, and they had the sense to get their female friends to write the lyrics, and join them on vocals. It may be the fastest, most straight forward song here, but it’s probably my favourite, but then I’m just an unsophisticated old punker. There are some cool collaborations on the whole album and I particularly like the fact that ‘Keep Moving’, a song written in lockdown, has sampled drums from James Sherry’s late dad, taken from a 1960s recording of his band The Bunch. This album feels like a real labour of love, and being partly written in lockdown it shows that despite all the restrictions of that time, it leads to some real creativity. I play this album a lot, and each time I notice some little nuance that I had missed. I do have one problem with this album, though. At the end of ‘May I Help You’ there is a sample that includes someone knocking on a door, and each time our dog barks and rushes to our front door, then looks disappointed when there is no one there. But apart from making my dog look sad, this is a wonderful album.
Little Rocket (Tony)

DENY – Wildfire – Flyksoda/ Cimex/ Distat
Ferocity simply pours out of this record. From start to finish the tempo is slightly faster than you expect, the vocals slightly more shredded  and the guitar riffs slightly more urgent. To my ears it makes for simply perfect listening! Deny have been around in one form or another since 1995, and after a bunch of line up changes and a brief hiatus, they have reformed in Mariestad, Sweden with new vigour to unleash their blend of raw crust and hardcore on an unsuspecting world. Before I tell you what a masterpiece this record is, a brief muse on the cover art. The neon signs and computer wireframe images may owe more to Soft Cell and Gary Numan than classic hardcore/crust. But I mention that not because I disapprove - Deny don’t seem to follow conventions anyway, so who am I to judge. It’s more that I don’t want you to let it put you off and carry on skipping through to find something dystopian and Orwellian. Do yourself a favour and pick it up. Not everything needs to be skulls and bullets you know. But to the main event! This is the band’s second LP and is packed full of headlong distorted rage in the vein of Skit Kids, Fy Fan and Victims. I was also reminded of Oi Polloi’s own Deek Allen’s Kansalaistottelemattomuus in places, particularly the vocals, which are so fierce they forever seem on the brink of serious physical injury and possible retinal detachment. Heavily distorted guitar and some lovely little bass runs over the top of a relentless machine-gun accurate snare crack, build up into some tasty hardcore tunes which somehow sound undoubtedly Swedish. I can’t put my finger on why, but it is definitely a good thing as it blends a bit of melody in with the savage delivery and sticks the songs firmly in your head for the rest of the day. There is so much good stuff here it is hard to pull out favourites as they are all blistering, but the straight forward attack of ‘Insanity’ (which reminded me of The Ergs Thrash Compactor EP, one of my favourite ways to spend 2 minutes), and the crust stylings of ‘Wildfire’ are quite lovely. Other tracks like ‘Wasteland’ channel a bit of Meanwhile, and even when Deny do eventually ease off the pedal for the pounding ‘When your World Collapse’, or the simply beautiful start to ‘Dead Blue Graveyard’, they pull both off with equal aplomb. Deny tackle climate disaster, political corruption, and the general decline of our modern age with unrelenting force and sound, they are quite simply livid (if you aren’t too you haven’t been paying attention!). But for all that righteous anger, the closing minute of the record is a bleak, soft but startled realisation of humanity’s frailty and leaves the album perfectly suspended in a vacuum afterglow. I love it all. Sheer class! My suggestion is to buy 2 copies as you might wear the first one out.
Deny (Alan)

DINOSAUR SKULL - Tales From The Heath LP - Grow Your Own
Throughout the history of punk rock there have been bands that don’t tow the line, musically, and travel their own path, but embody all that is great about punk, they have the attitude and ethics, but have their own sound and style, and produce great records. Dinosaur Skull are one of those bands, and this is a wonderful record. As I listen different bands I have loved throughout the years spring to mind, it could be The Raincoats or Hagar The Womb, or maybe little hints of The Stranglers or Dead Kennedys and more obviously, Cil and Michael’s former band Werecats, all with a touch of 1980s indie, and late 1970s post punk. The lyrics are observations on life, and even when they are dark the music is joyful, poppy, quirky and I love it more each time I listen to it. There is a real charm to this that has sucked me in. When I listened to this for the first time, our little rescue dog was curled up next to me, and during ‘Meadow’s Song’ I may have got a little emotional, lyrics like “What is buried in your history? Do we need to know? It won’t matter to me” and “Why won’t you come, I am calling your name?” really resonated. I think Alice was listening as she rolled on her side and demanded a belly rub and gave me a little toothy grin. In amongst all the noisy nonsense I usually listen to, this is a breath of fresh air, and I am constantly going back to this at the moment. There’s no one else quite Like Dinosaur Skull.
Grow Your Own (Tony)  

THE DOMESTICS - East Anglian Hardcore - Kibou/TNS/Boss Tuneage/Kangaroo/Cimex
Has it really been 6 years since ‘Cherry Blossom Life’, their last studio album? Hard to imagine as The Domestics seem to play a lot, all the time, and of course James has hardly been slacking on the creativity front! Anyway, you know what to expect from this band; straight ahead, fast hardcore punk that doesn’t let up from start to finish. Even the slower ‘Hate Hate Hate’ is still an angry assault on your eardrums. Although ‘Cherry Blossom Life’ was great, this album seems to have an extra edge, a rougher feel, it feels more pissed off and I like that, I think it shows The Domestics at their furious best.
Kibou (Tony)

D.O.V.E. - s/t LP - Grow Your Own
This Californian band weren’t on my radar at all until this record turned up, and I just love it when I am made aware of a new band (to me) and they turn out to be fantastic. As you may imagine from their name, D.O.V.E go for a melodic anarcho sound, or peace punk as they would once have been dubbed, and  musically, thinking about GYO as a label, the easiest comparison would be Dogma, but with their tribal drums, guitar sound and vocal style I’m even more reminded of great Spanish bands like SECT and early Belgrado. Lyrics focus on the personal and how we can navigate through this mad world, with a plea for peace. It is such a good album, and I cannot stop playing it. Another winner from GYO. 
Grow Your Own (Tony)

THE HALF WITS - Wolfpack EP 10” - Grow Your Own
Well, this took me by surprise, it’s not the sort of thing you would normally expect from GYO, the Kent band play a sort of stomping hardcore that has more of an NYHC influence. I haven’t listened to a band like this for a long time, and to be honest at first I wasn’t really into this, but by the end of side two I found myself nodding along. I like the fact that GYO are helping a local band get a record out, even though this doesn’t really fit with the rest of their releases, they are helping and supporting their local scene, and that is good enough for me. After all, punk rock is more than music.
Grow Your Own (Tony)

THE JUKEBOX ROMANTICS - Fires Forming EP - Engineer
A 5 track ep of great, fast, in your face, pop punk, not something I listen to a lot of these days, but this is really hitting the spot! Has a bit of a Bouncing Souls sound, particularly on the first track “time to fly”, and maybe a hint of Latterman? Lyrics are good, some personal, some political, and the production is aces, sounds really full but clear. And there’s plenty of group vocal singalongs in there. Mine came on nice blue vinyl but it is available on 2 other colours as well all of which match up with the cool cover artwork. Looks like these New York based guys have been around a good while and have several other releases, I’ll be checking them out. 
Engineer (si)

KID YOU NOT - Here’s To Feelin’ Good All The Time LP  - Engineer
Holy wowzers this is good stuff! A Floridian band and with that kind of HWM sound as well as other bands from that state,  but also with a strong Latterman/Iron Chic/Tired Radio vibe too, oh so very much my kind of thing! 10 tracks and everyone of them an absolute corker and amazing group vocals that make you want to sing/scream along, damn the lack of a lyric sheet! Great full sounding production. This is apparently their 4th album so they’ve been around a while, I will be checking out the older stuff for sure. Nice red vinyl but as I mentioned no lyric sheet or any other info apart from song titles, but yeah loving this!  
Engineer (si)

Nō  - Punk Is A Message 10”- Chaos Control
I thought I had missed out on this 10”, so bought the download, but a copy became available and of course I snapped it up, and what a release it is. Six tracks of hard hitting Japanese punk with a heavy anarcho sound that brings to mind Armoured Flu Unit in places, all wrapped up in a nice card sleeve similar to some of the GYO releases. The lyrics, which are snarled in English, are heart felt and political, with a demand to use our anger to “shout the voice against power” because “punk should be political, punk is a message.” The title track is a thumping, brooding song that boots open the doors to the unleashed fury to come. It’s a non-stop barrage from then until a lone voice says “No means no, listen to our voice” and the EP closes with a fast reminder, should you really need it, that “no means no, that’s all, nothing else.” This is great, and even though the 10” has sold out over here, Chaos Control still have CDs and downloads available, and although the 10” vinyl is cool, you should get whichever format you can as it’s the music and the message that counts. Up the DIY punks, make noise, spread the message.
Chaos Control  (Tony)

NOUVEAUX – s/t  LP - Sabotage
All things considered, the 1980s were fucking terrible. Thatcher was destroying everything, a savage police force were violently attacking striking workers, Reagan was US President, racism was on the rise and the National Front were gaining support, the cold war and the very real fear of nuclear annihilation was omnipresent, some of our favourite bands deciding they wanted to be rock stars and released rubbish music, and some of the worst mainstream pop music ever produced was everywhere. The one saving grace was punk, particularly anarcho punk, US hardcore and later the emergence of a DIY underground scene where we could escape from all that rubbish. Now, the 2020s are doing their best to rival the 1980s with awful right-wing politics, terrible mainstream music and the rise of racist groups. Punk should be our safe place, which makes it even worse that some bands are putting out terrible 1980s influenced pop music. I love Sabotage Records, but I’m afraid this is just awful. It’s like Pet Shop Boys, or something, with one song even sounding like Tiffany. If I can I always try to find someone to review stuff I’m not keen on, but I couldn’t with this and I can’t find any positive reference points. This record hurts my soul. 
Sabotage (Tony)

OLDSEED  - Incredible strides CD - Breaking Records/Sabotage Records
Never heard of these chaps though it appears they’ve been around a good while with 9 previous releases on their bandcamp page. But having listened to it I’m really not surprised that Tony asked me if I was interested in reviewing it, I can’t imagine anything much further from his “thing” in musical terms, makes me chuckle just thinking about it. Fortuneatley it is very much my thing and so I am thoroughly enjoying it, I’m hearing hints of Chamberlain and Neil Young. These guys are German, but you would not know it from listening to this, very American sounding including the vocals. The intro track is 40 odd seconds of free form jazz type stuff, which may be somewhat misleading as to the rest of the album, but I like that, not sure if it’s them playing it but I like to think so, and it also kicks back in half way through the album, which again I like. 11 tracks in total, with a spot on production with all the instruments and vocals sounding clear, plenty of piano and violin amongst the mostly pretty sparse, mellow, slow songs. So if you like that Americana acoustic stuff then I would highly recommend this album.
Sabotage (si)

OMEGA TRIBE - Hope Is A Moral Imperative 10” - Grow Your Own
Anarcho punk was never just angry people making a racket, some times it was angry people playing nice tunes. Omega Tribe always had tunes, but since they’ve been back they are even more melodic, they still have things to say, but the rough edges of their earliest records have been smoothed out. This new 10” isn’t as obviously ‘60s influenced as their last EP, ‘Out Of My System’, but it is still gloriously melodic, and the opener, ‘Sit Tight’ sets the tone, it is very poppy, dancy even, but it’s up beat and damn infectious. The lyrics running through this EP have a positive message, while acknowledging that things aren’t great, they call for unity, love and hope; “we’re stronger than we know, they’re running out of lies.” Musically, the song that’s most like their earlier records is ‘Free For All’ which is a great, uplifting song about personal freedom, and it sticks in my head now as it did after seeing them play it live recently. The stuff I usually listen to is much faster and noisier and angrier, but this get's under my skin. I really like Omega Tribe, thankfully GYO also really like them, enough to keep their records coming.
Grow Your Own (Tony) 

PAM RISOURIE - So Be It, Eternity EP - Engineer 
This is a 5 track ep of what I would describe as dreamy, shoe-gaze type stuff but definatley more modern sounding somehow. Mainly guitar driven but with plenty of keyboards and the vocals sound very much female but aren’t. It has that slow rhythmic hypnotic repetitive thing going on which works real well for this style of music, apart from the last song, which is a bonus track called “The Cities in my Head”, this one is a bit more upbeat and instrumental, other than people talking in the background. The band is from Paris France and this is their 3rd ep apparently. It comes on 12” black vinyl but has no inlay so not much info or lyrics, very nice stuff though.    
Engineer (si)

RANK - Brave New Lows LP - Scene Report
Things are grim and Rank are rightly pissed off about it, so much so that they have poured all their anger into these 8 songs, with each one bursting with an intense fury. It’s one of those records that makes you feel angry at the world, but at the same time exhilarated by the blistering songs. Musically there are parts where I’m reminded of Grand Collapse (Rank do feature an ex-member), then Rat Cage and even The Worst Witch, but mainly because of the intensity of the delivery rather than any direct similarity. The vocals are raw throated screams of rage and the drums, battered by our old mate Mark (once of Whole In The Head and No Substance) are very loud, with the rapid fire battering on the snare hammering the songs into your brain. There’s no way you can listen to this just once, when your 15 minutes are up you’re flipping the record over and doing it all again. Scene Report have delivered another winner.
Scene Report (Tony)

RAT CAGE - Savage Visions LP - La Vida Es Un Mus
Ok, I admit it, I am the only person to have not been blown away by the previous Rat Cage releases. I know everyone else loved them, but they didn’t click with me for some reason. This is different, this is fantastic. Impassioned hardcore that rages and snarls all the way through as it explodes with vitriol about the way our lives, and the world, are being trampled by the rich elite, as well as “so called punks who put profit and social gain before Community benefit.” The music is blazing, the vocals harsh and the whole thing is a masterpiece. Whatever it was I thought was missing from the previous Rat Cage releases is obviously here and I absolutely love this record. ‘Change From a Fiver’ is one of the best punk rock songs I’ve ever heard. If the modern world doesn’t make your head scream like this then you are not paying attention. Simply stunning. 
La Vida Es Un Mus (Tony)

RITES - No Change Without Me 12” - Engineer
Before Rites came to play in Southampton, in 2018, I’d never heard of them, but they were great and I bought their EPs, and arranged to interview them for the zine. A lot has happened in the world since then, but now they are back, and what you get here, between the Intro and Outro tracks, are seven short sharp bursts of melodic punk rock. Not too much has changed musically, although there does seem to be a little of a more commercial edge to a couple of the songs. However, the guitars are still dominant, the vocals still have a hardness at times perfectly suiting the good lyrics and the songs are driven along by a tight rhythm section. All the elements that I loved before are still there, they have just added a bit more maturity. This is available on a one sided, green, clear single-sided 12" with silk-screened graphics on the opposite side. It looks as good as it sounds. 
Engineer (Tony)

RIVALRY - Sometimes You have To Look Back LP - Brassneck
A new album from Mackie is always going to be eagerly anticipated here, and thankfully this doesn’t disappoint. Carrying on from where Epic Problem left off, these songs are very tuneful, but as ever when Mackie is involved, there is a gritty edge which lifts this above the pack. Mark Magill’s vocals are gruff, but he manages to add some melody in there too; if that isn’t enough he also plays guitar and bass. Lyrically there are some personal words and some social commentary and I can certainly relate to the line in ‘Morbid Rings’ that goes “I just keep my mouth shut, it gets me through the day”, which for me leads nicely into ’Bury Me Standing’. There were even bits in a couple of songs where I found myself wondering if Blitz had carried on with the original line up they’d have ended up sounding like this (having said that, don’t go expecting ‘Someone’s Gonna Die’ or ‘Warriors’). But, this isn’t about the past, this is about now, and I’m enjoying Mackie’s current musical output immensely. 
Brassneck (Tony) 

ROSE OF VICTORY - Full Circle 7” - TKO
I’m old enough to have bought the first Rose Of Victory 7” back in 1983, and played it quite a lot. I was a huge Blitz fan and so was overjoyed that Mackie and Nidge were doing something together again. But that was it, until now. Mackie has resurrected the name and has got in some friends to record another two songs. ‘Falling Apart’ features Damien Abraham of Fucked Up on vocals. It’s a driving punk song that hints at what Blitz could have become, and is not a million miles off the sound of the ‘New Age’ 7” (that Mackie wasn’t on). Abraham’s gruff vocals fit perfectly, and even though the lyrics are quite dark the music is fantastically catchy. The song on the other side, ‘Aimless’ is different, being slower, with a more atmospheric “post punk” sound, but it's still great, and has guitars that remind me of ‘Soberphobia’ era Test Tube Babies. Soft Kill’s Tobias Grave is the singer of this one, and again his vocals capture the mood perfectly. I really like this record, it feels fresh but at the same time doesn’t feel like a great departure from the original Rose Of Victory record. In fact it could well have been the follow up back in the 1980s, and I would have bought it and played it to death. Nearly 40 years later and I can see another Rose Of Victory 7” taking up residency on my turntable.
Bandcamp (Tony)

SINGING LUNGS - Coming Around LP - Engineer
Oh boy this is fricking aces!!! Very much my kind of thing, loud powerful melodic punk rock, in a Samiam kind of style with hints of Smoking Popes (sound quite similar vocally too) and maybe Tired Radio and Make War if you’re looking for a more modern reference, been listening to this a lot!! Double guitars, lots of double harmonised vocals, kind of retro sounding back to the days when “Indie Rock” was at it’s very peak but also plenty current sounding too? From Michigan USA with a few releases prior to this and released on pink and purple vinyl, I got pink which is punker for sure! A few guest musicians on here too, including Laura Stevenson and the artwork was done by the old Lookout! Records owner. Excellent stuff indeed!
Engineer (si)

STATES OF NATURE  - Songs To Sway: EPs + 2 songs 2018 - 2021 LP - Engineer
These guys are based in San Francisco but sound way more East Coast, doing a Dischord/angular post punk, Jawbox type thing to very good effect, they also have quite a bit of a UK post punk/psychedelic sound I think, though I’m not sure who I would compare them too from these shores exactly?, and also a hint of Garagey type rock in places.  Members of Dead To Me, a great band from a while back, and also Everybody Row, a band I’m not familiar with. Great dual vocals, male and female, which works really well together, in a sung /shouted way. This is a collection of songs from a few ep”s with a few extra tracks put together to make up a 14 track album which all runs together really well. Great cover art of random coloured lines which suits the music perfectly. Black vinyl, and with a cool inner sheet with the excellent lyrics and info on. 
Engineer (si)

SWANSONG - Happy To Be Here - bandcamp
I picked up Swanson’s ‘Glue’ CD at a Rash Decision gig a few years ago, so it’s been a while since I've really listened to them, and although I liked that CD, this is on a whole different level. There are a lot of sounds and styles going on here and at times I’m reminded of the best songs from bands like Nirvana, Lemonheads, Hole, The Distillers and Kevin and Allyson Seconds’ Go National. There’s also a touch of late ‘90s indie in there too. but all with a definite UK punk sound underpinning it, so Swansong’s crashing drums, great guitars and impassioned, raw vocals gels it all together so it sounds urgent, fresh and exciting. As soon as I saw the video for ‘Frida’ I had to get this, sadly I missed out on the vinyl, so the digital version will have to do, but it’s the music that counts and that is stunningly good. Cornwall is producing some great bands at the moment, and Swansong are right up there with the best of them.
Swansong (Tony)

TEAR UP - They Can Lock the Locks But They Can’t Stop the Clocks - Tear Up
Given he’s come straight out the nick and into the studio, Jamie Flanagan is an angry man with a lot of pent up energy to unleash. Tear Up’s second album is a punchbag of rage and defiance, looking to right wrongs and set records straight. The music bounces along, swinging at targets and landing blows. The songs cover familiar Oi! subjects, beginning with an affirmation of street-level ruck n roll and ending with a punch up in the pub. In between, there’s some light relief with the brilliantly titled ‘Shit Tattoo’, but this is mainly an album of gritted-teeth defiance. If you like your punk anthemic and cut from what Garry Johnson called ‘Alcatraz without the rocks’, then this is for you.
Tear Up (Matt Worley)

UNIFIED ACTION s/t 12” - Scene Report
Hard hitting hardcore from the North East that channels the early ‘80s Boston sound through a UK filter, in much the same way as King Of Pigs and Violent Arrest, but slightly heavier than both those bands. It’s pretty exhilarating stuff. It was recorded in a practise room, but you wouldn’t know it, and it shows you don’t need to spend thousands of pounds in a studio to produce a storming album, in fact recording in an expensive studio could well have dulled the impact of these songs by diluting the urgency. The lyrics are both political and about the problems of trying to survive these desperate times. They sound as pissed off as we all should be with the current oppression imposed on us by the super rich all over the world, and the music matches that fury. I’m writing this the day the record arrived and I’ve played this about 10 times already.
Scene Report (Tony)

On the face of it Vampire Slumber Party’s poppy tunes shouldn’t appeal to me, and yet they do. This isn’t just some lame pop punk nonsense, these are poppy punk songs with a bit of bite and a whole lot of charm, just listen to ‘Dammit” and try to keep still! It feels like a very DIY effort, which is something that I love, that’s not to say that the recording it bad, it isn’t, it’s very good, it just feels like a band doing things the right way. With Pippa on bass and vocals, comparisons with Werecats would be easy, but although they tread a similar melodic path, VSP have a distinct sound and the only thing that makes me think of Werecats is Pippa’s voice. Every time I listen to this it makes me smile, I even like the acoustic version of ‘Look Alive, Judy’. Not only do I like this, I’ve just found myself interrupting the writing of this review to buy a copy of their previous album, ‘Funeral Pop’. I’m going to play it again now.
VSP (Tony)

WAR//PLAGUE – Manifest Ruination – Phobia
Consider the humble incendiary D-beat. It is remarkable that one drum pattern - so often used - can be so instantly evocative of classic crust and yet endlessly inventive - especially in the hands of DIY stalwarts like War Plague. Firmly entrenched as part of the Minneapolis punk scene, this is their 15th year and 11th release and they still manage to crowbar in more bits that made me go, “ooh! That’s different!” than your average metal/crust/hardcore band would dare. The album comes straight out of the traps with an epic tune in the shape of Vacillation. My immediate comparison is Severed Head of State, something that pops up repeatedly through the album and makes me a happy bunny. There are layers of crust as thick and heavy as any volcanic lava flow, but this is regularly offset with almost Ramones grade riffs and soaring little black metal guitar twiddles where you least expect them. There is also a heavy dose of Tragedy, Svaveldioxid and other crust juggernauts of course, but never as downtuned and disease riddled as something like Rotten Sound for example, as the guitar often has a hardcore jangle to it which lifts the songs slightly and makes for rousing anthems aplenty. That is not to say there is anything light about War Plague’s approach; vocals as heavy as a lead coffin which meld seamlessly into tortured screeches (think Extreme Noise Terror’s Muuuurdeeeer!!! face melting snarl for the kind of thing I mean), pummelling double-bass drums and bass that sound like someone dredging a lake at the start of the title track, and political lyrics with titles like ‘Grief’, ‘Necrosis’ and ‘Bed of Nails’. You get the idea. – War Plague are here to make their point and you will listen to it! But to their credit, they are also prepared to mix things up a bit. I detect a bit of Iron Maiden twin guitar in the bridge to ‘Subterfuge’, a hint of Slayer mixed with Sabbath at the start of ‘Vultures’ (which morphs into a crust belter in the space of a single, perfectly delivered “Ooof!”), occasional hardcore pinches of bands like Vitamin X even. The long and the short is; if you like blackened crust, this will delight you, and if you’re more of a hardcore kid this will also delight you. I point you to ‘Anxiety’ for example which is a total Wolfbrigade head-bobber with a bridge riff worthy of Negative Approach. War Plague know how to lay this stuff down and deliver enough tweaks to the format to make this lucky punter at least want more. Great stuff!
War//Plague (Alan)

WASTED - Modern Lie LP - Sabotage/Combat Rock Industry
This has been out a while, but Sabotage sent it for review, so here we go. I have quite a bit of stuff by Wasted, and this was their first album for some years, and it sees these Finnish punks deliver ten tracks of anthemic punch the air, punk rock sing-alongs, with a guitar sound that has a real Peter & The Test Tube Babies feel, and lyrics that tackle the ills of the modern world, and standing up against the right wing capitalist bastards that are destroying everything. ‘The Streets’ shows that Wasted are on our side with a chorus of “These streets belong to us, keep out the nazi scum/Refugees are welcome, keep fighting back the nazi scum.” Wasted have been a band for over 25 years, and time hasn’t dulled their rage at the injustices in the world as songs tiles like Gentrifucked, Rich Man’s War and Abuser testify. This isn’t a style I listen to a great deal, so it took a couple of plays for me to realise that these are really good songs, and I can imagine that the live setting is where Wasted have the most impact. 
Sabotage (Tony)

BUGGER BANKSY by Roy D Hacksaw - Earth Island Books
Imagine waking up one night and catching Banksey spraying one of his politically charged comments on society onto your wall. Cool, eh? Well what if you lived in the Welsh valleys and ran a small time operation growing some less than legal herbs in the building the artwork is now on. Well that’s what happens to Glynn and his friend Kevin in this book. To make matters a little more complicated they caught Banksey before it was finished and chased him off with a pitchfork and water pistol leaving the work unfinished. The boys lived in a remote area, so the chances of anyone finding out were pretty low, but when they woke up the next morning they discovered Banksey had written a post on his Instagram page, and the speculation its location was rife. Their problems are not helped by a local drug dealer, the blabber mouth landlord of their local pub, the local bobby, a rich American art lover, a local TV art critic, the local council and some doped up sheep. It’s an easy, entertaining read, and you do get invested in the two main characters problems. I did feel sorry for the sheep though.
Earth Island (Tony)

DOMESTICATED Vol.1 by James Domestic - Earth Island Books
I can only admire James Domestic, he heard the DIY punk rock call to arms of anyone can do it, and threw himself fully into it. He now has his fingers in so many pies that it’s difficult to keep up. Whether it’s his many bands, Kibou Records, a zine, DJing, writing, sketching or whatever, he seems to run with any idea he has, and more often then not makes a success of it. This book is full of poems, and some dawnings, the only thing James didn’t do is take the handful of photos you’ll find here; the poems are a mixture of serious, funny, silly and confusing, and here and there you’ll find some of his song lyrics. ‘Buck Up, Kid’ is really great, and relatable, while ‘The Pensioner Orgy’ conjured up images in my head I really didn’t want there. Back in the early 1980s I liked the ranters and this book brought them to mind, and I preferred thinking about Atilla The Stockbroker, Seething Wells, Porky The Poet and the others to James’ description of copulation old folk.
Earth Island (Tony)

JINXED - How Not To Rock n Roll by Del Greening - Tome & Metre Books
I approached this with some trepidation, as a Test Tubes fan I was eager to hear their story from the inside, but I was worried that this would just be a tale of drink and drugs. When Del skipped past the first two Test Tubes singles with little detail I was worried, and had to remind myself that this is Del’s story, not just a book about the Test Tubes. As you can imagine, drink, drugs and tomfoolery play a large part in this story, but thankfully Del’s writing is well paced and sprinkled with humour, so I never felt like giving up when there was another story of another gig that was ruined by drunken antics. Throughout the book there are quotes and anecdotes from various people who’ve shared Del’s journey, and I was just as interested in his life outside the Test Tubes. I’d see Del play with Flesh For Lulu, and knew about his association with Lily Allen, but I hadn’t realised he’d done so much touring with so many bands. Of course it was always good to hear about the Test Tubes, and I hadn’t really considered that Del has done a lot of the songwriting over the years, and there was yet another, different, explanation of the ‘Loud Blaring Punk Rock LP’ recording session. In the end I really enjoyed this, it held my interest right to the end and I was sad when  I'd finished it, which has to be the sign of a good book. I did end up wondering how the Test Tubes have been a band for so long though.
Tome & Metre (Tony)

PUNKS IN THE WILLOWS by Alex CF - Earth Island Books
Is this a children’s book? An art book? A poetry book? Well, possibly all three, or maybe it’s just a nice way to deliver the punk rock message alongside some cool drawings. Alex lays out the punk rock ethos in poem form alongside his wonderful drawings of punks in animal form. The drawings are great and the little details in each one of them are a nice touch, and I like the feeling that it links animal rights with punk, as well as providing a positive punk rock outlook on life. It’s A4 size in a hardback cover, which isn’t your usual looking punk book, but I’m all for that, and this looks great. 
Earth Island (Tony)

THE REVOLUTION WILL BE TELEVISED by Ray Stuart - Earth Island Books
This is a collection of essays, put together to make a coherent rant against the capitalise system and the way the rich and privileged control our lives for their own gain. It does read like a series of fanzine columns on a central theme, but then I like fanzine columns, and I’m down with any anti-capitalist rant. In the intro Ray says “You probably won’t agree with some of the arguments and observations…” And I didn’t, but for the most part what you’ll read here is a common sense argument for improving the lives of the many, not just the few, and a call for more collectivism, more co-operation and less fawning over those who’ll have you believe they are better than us because of the families they were born into or the schools they attended. Because of the way it is written, it’s an easy read and not without humour, and it is hard to disagree with paragraphs like “We need to grab the attention of our overlords by chucking a few more statues of Victorian racists into the harbour, hurling a few cobblestones though plate glass, choosing our own pronouns (that really seems to hack them off) and then stop supplying them with our labour until they agree to reform.” Of course it’s not that simplistic, and this book doesn’t pretend it is, but that gives you an idea of where Ray is coming from. Give it a read and see how much you actually do agree with Ray’s point of view. If you need any further persuading, the forward is worsen by James Domestic.
Earth Island (Tony)

From 2022

ANTHRAX - Serfs Out LP/CD - Grow Your Own
9 years after their last album, Anthrax return with another collection of songs dripping in anger and disgust at the state of our country. ‘Dumb It Down’ is the perfect opening, it sets the tone lyrically, and musically, starting with a quiet guitar before the drums and bass kickstarts a song that explodes with anger and condemnation of a society that’s becoming increasingly right wing and racist. ‘Beg Society’ is a re-recording of a song that originally appeared on the split with Burnt Cross from 2017. The line “care and compassion are no longer in fashion’ sadly sums up life for the majority of us in the 21st century. ‘Fear Sells’ is a great example of what makes modern day Anthrax so good; the song isn’t fast, but it’s full of fury lyrically and vocally, and has a rousing chorus to drive its point home while ‘Misery Loves Company’ is a jaunty song with vocals from Lara and a chorus that sounds like something Hagar The Womb could have written. Lyrically it still packs a punch, but you’ll be able to dance around the room to it too.“How the hell did we end up here?” is a question I seem to ask a lot and Anthrax do here in ‘The Spark’, a brooding, bass driven, hard hitting song. ‘Island Mentality’ kicks off side two, and depressingly hits the nail squarely on the head, dealing with the small minded, nationalistic bigots that have been emboldened in recent years. I hear conversations like this frequently, and you can’t argue with people who hold these views, they’ve been handed scapegoats for the problems they face in their lives, and are not aware enough to realise it’s a smoke screen to cover the fact that it’s the elite that have screwed them over. Musically it’s one of the more upbeat songs and that helps to hammer the point home On an album where every track is great, this is the one that was my instant favourite. ‘Dead Air’ has another thumping intro, which builds to what Anthrax do very well, create a wall of sound; the drums and bass fill the room while the guitars hover over the top. The vocals rage amongst all this, both enveloped by the music, but also crystal clear. ‘Shot’ has a similar sound, but with a jarring interlude that makes it feel both uncomfortable and compelling at the same time. After a re-recording of ‘Dirty Bomb’, ‘Take Back Control’ rounds things off including the stark and sadly poignant line “Behind closed doors, every racist bigot woken”. It feels we’re fighting a losing battle some times, but we must not give up, there are more of us, we just need to organise. Anthrax in 2021 is a different beast to the one from 1983, and that’s a good thing. They can still play those songs, but today they have a more mature sound, without losing any of their impact. If they just kept playing those old songs, as great as they are, that would just be a nostalgia trip, but they have changed and the new songs are different, but it’s still Anthrax, they they haven't softened their approach, their social comment and political lyrics are still bitingly relevant. Of course the packaging is just brilliant, as you would expect from GYO. This album is a triumph.
Grow Your Own (Tony)

THE ASTRONAUTS – When You’re Not So High 12” – GYO
The last Astronauts record that GYO released took a few plays for me to fully appreciate, but this one was a pretty instant hit; from the reggae influenced ‘Heresy’ to the brooding, building, hypnotic, 7 minute 28 seconds of the closer ‘Melissa’s Party’ this record is a joy. Each song has a different sound and feel, but the record still flows perfectly. The Astronauts are not like other bands, they carve their own path, like travellers walking the punk path to a free festival in a big field, they remind me at times of The Mob, and also Culture Shock, while the keyboards in ‘Have It’ remind me of French band Cuir, strangely. In another world Mark Astronaut would be hailed as a genius by the music establishment, and be regularly on BBC4 music programs, but instead he is taking his band along its own route, shunning the mainstream and keeping his music for those who really care. This is just wonderful, and another brilliant GYO release. 
Grow Your Own (Tony)

THE ASTRONAUTS – When We Were Otters CD – GYO
Well! They were The Otters for a while so I’ve read and this album is some of their output during that time is my understanding! The Astronauts formed in 1977 and have been fronted for all this time by Mark Williams, who probably put the band on most Punks maps when he blended them in with the early 80’s Anarcho scene. I’m not a gifted enough writer to go into any depth with most of my reviews and this one will probably be no different, but what I can hopefully put over to you is that The Astronauts are bloody good! A few of the tracks on this album are touching ten minutes long, but they twist, turn and bounce along keeping the interest high. The Punk, Folk fusion is blended to perfection as I’d liken it to Blyth Power meeting Culture Shock mixed with some ATV even! Is it even fair to say a Punk/Folk fusion?! The Astronauts have kind of carved their own style for long enough to be as incomparable as The Cravats for instance! The album opens up with the long, but excellent ‘Sunny Day’ and then onto one of the standout tracks ‘Heresy’ which is underpinned by a superb Dub Bass sound. The following nine tracks all have equal merits and probably do warrant individual reviews, but the best thing you can do is get hold of this CD. I normally go for two minute Punk songs and a wall of noise, so this must be good if its got me having a break from all that! 
Grow Your Own (Gaz)      

ÄTTESTOR - Even In Death LP - Various
We are one of the labels who’s logo you’ll see on the back of this album, along with several other really cool DIY labels, but I don’t really think of this as an SD Records release, it was just an opportunity for us to help a friend get his band’s album released. So I’m really happy we got to contribute because it is a brilliant record, 12 (13?) fast, hard hitting, rampaging hardcore punk songs with Darren’s barked vocals venting his anger and frustration at the shit life throws at you on top of the shit the government hits you with. Pissed off is an understatement, and along with the high energy, full speed ahead, punishing music, the vocal delivery conveys these feelings perfectly. It’s 2022, the world is going to shit while the general public turn an uncaring blind eye, but we have Ättestor, and they have not let us down. This is PUNK ROCK!

CRASS – Christ Alive – The Rehearsal LP – Crass
An official release by Crass on Crass Records!! Christ! Billed as ‘A rare insight into the workings of Crass, spattered with the workings of Ludwig Van Beethoven’s 5th Symphony’. Not natural bedfellows in any way shape or form to my mind, but add in a Penny Rimbaud suffering from the isolating effects of the Pandemic and I guess anything is possible!?! This album forms part of the ‘Crassical Collection’ and is a cassette recording of a practice at Dial House the home of Crass from early 1982. So where does LVB fit in I think you’re going to be asking?! Well, he turns up in the form of ‘Stems’ the definition of which is as follows – ‘Subgroups of similar sound sources. Did I have to look that up? Yes! Anyway, I’m not entirely sure if there are any similarities between the two sources on this album as it’s a rough old recording with virtually inaudible vocals to say the least! But what the heck – its Crass! One for the collector? Yup! Released for Record Store Day this year and only 1000 pressings, you’d have to say it probably is... A lot of the fifteen tracks on the album did end up on ‘Christ The Album’ but the conclusion I’m drawing is that the archive of recordings held by the band is getting near exhausted! The Stems are fitted in at the beginning of the tracks in case you’re wondering, which then lead into some of the songs with a few overdubs factored in. In summary then! It’s Crass with samples, but it is indisputably Crass with the accompanying artwork designed by Gee Vaucher just to make it officially Crass the true DIY Punks.
One Little Independent   (Gaz)

THE DEFECTS – Olio CD - Casualty
I think Northern Irelands - The Defects are absolutely great and always have done! This is actually their fifth studio album since they reformed back in 2010 after first splitting up in 1984, having originally got together way back in 1978! Their debut album ‘Defective Breakdown’ released in 1982 is an absolute Punk classic and remains a favourite here at SD. The band have pushed on since reforming though and have not relied on their back catalogue when it comes to regaining popularity with their Punk public. In the bands Engine Room is original member and Drummer – Glenn Kingsmore, who continues to write some great songs and tunes continuing to push the band on. The twelve tracks on this album contain some new songs, a few re-recordings of old songs done in Berlin while on tour in 2016 and a couple of excellent covers, ATV’s – ‘Action Time Vision’ and The Ruts – ‘In A Rut’. The re-recordings of the tracks on their 1982 single ‘Survival/Brutality’ are even better than the versions from forty years ago I feel. The track ‘Live In Pain’ was on their debut LP, which has again been updated, but is clearly The Defects and for anyone who knows the bands recordings, you will not disapprove! Good to see their old label ‘Casualty Records’ resurrected and they have included a booklet with all the lyrics, even for the covers! In conclusion, their ain’t a defective track on here so FB Casualty Records and get a copy! 

DISSTRAX - The Fix - self released
New(ish) Leeds band’s second single is a blast of punk rock noise to really blow away any thoughts of becoming jaded. The title track is a high octane bast that makes me think that this is what The Saints may have sound like if they were storming out of Australia today. It feels like Disstraxx have absorbed 40 years of UK punk and US Hardcore, let it ferment and have now unleashed the brew in a spew of crashing drums, driving guitars and slightly distorted vocals. And I bloody love it. The second song, ‘Obnoxiously Perfect’ sees them slow the pace a touch and add a bit of a heavy anarcho punk sound to the mix; it has more of a thumping beat, more distortion and feedback with a chorus repeating “I fucking hate snobs / I fucking hate you…” I have had these two great songs on repeat this morning, and I’m not ready to listen to anything else yet, it's ace.  This and their other two track release are available on their bandcamp page, so head there and pick both up, you won’t be disappointed.
Disstraxx (Tony)

THE DISTURBED – We Are The Disturbed CD - Self Release
Formed in Glasgow’s East End – The Disturbed existed from the early 1980’s to late 80’s and played Hardcore Punk in a Discharge mixed with a bit of GBH style, but always had that Anarcho influenced ethos about them! As far as I’m aware they only ever released one EP in their own right, called ‘This Is Credibility’ which you could buy for the princely sum of a quid at the time of release in February 1988. That was then and this is now! The band are no more as far as I’m aware, but this twenty track CD includes the four EP tracks and looks to have rounded up all they ever recorded. The cover has a bit of band history on it, chronicling members who appeared at different times in the bands various line-ups. We interviewed the bands ever present Guitarist - Johnny for Suspect Device back in 1988, so we knew a decent band when we heard one! 
The Disturbed (Gaz)

EMILY FLEA - No Room For You 10” - Grow Your Own
Is punk still relevant in the 21st Century? Fear not, Emily Flea proves that it definitely is. Using the resources available to you, punk can still offer an outlet for you to vent your frustrations and call out those who need calling out, and there is a new generation who have their own battles to fight and all we need to do is show solidarity and support what they are doing. I loved The Fleas, their brash, stripped back punk tunes were a joy, and now out on her own Emily Flea carries on in the same vein. This 10” is has plenty of the same catchy, straight ahead punk tunes The Fleas delivered, but now you’ll hear a little bit of a Menstrual Cramps sound in some of the songs, a little Action Pact, and the whole lot has a feel of the latest Rubella Ballet records (Sid helped with this recording) which gives the sound a little more depth. The songs range from all out anger and condemnation, to the haunting, and rather wonderful ‘No One Hears The Screams’. The song ‘Stuck in 77’ has already caused some debate, but although I’m old, I can see where Emily is coming from; there are plenty of old punks who wouldn’t give this record the time of day, or would probably respond with patronising comments, or downright misogyny But punk is about tackling things that affect you, whether that’s personally or globally, and if a song like this ruffles a few feathers, then maybe those feathers need ruffling. These young punks are our present and our future and we should celebrate the fact that punk gives them the space to challenge and upset those stuck in a time warp. Without people like Emily Flea we face the prospect of just being a tired nostalgia trip, and no one wants that. So hats off to GYO for putting this out, and helping both young and older bands get their music and lyrics heard.
Grow Your Own (Tony)

This is the one! I have always really liked Grand Collapse live, and love their political attacks on all the fucking shit we are having to deal with, just so a handful of people can greedily hoover up more and more wealth, but have found the previous two albums a little “produced” for my more basic tastes. Obviously, they are both great political punk records, and show what a DIY punk band can achieve with the talent, commitment and hard work this band put into what they do, but I just thought those previous albums lacked a little of their live ferociousness despite being impressively outspoken (I fully accept I am in the minority with this view of the recordings). ‘Empty Plinths', as well as being an excellent name for a punk record, sees them retain that clear recording and Propagandhi style riffing, but capture more of that abrasive edge that makes them such a great live band. The fury in Cal’s vocals as he rages about the injustices that surround us is as unrelenting as ever, while the music is still heavy, fast, intricate and totally uncompromising throughout, and I think really showcases how good this band really are. Here’s to more empty plinths!
TNS (Tony)

POST MORTEM – Better Off Dead LP - Vomitopunk
Formed in 1980, Post Mortem came from Skegness in Lincolnshire and this seventeen track LP is literally a record of their time together. One of the lesser-known bands from the era, Post Mortem still toured all over supporting the likes of Blitz and Uproar to name but a few. There were several near misses on getting records out in their own right, but in 1984 they finally released the now very rare ‘Against All Odds’ EP on ‘Regime Records’. That sadly was it and not long after they split, so the seventeen tracks on this LP should serve as the album that never was! They were fronted by vocalist Lorraine Carter, who’s vocals along with the style of the band remind me of Vice Squad in their pomp and for me that’s not a bad comparison. The album comes with a really good booklet and despite many of the tracks on the LP being lifted from their demo’s the quality is good. My curiosity about the band has got the better of me – so look out for an interview with Vocalist Lorraine, which I hope will expand on the write up in the album booklet. In the meantime, aficionados of the early 1980’s UK punk scene could do far worse than try and get this record of a band that did their bit. 
Vomitopunk (Gaz)      

THE RED EYES – Falling Thru’ The Cracks CD - self released
This is unashamed Old School Punk Rock from start to finish and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it from the first tune laden track to the last – how often do you say that about a Punk album?! The Red Eyes from Glasgow are a polished class act musically and lyrically for that matter, with over 250 gigs tucked under their studded belts since forming in 1997. This album caught me in just the right mood as I was transported back to the late 1970’s and reminded of The Clash, Ruts, SLF and bands of that calibre, as the tunes rolled out one after the other across the twelve tracks contained within. It’s probably also true to say that this album has arrived about 45 years too late, because it would have been an undoubted classic from that era as it has the ability to reach beyond the genre specific Punk crowd with the Keyboards and Violins occasionally and subtly used. Don’t let those additions put you off either – this band have achieved near perfection blending them in! The opening track ‘Judge, Jury, Executioner’ sets the guitar led standards for the album and even though I’m not a real fan of acoustic stuff ‘Dead In The Water’ cuts it from all angles. When I think of all those soppy sods who turn up on TV talent shows looking for the big time – The Red Eyes have shown them what they really have to beat with this song! Not fast enough, political enough or Cider fuelled DIY enough for some of you? Probably not, but I guess it’s all DIY – just dressed up differently! Check them out if you like a tune or twelve, you’ll not be disappointed I can assure you! 
The Red Eyes  (Gaz)

SICKNESS - The Fall Of Reason - Self released
Nick is back with another fantastic 5 songs, and again he has written, played, sung and compiled everything, and it is another masterpiece. This has the heaviness and intricacy that made ‘Loss Decay & Insanity’ so irresistible, but with a slightly brighter sound, so it stands on its own, without being any sort of departure, although the lyrics are still dark and anguished. The influences are buried a little deeper this time, but there are still elements of Killing Joke, Amebix and more obviously, Sanction This. The songs are long, ranging from 3 mins 20 secs, to 9 mins 7 secs, but they don’t feel over done or dull, they draw you in and take you with them, so you are totally invested. I love everything about this; the sound, the atmosphere it creates, the attitude and the fact that Nick has been able to produce this himself in his home; there were even a limited number (100) on CD that Nick did himself - burned and printed the CDs, made the covers and lyric sheets - it’s a real work of art, and just adds to my admiration of what he has created. This is a labour of love and a noisy, pulsating, monster of a release. I’m so happy to have caught this Sickness.
Bandcamp (Tony)

YEAR ZERO - Brace For Impact - Self Released
For a debut album this is a very accomplished offering. The opening track ‘Ruin My Town’ sets the tone for the rest of the LP. A song about the plight of everyone’s home towns and how they are being changed beyond recognition and a lot of the time, not for the right reasons. I’m not going to say much about ‘Human Condition’ only that the guitar riff is going to be your next ear worm for a few weeks. ‘Details’. Don’t worry about the details, because when it all fails, it won’t matter anyway. This is a great song relating to living your life to how you want to live it, have your own agenda, don’t worry about the consequences, just live life to the full. The bands influences can be heard all through the LP from Chelsea, The Pain, and in parts SLF. ‘Trickey Mickey’ is a song the reminds of the Lurkers from their Kings Of The Mountain era and is about one of those blokes you would like to know but then regret knowing. It’s quite humorous in an uncomfortable way. ‘Secret Suburbia’ is my stand out track for the album. It’s mid-paced and has a great tune coupled with poignant lyrics of Suburbia and what goes on behind closed doors. The line ‘The Close has gone all 50 Shades’ sums it up perfectly. The sentiments of ‘Secret Suburbia’ have crept in to the next track, ‘No Thrills which to me, is about the bands observations on modern life and society. ‘Matthew And Son’ was a real surprise. A song written by Cat Stevens on a punk LP? What’s that about? Then you realise it fits perfectly with the politics of the album being mainly about the slavery of workers which, sadly, is still so prevalent to this day. I have to say, Year Zero have really done this song justice, a cracking cover of an old classic. I don’t know what to make of Trauma Doll. I can’t make out if it’s love song who makes the character in the centre of the song, happy like the drug Tramadol, or whether it’s about drug addiction and the eventualities of flushing your life down the drain. Still, it’s a good song. Memories of Barbed Wire Love came to mind when I saw the song title, ‘Hand Grenade Heart’ and I was right. There is a real nod to SLF here with a guitar riff in the background that sounds just like Beirut Moon. Heroes of my youth come through in the next song that I can truly relate to. Staying up late on a Friday or Saturday night to watch the horror movie that usually came on after Match Of The Day or Parkinson. Christopher Lee, Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, Werewolves, Vampires and Zombies all featured in the Hammer films of the time and this song is about watching those films. The guitar work fits in perfectly with it’s slightly eerie tune and the maniacal laughing at the end is sublime. The final track ‘Tonight’ closes the LP as it started, another tuneful, sing-a-long, foot tapper, which may even make you put the cd on repeat and play it all over again. You can tell that the band thoroughly enjoyed putting this together, the music, the straight up punk rock, even the track listing and where each song was placed just ‘fits’. So if you are looking for an album choked with great music, sing-a-long choruses go and get this. It’s good ol’ punk rock with a modern sound. I think it’s an LP they should be very proud of and because this is their debut, all I can say is bring me the next instalment.
Year Zero (Stuart Armstrong)

VARIOUS – Hunt Sabs Benefit Vol.2 CD – On The Run Wreck Chords
This is the second Hunt Sabs Benefit complication from On The Run Wreck Chords, and this time it has more tracks, although some of the bands appeared on Volume one as well. This time, you get to hear songs from both more established bands, as well as some relative unknowns, which is always a good thing, and alongside The Mob, Culture Shock, Zounds, Eastfield, C-30s, Virus, Dogma, Blyth Power, Inner Terrestrials you’ll get also get others that maybe new to you as they are to me. Not all the bands here play noisy punk rock, there is a bit of skapunk, some folk, acoustic songs and more noisy punk. Although not all of the music is to my tastes, all the bands are great, just for the simple fact that they have contributed tracks to help raise money for the Norwich and mendip Hunt Sabs and Hounds Off. Abrazos get to have one of our lockdown demo song included and I’m really happy that we are one this, and the first one,  as it’s a benefit that means a lot to us as a band. Head over to bandcamp and pick this up.
On The Run (Tony)

VARIOUS – Hunt Sabs Benefit Vol.3 CD – On The Run
Another top quality Hunt Sabs Benefit. Really, that’s all you need to know to pick this up, because it’s a benefit for the North London, North Wales and Glasgow hunt sabs, so there should be no question that you will buy it. However, on the plus side, there are 28 tracks here ranging from the raging to the more considered, but all with a punk attitude and a willingness to be part of this worthy project. The opener, ‘We Don’t Eat The Dead’ from Rubella Ballet sets things off in fine style before your ears get battered by Extreme Noise Terror. You also get The Cravats, Back To The Planet, Menstrual Cramps, MDC, The Pukes, Palooka 5, Virus, Anarchistwood, Pussy Liquor, Ferocious Dog and so many more. As with the first two Hut Sabs Benefits, you need to be getting your hands on this and enjoy some great songs while supporting Hunt Sabs.
On The Run (Tony)

EATEN ALIVE #63/A4/£1.50 & SAE
Another excellent issue of this traditional cut and paste Fanzine containing two great interviews with old Devon Punks ‘CDS’ and even older ‘Dorset’ Punks ‘Intestines’. I liked the Intestines interview so much that I’ve invested in a copy of their retrospective LP. The zine also contains fitting words in the Editorial to the recently passed Thomas ‘Mensi’ Mensforth – Angelic Upstarts front man, who’s approach and style drew many, including myself, to Punk! As much as The Pistols and Clash ever did in reality. There’s also the continuation of the band ‘Apocalypse Babies’ Heritage, as well as all the usual reviews you can expect from any self-respecting zine! 
All correspondence to: Derrick Moore, 152 Heath End Road, Nuneaton, CV10 7JG
Eaten Alive (Gaz)

FROM THE GARAGE TO THE STATION AND BEYOND: Stories From The Gateshead Music Collective 1980-1988 - Amorphous Press
This book is fantastic, and shows what makes punk different from other youth movements or music scenes. While the mainstream press delighted in tales of vomit, safety pins, violence, weird clothes and rudimentary music, young punks were getting together, forming bonds and friendships and being creative. In the late 1970s and early 1980s life was grim for a lot of young people, particularly in the North, where Thatcher’s policies were killing industry, jobs and taking away any sort of future for kids leaving school. Punk was there for these kids when nothing else was, and in Gateshead these young punks, left on the scrapheap by society, started bands, and because finding venues to play wasn’t easy they wanted somewhere of their own. With help from a feminist collective, they found a small space, and set it up as their own venue, somewhere to hang out and put on their own gigs. This lead to a collective, to new life skills and an outlook on life that would stay with them until today. The story is told by the people involved, in interviews, clippings and some great photos. The work that has gone into this book is phenomenal, and really brings the people and the stories they tell to life. I found this book very uplifting, and inspiring; I may come from a different part of the country, and was faced with different problems during those times, but I know how much punk helped, and gave me some purpose, this also lead to bands, fanzines, gig collectives, and enduring friendships. What these kids were able to do up in the North East was pretty special and this book is for everyone who has any sort of interest in punk and why this movement has endured and still inspires, and should definitely be read by those who would dismiss punk rock and what it has achieved, because if you want to know what punk is, you’ll find the answer in this book. Superb.
Amorphous Press (Tony)
POSITIVE CREED #41 – A4 – Price?
This issue seems quite hot on the heels of the last one as DIY Punk Fanzines go! Proprietor and Editor Rob has put together another great read and introduced me to bands I’d not heard before in interviews with Bobby Funk and Knife Club. He also interviews SD favourites Jodie Faster and a band I’ve always liked and interviewed for SD – Army Of Skanks, who I am pleased to see are going as strong as ever. I love the silly jokes page and the decent to the point reviews, making this one of my fave zines on the basis of its layout and easy to read nature. I noted in Rob’s editorial that he was nervous about going back out to gigs as we try and emerge from this shite Pandemic – I’m in isolation as I type this, so there is nothing wrong with you mate! Remain cautious as its still out there waiting to get ya! 
Positive Creed (Gaz)


Cress + War All The Time + Unified Action - The Bunker, Sunderland
Great to see the Bunker back in action again with the eagerly awaited Cress gig. I’d been listening to Propaganda and Lies all week, getting psyched up for a truly fantastic performance by Wigan’s finest. After a bus and Metro ride over to Sunderland, I found myself outside what appeared to be a deserted Bunker. Fortunately, I got into the gig room to find Unified Action already on stage and a packed crowd throwing themselves around at the front. After just four practices, Unified Action hit the ground running and look set to find themselves at the forefront of the UK hardcore scene. With an established pedigree of ex-members from Tied Down and Control, Unified Action also featuring Max Hakius from the wonderful Diaz Brothers on bass duties, I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more from this band over the coming year.
Next up were local hardcore stalwarts, War All The Time, who have continued to grow in popularity since the release of their split album with Andy T and Cress. War All The Time are essentially the Andy T Band with a different singer, oh yeah. I was blown away with the strength of their musicianship, I guess the fact that four of the band members play together in different bands means they gel and play together intuitively. In terms of proficiency, I’d rank Saul Blythe up there with the three bass greats – Burnel, Flea and Matthew Ashman. No detriment to Dee Dee Ramone, but I rate him as a songwriter over instrumental dexterity. Saying that, his innovative style ranks Dee Dee up there with the greats as well. Anyway, I digress, War All The Time are a must for all Discharge purists. Taking the essence of Hear Nothing, Why? and the first four classic singles, War All The Time take the spirit of the D-Beat pioneers and make it their own. And talking of D-Beat, Andy Hardcore never fails to impress me as a naturally talented drummer. It must be a family thing, as son Jake looks to be creating quite a stir with Brothers of Destruction. Can’t wait to see War All The Time again, hopefully with BoD on the bill as well.
It was a packed room and all three bands received an enthusiastic response from the energetic crowd. Cress were outstanding – an all-round multi-media experience, with the screened projections being an integral part of the performance. Coming to prominence in the late 90’s, Cress continue to retain their position at the forefront of anarcho punk. Fronted by the bass and guitar/vocals of Dave and Pete, Cress are held together so perfectly with entwined programmes, samples and drum patterns that you don’t even notice there isn’t a live drummer. The highlight of any Cress set for me is ‘Progress’, probably because it reminds me of the Mob’s ‘Witch Hunt’. What is there not to like? Not wishing to draw comparisons, there are times I’m transported back to the sounds of Crass and Antisect, but Cress remain original and in a league of their own. And something I particularly adore about this band is the total lack of guitar solos. There is no need, long live the down stroke. Long live Cress!
(Reid E. Ramone)

From 2021
ACTIVE MINDS - Two Sides Of The Same Coin EP - Loony Tunes
Still playing on and still fighting on as they have in unrelenting fashion for a few decades now. Active Minds should probably get far more recognition than they do as far as I’m aware! This six track EP finds them on fine form as they round on obscene wealth and the extreme poverty that it generates all over the world. The music is fast and furious as you will have come to expect if your familiar with the band, but the message is probably just as important. The clever cover art encapsulates all that this record is saying and is nothing less than I’d expect from these masters of a DIY Punk release. 
Loony Tunes: 69 Wykeham Street, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO12 7SA (Gaz)

ANDY T - Clinging On To Sanity With A Broken Fingernail 10” - Grow Your Own
Listening to this brings back memories of searching out punk on late night TV in the late 1970s, of brief glimpses on the Old Grey Whistle Test or Rock Goes To College and bands like Ian Dury & The Blockheads, TRB, The Fall and also John Cooper Clarke, anything to brighten those days of three TV Channels viewed in black and white, desperately searching for anything that wasn’t the norm. Musically, these nine songs also have elements of modern day Hagar The Womb and The Cravats, and this melting pot of sounds and styles works a treat, and gives me something different to listen to that’s still opinionated and relevant. ‘Clinging On To Sanity With A Broken Fingernail’ sees Andy T struggle with the modern world; the seemingly endless hours stuck in a telephone hold queue, mental health issues, the protests against fracking, internet trolls and, er, falling in love with a copper in the middle of a riot. I guess we can all empathise and sympathise with all of this (not the copper thing, obviously). The modern world, and the technological advances that have been made should have made like easier, more enjoyable and safer. Instead we have more stress, worse working conditions, more surveillance and it’s more dangerous as our whole lives have been handed over to the capitalist elite. I guess the one upside is that there is still plenty for Andy T to write about, and deliver in his very individual style; part poetry, part quirky punk songs. Of course GYO have done another fine job with this release, the record comes incased in a full colour sleeve with great artwork and full colour lyric booklet. I have found myself listening to this record quite a lot over the last few days.
Grow Your Own (Tony)

B.K.S – DIY TNT – Savage Wolf
When I see a 7” with 11 tracks, my interest is usually already piqued enough to buy a copy. When it turns out that each one is chock full of savage old-school hardcore attitude, which rips out of the starting blocks from the get go, I know I have chosen wisely. B.K.S have set their DIY TNT with a ludicrously short fuse and waste no time before delivering gobbets of thrashy hardcore to the masses. One foot is firmly set in U.S. East-coast 80’s thrash and the other is very definitely U.K. and very definitely right now. At times I am buffeted by a riff that has The Stupids through it like a stick of Dynamite, and turning on a sixpence there is a healthy dose of Pizza Tramp attack (6 Kicks 1 Kick is a great  example of both). Vocally B.K.S remind me of a slightly screamier James Domestic - No fucking about, straight to the point , ‘I am going to tell you this and you are going to sit there and fucking listen’ approach. And it works just as well here as it always does for the aforementioned Domestics. Up in your grill, skate-tinged thrash is the order of the day. It is no surprise then that their cover of Cro-mags Hard Times slots neatly into the overall vibe. Personal favourites are Space Force, which rips your face off before melding seamlessly into the Negative Approach styled chug of I’m out. 11 little fire crackers. Run fast, the timers almost up!
BUG CENTRAL - And The Fires Began 10” - Grow Your Own
Once again, Bug Central deliver the goods with a collection of rampaging, angry rants at modern-day life, the corruption of a capitalist system, the violence of the police and the mental stress it places on those of us just trying to survive. It’s a sadly accurate description of the troubles we’re facing all due to the greed, prejudice, privilege and entitlement that makes life so difficult of the majority, while the minority accumulate more than they can every use. However, out of the fury comes one call to arms, as ‘No Platform’ gives the punch the air chant of “Antifa!” The eight tracks are not all carbon copies of each other, but they flow nicely and all retain a certain fury. Bug Central are no one trick pony, they can do the straight ahead, fast, anarcho attack, but they can also ease up on the pace without the quality suffering; ‘Another Vegan Hipster’ reminds me of the UK Subs, while ‘The Fires Begin’ has an Armoured Flu Unit vibe to it, other songs include bits that remind me at various times of Discharge, Virus and Sanction This. Of course this has been lovingly put together with the usual care and attention of Grow Your Own Records; a full colour, fold out sleeve, a poster and stickers, plus it’s a 10”, a format I have always liked. This is another great release from Bug Central and GYO. 
Grow Your Own (Tony)

CHARLIE HARPER & THE SUB MACHINE - Post War Punks - Time & Matter
Charlie Harper has just turned 77, but it seems there is no sign of him slowing down yet, thankfully. This is a two track double A-Side 7" with Charlie being backed by some young punkers who you may know from A-M-I and Ramonas. Inspired by the outspoken environmentalism of the fearless Greta Thunburg, and starting off with a piano intro, ‘Panic’ is a brooding wake up call beginning with Charlie's cry of "None so blind, as them that won't see, sacrifice your future, for the God and greed. Deforestation, and a rising sea, your homes are burning, but you still don't believe..."  'Post War Punks', is a little less serious, and comes from a dream about post punk sandwiches! Musically both songs remind me of some of the tracks on the UK Subs’ ‘Endangered Species’ album, and both pack a punch in their own way. The 7” will be limited to 300, hand numbered, copies which can be pre-ordered from the bandcamp page now. You have to admire Charlie's enthusiasm and longevity, and just hope that he still has more to offer us as we emerge from Covid isolation. 
Time & Matter (Tony)

CULTURE SHOCK – Mandemic LP - Bluurg
He probably wouldn’t be comfortable with the label ‘Legend’ but does the punk ‘Legend’ that is Dick Lucas ever put a foot wrong with any of the bands he fronts along with his long term, evergreen group of musicians? Mandemic is the latest offering from the fairly recently resurrected ‘Culture Shock’ who were formed after the demise of the Subhumans in the mid 1980’s. Eight tracks on this LP of up beat Punky Reggae with a bit of Dub thrown in make this release as good as anything that has gone before. Alex on Guitar, Bill on Drums and Jasper on Bass know how to put a song together and with Dick’s vocals you know it’s gonna be great. Superb lyrics as you’d expect too! How does he do it? I’ve no idea, but what I do know is that your record collection will be poorer for not boasting a copy of this album. 
Culture Shock (Gaz)
CULTURE SHOCK – Found It In a Skip CD - Bluurg
For crying out loud! Eleven tracks of Culture Shock Demos, Rehearsals, Remixes and Live! Even this is quality and thoroughly listenable! It’s as cheap as chips from the band through Bandcamp and invites you into Culture Shocks inner sanctum so you can listen to how it all comes together.
Culture Shock (Gaz)

THE DEFECTS - The Death of Imagination LP – Punkerama
Reformed Belfast Punks The Defects have been back with us a few years now and still boasting Drummer Glenn and front man Buck from their original line up have been putting out new recordings regularly. In fact, far more than the first incarnation ever did! This is the latest and carries on where the last one ‘Feed The Good Dog’ left off. Eleven tracks of tuneful and thoughtful Punk with a smooth, but crisp delivery that for any Defects fan is just what you want from them. Formed way back in 1978 when Northern Ireland was a dangerous place to be a Punk Rocker, The Defects are true survivors in my opinion and have stuck firmly with their Punk roots. Times have changed, but their approach has remained consistent and to the point in my ‘for what it’s worth’ opinion. When the masks eventually come off and this rotten Pandemic subsides, I hope The Defects will take to a stage with me present and give the tracks on this fine record a live blast! I would have a Defective Breakdown if they didn’t! My only gripe is that I would have liked a lyric sheet with this no-frills LP so I could have a bit of a sing along, but I guess they must be out there in a search engine somewhere!?! No download code either, for all you clever sods who like your music on a massive hard drive to preserve your vinyl! Either way this is a must for Defects fans all over and even if you don’t get the lyrics a nod of approval for the cover art by Matthew Thair, which is genuinely a decent painting, if a little grim!    (Gaz)

DENY / CHØRNOBYL – Split 7” – Phobia, Dark Elk / Talk with your Boots / Cramda
Dead eyed sharks cruise a dark sky like zeppelins , raining bombs on a cold city of crumbling, empty-windowed tower blocks. This Dadaist nightmare in cover art could only ever herald the approach of thundering Swedish crust – and right enough, that is what you are in for. In this case Deny (who is was already aware of) and Chørnobyl (who I was not but should have been). Both bands deliver a payload of galloping  armour-piercing D-beat to tremble your foundations. Chørnobyl open the show with Army of Haters, which instantly reminded me of Misery by Bastard – which is no bad thing at all. They tear through 3 songs of grindy crust straight from the Skit System stable, saturated in distortion and delivering tales of woe as only the Swedes can. You will not be surprised at the mournful sirens and feedback as another city is levelled at the end of their side, but the addition of folky violin over the tumult gives it an eerie edge. Deny pare back the grind, but positively load on the D-beat, with a smattering of anarcho moments in some of the chant along choruses. Who can you Trust contains the ghost of Disfear’s Powerload (again, no bad thing!), and Doom spring to mind in the rollicking D.B.D. I love a bit of crust and this is a bleak and war-torn listen for sure. Full of all the bits you would anticipate, but also some new tweaks and tricks to escalate the genre arms-race. If this is your jerry can of petrol, I strongly advise popping out and getting a copy. You might want to stay in the shelter till the sharks bugger off though.
DENY (Alan)

DIAZ BROTHERS - s/t/ LP - Boss Tuneage
I was both excited, and a little worried about this album; I loved HDQ and have also been friends with Neil Cox for many many years, so Golly and Neil being in a band together felt like a dream come true, I just wanted to love it. However, what if… There was no need to worry, this is a brilliant record. The presence of Dickie Hammond hangs over the album, and Golly’s voice crackles with emotion throughout, and I’d say this is his best vocal performance since ‘Sinking’. The songs may be rooted in sadness, anger and confusion, they may be melodic, but they are powerful, with an energy coursing through them. I usually like my music stripped down, short, fast and to the point, but here the songs are layered and not one of them is under 2 minutes 45, but I am savouring every second, and I have been playing this over and over. Many years ago HDQ stayed at my flat after a gig in Winchester, and I still remember their friendliness and Dickie’s non-stop talking; just thinking of that night still makes me smile. Not long after that I went through a difficult time and I remember sitting alone in that flat listening to HDQ on repeat, Golly’s words helped me sort out the confusion in my head. I hope the writing and recording of this album has helped Golly and the rest of the band in some small way; it won’t bring Dickie back, of course, but his memory lives on for those that knew and loved him, and now those memories have the perfect soundtrack.
Boss Tuneage (Tony)

This record came to me via punk post from Dim Prospects guitarist Mops, via my good friends Rich and Geraldine. It’s a route that Mops has kindly used to keep my upto date with the post Target Of Demand music he has released, and I am very grateful for that as what he is involved in is usually quality stuff. This is no exception, two great Austrian bands, blasting out melodic yet energetic punk rock; Dim Prospects kick things off with a speedy song that is full of melody and it certainly leaves you wanting more. Of course they don’t disappoint, there are four more songs following that explosive opener and they are all driving punk rock gems that at times remind me of Danger!Man. I have played these 5 songs a lot and they just seem to get better and better. Flip the record over and you get Flowers In Concrete, who keep the fast tunes coming; they have a sound the reminds me of Spermbirds with the odd flash of SNFU along with a more modern melodic hardcore sound. Their tunes are infectious, the guitars sound great and both bass and drums really power the songs along. This is a great split.
Noise Appeal (Tony)

DISTANCE - Lockdown 2.0 EP - Bandcamp
With the dark nights and wet weather, Lockdown 2 hasn’t been as easy to cope with, but at least we get to have something new from Distance. Another four, straight ahead Discharge style ragers inspired by the pandemic and the effect it’s having on us all. Bloody great and perfect to ease those covid frustrations. Distance (Tony)

DOGMA - s/t - Grow Your Own
In years of adversity, punk always seems to rise to the occasion and deliver against all the odds. 2020 has been a year like no other, but the ever reliable Grow Your Own Records have done their part to lift our spirits by releasing another fabulous record, this time from Canada’s Dogma. The songs aren’t particularly fast, but still feel vibrant and engaging, and they have an authentic anarcho sound, without ever feeling like a dated throwback. There are echos of early Instigators, Hagar The Womb and even Icon AD, which is always going to be a plus for me. Lyrically they cover subjects you would expect, but then these things still need shouting about, even if only to vent your own frustrations. As ever, GYO know that presentation is as important as the music, so you get a lyric booklet, poster and badge, so each release is something to cherish and value.  I have been playing this a lot since I got it, and I can’t see it being put to one side any time soon.
Grow Your Own (Tony)

DOGSHITE – Mass Deception 10” / CD – Grow Your Own
If there was anything positive about the shitshow of the year that was 2020, it was Grow Your Own’s consistently great releases, and thankfully they have kicked 2021 off in fine style too. Battling covid, Brexit and broken printers they have still been able to deliver this wonderful red vinyl 10”. Dogshite released a great 7” on GYO some time ago, and don’t disappoint with this; their sound is definitely rooted in UK anarcho punk, but there is also a late 1970s influence evident, and ‘Sexual Exploitation’ reminds me of Menstrual Cramps. The songs are upbeat tunes, with great vocals and as you would expect from this label, the sound is spot on. GYO like to do as much of the process themselves, but as I mentioned they had some printer issues, so had to get the sleeves done elsewhere, but quality hasn’t suffered, this is still a stunning looking release. The CD (and download) version of this has lots of extra tracks, giving you the full Dogshite experience, so if you want the vinyl (and you should), then get it from their bandcamp site. 2021 may well still have it in for us, but at least we have Grow Your Own records.
Grow Your Own (Tony)

EASTFIELD - Urban Rail Punk MP3
This is a hurried review written in my lunch break at work as my internet is off (Again!) at home.. Now I have a massive bias when it comes to the Punk and Rail mix, but let's just say this is great! Full steam ahead Punk Rock which tells stories in the lyrics. This is Blyth Power with the Punk thrown back in if you want a comparison. I've not done this justice really, but when the masks are off get to an Eastfield gig and join in.. When I get the CD this gets a proper review. Cheers Jesse you have the honour of sending me my first MP3 to review. 35 minutes of my 40 minute break spent trying to work out how to play it! (Gaz) 

HAZARD PROFILE - Slime EP - Kibou/Urinal Vinyl etc
While the world has been locked inside over the last year, and the streets have become quieter, there is a corner of East Anglia that has been ringing with the sound of punk rock, thanks to the seemingly insatiable desire of James Domestic to create a racket. Hazard Profile is another project to burst out of this cauldron of creativity, delivering five songs of exhilarating, straight ahead, blazing punk that is on constant repeat here at the moment. This time James has been joined by people who’ve done time in The Wankeys, Chaos UK, The Domestics, and most of the other projects James has brought to life over the past year or so. You could pick out influences, from both the UK and the US, but all that really mattered is that the music is fast, the lyrics are pissed off and it all sounds fucking great.
Kibou (Tony)

ICONS OF FILTH - Plight 10” - Grow Your Own
There has been some controversy about this release, due to the band using the Icons Of Filth name, which is a real shame because, whatever the rights and wrongs of that decision, this is a really good record. It sounds good and GYO have given it the usual fantastic packaging, including a really wonderful lyric booklet. Icons Of Filth didn’t affect me as much as they did many others in their original incarnation, and so maybe I don’t feel those strong feelings about this release, but I can understand that people feel this isn’t the same band and that this shouldn’t have come out using the name. I’m not sure I am in a position to comment on the decision the band have made, but maybe it could have come under a different name, with an ex-Icons Of Filth sticker, or whatever, and people may have been more receptive to the powerful music and message that you’ll find in these 8 tracks. Anyway, GYO have done a great job as they usually do, and if you are able to put aside all the stuff surrounding it (hard to do I know) then this is a really good sounding and looking release, and it’s a shame that some will miss out on a bit of a gem. 
Grow Your Own (Tony)

The second album from Incisions is a storming release full of fury that explodes in your face. It’s heavy and fast, with a sound that gathers together the feel of both UK punk and US hardcore, I hear bits that remind me of Violent Arrest, Grand Collapse and even Pizza Tramp, as well as Black Flag, Poison Idea and Battalion Of Saints. However, this doesn’t feel derivative, it sounds fresh, exciting and urgent, with gravel throated vocals a rhythm section that really drives the songs along and great sounding guitars. Their first, self titled album was good, but this is another step forward, like their full rage has been unleashed. This is an excellent album.
TNS  (Tony)

JELLO BIAFRA AND THE GUANTANAMO SCHOOL OF MEDICINE – Tea Party Revenge Porn LP - Alternative Tentacles
This is a great album! Eight tracks of intense tunes from Jello & Co where he says it as he see’s it and calls out the culprits. Let’s face it - would you expect anything less? He also surrounds himself with a band who know how to make a great Punk album and they have brought their ‘A’ game to the studio with this release. Need anymore of a review to suggest you get this album?!! Nah! You know the score!
Alternative Tentacles (Gaz)

KISS ME, KILLER - 2020 Vision 10” - Grow Your Own
When I first saw this rather wonderful 10” I immediately though of Rubella Ballet, the bright, day-go art and vinyl was very reminiscent, and there are some similarities with the vocals and music too, but then as I listened I kept thinking of late 1980’s North East band DAN. But, Kiss Me Killer deserve better than easy comparisons as they are definitely a band for the 21st Century, with their own identity, and this record bounces along full of punk rock exuberance, wit, social comment and some damn catchy tunes. These songs really do get stuck in your head, the perfect antidote to the drabness that seems to envelope everything around at the moment. Any band who have songs about causing mayhem on Sports Direct, Lice, and slagging off Nigel Farage have to be good, right? RIGHT! Of course, you know that Grow Your Own have given this release some fantastic packaging; a full colour sleeve, that the Rezillos would be proud of, keeps the fluorescent vinyl safe and the equally bright lyric booklet makes sure you get the words right as you sing along, and you will be singing along. Just like Rubella Ballet and Hagar The Womb did in the early 1980s, Kiss Me, Killer bring some light and colour to a grey, troubled world, and just as I loved those two bands back then, I love Kiss Me, Killer now. 
Grow Your Own (Tony)
KÖRD VÄRLD - Total Distortion EP 7” - Kibou / Cimex / Kangaroo
Another quality release leaves the Jame Domestic production line. Lockdown may have curtailed James’ ability to play live, but he has not let his creativity whither and die, he has been a machine. KÖRD VÄRLD is a two man project with James, who plays guitar and bass and sings, being joined by Charlie Claesson (Anti-Cimex, Partisans, Driller Killer etc) who bashes out, a thumping, no frills hardcore drum beat that hammer the in your face, stripped down punk rock stormers home. The band’s name translates as “Fucked World”, and song titles, ‘Ego Over Lives’, ’Paranoid', 'Empty Vessel' and the title track carry on the view of the bleak times that we living through. This is fast, it’s angry and it’s just what I need to hear right now.  
Kibou (Tony)

LAS RATAPUNKS - Fracaso, Año De La Rata 2020 7” - Kibou / Amok / No Front Teeth
Last year I stumbled upon this Peruvian band on-line and their stripped down, straight ahead punk really appealed to me; now these three labels have given a vinyl release to four of those storming, angry punk rock gems. I love the energy of these no-frills songs, there’s no messing about, they get straight to the point, with rapid fire vocals and lyrics about government corruption and apathy that allows global capitalism to thrive, enslaving millions; leaving you in no doubt on where they are coming from politically. The songs may be fast and raw, but there is still room for some catchy melodies as well. It’s nice to know that punk still provides a vehicle for social comment and vented frustration all over the world, and now more than ever those frustrations need to be unleashed and those that are destroying all that is good in the world need to be identified and exposed. Long live Las Ratapunks! 
Kibou (Tony)

MAU MAUS - The Enemy With LP - Boss Tuneage
I was a fan of the Mau Maus in their original incarnation, so when Boss Tuneage announced this release was on the horizon, my pre-order was in as fast as I could type out my details. With two original members, and despite the photos showing the band looking a bit more grizzled these days (don’t we all?), the five new songs on side one show that the band have lost none of their speed, energy or bite. The first song, ‘Side By Side’, has a real early Cockney Rejects sound, which is good, but after that the rest of the new songs sound like you would expect Mau Maus to sound. They may have a new singer, but that hasn’t altered the sound of the band at all, the resemblance is uncanny, something that becomes clear when you flip the record over to hear the re-recordings of 5 old favourites. I did kind of like the sound of those cardboard box sounding drums on the original recordings, but I can’t deny that these old songs, have been given a new lease of life (and the drums sound way better); ‘Give Us A Future’ is still a punch the air blast of exhilaratingly primal punk rock. This could have been a big disappointment for me, but it is in fact a triumph.
Boss Tuneage (Tony)

NERVOUSS / RATCAGE – Skopje Vs Sheffield – La Vida Es Un Mus
Fancy a bit of unrelenting, unrepentant Totalitar-fuelled noisiness? Of course you do, and both sides of this split 12” shovel it on with more urgency than back-filling a shallow grave in the woods when you hear a dog-walker coming. NervouSS arrive on the scene first and opt for the Doom vocal approach. This is front and centre on Gloom, a little cracker of a track, which would fit right in on War Crimes Inhuman Beings. It boasts a finger-spraining bass line to be in awe of, and if that weren’t enough all played at hyper-speed. A lot of the other tracks walk a delicious line between crust and hardcore. There is often a Disfear or Discharge vibe (Despair for example, with its Protest and Survive chug throughout), but the band that most often spring to mind is Chris Dodge’s short-lived (and underrated in my humble opinion) Burn Your Bridges. There are tempo changes galore and some proper riffage.
Expect Discharge influence aplenty, but D-beat by numbers this is not. Ratcage are in no mood to be outdone. There has been a lot of talk about this one-man noise machine of late, and as well as this being super speedy, it is proper noisy. The vocal attack is like having a steam iron of hydrochloric acid thrust into your mush, perhaps with some wire wool attached for good measure! In the best possible way of course. Again, there is a heavy Totalitar vibe, but riff-laden hardcore and some lovely hooks are never far from the surface. They/he rip through the opening tracks (Two to Eight being an absolute corker), before taking the foot off the pedal (just a touch) with Persecution, which is no less brutal as a result. Ratcage end with a storming version of Emotional Blackmail by UK Subs. When I saw it on the cover I wondered if it was going to work with their savage sound, but it really does! It is impossible to pick a winner in this international crust bout. Both sides bring their A-game and leave bloodied but unbowed – different enough to have their own distinct style but kindred spirits which help the record as a whole gel perfectly.
Much recommended!
La Vida Es Un Mus (Alan)

NOFX – Single Album – Fat Wreck Chords
I really enjoy a bit of NOFX, always have. It is hard to dispute their longevity, DIY ethic, and downright stubbornness to deviate from their genius sing-along formula - and why the hell would they? It works! Along with the rest of the planet, 2020 has taken its toll on the band. This project started out on the path to be a double album, which influenced the way songs were written from the beginning, but due to everything the year threw at them, it ended up as a single album (hence the title). That explains some of the eclectic nature of what you get here, the rest is down to NOFX, and Mike in particular’s, collision course with middle-age. This record finds them wiser, passed the crest of the hill, and face to face with their own mortality freewheeling down the other side in the metaphorical shape of a parked concrete truck! It is bleak! NOFX are no strangers to light and shade, there have been increasing journeys into heavier subject matter on recent albums – Generation Z on Last Ditch Effort, or USA-holes on Wolves in Wolves Clothing for example. But this time it’s the whole LP. Gone are the joyous pop exuberances of Seeing Double at the Triple Rock, Moron Brothers or New Boobs. Don’t get me wrong; this is still unmistakably NOFX, in spades. Just spades of soil being shovelled over a coffin in a newly dug hole. The album opens with The Big Drag and lays out its desperation early. Mike’s vocals are hopeless – not out of key hopeless (you’re used to that by now, right?) - but existential angst hopeless, he sounds like a lost soul at times delivering exhausted nuggets of disastrous news and painful reminiscence. NOFX and Bad Religion have always been comfortable companions, often separated only by their vocal delivery and verbosity and this doom–laden approach brings the two tantalisingly closer together. The song is made more disturbing by the regular chord and key changes which make it difficult to know where it is going next. Overdosing, addiction (Birmingham), lost friends (Doors and Fours) are recurring themes as the band ponder on their youth and current ‘elder statesmen of punk’ status. They are all addressed here, like ghosts at the gig. Fish in a Barrel even fuses the uneasy bedfellows of laid-back reggae and mass shootings! If you don’t believe me about the bleakness, check out the YouTube video to I Love You More Than I Hate Me, where the band slowly and methodically top themselves at a pool party, overlooked and ignored by dozens of Benny Hillesque teens. Hefe swinging from a buffet filled veranda and Smelly sliding obliviously into a blood-swirled bath tub. It ends on a lingering shot of Eric Melvin’s corpse floating face down in a swimming pool as night fades. Yep – that bleak! But there is some light to the shade. Glimpses at least. NOFX trademark guitar riffs and skate park drum-thumping abound. And there are loads of the ubiquitous lyrical moments, which make you go, ooh, that’s clever. Mike has always been, and still is, a dexterous punner when it comes to writing songs, and some of the lyrics to Fuck Euphemism are inspired, as he sifts the complexities and pit-falls of gender politics. The highest moment of levity is, ironically, Linewleum, a song to put their greatest legacy and attractor of many imitators (Linoleum, from Punk in Drublic) out to pasture. It is probably the best song on the LP. The reworking and intertwining of the original and new riffs and lyrics show what masters of their craft NOFX are. A touching tribute to Steve Soto of the Adolescents on Grieve Soto, with the band’s expert blending of respect and humour is another highlight. The ghost of Amoeba’s melody drifts in as a eulogy at the end perfectly. Don’t misunderstand me about the darkness, this is a cracking album. After 17 Studio albums NOFX are damned if the change anything, and damned if they don’t. This is just a different approach, perhaps the one most suited to a post-Trump, mid-pandemic, environmental shit-show age. This is a grower. With the exception of the bits of Linewleum, which already are, there are possibly no showstoppers here - I don’t think there are meant to be - but there is a desperate honesty, which is rare and terminally refreshing.
Fat Wreck  (Alan)

Norwich's finest street punk band released their 'Drinking Song' EP last year and it's an absolute blinder. Driven by Maff Steele's distinctive bass, North City Lager System have captured their live sound on this 4-track belter. You can tell they're just out there having a good time, as exemplified by the laughter throughout the four songs. I've never met Willa, but the spoken word intro builds such a picture that you feel you do know him. In fact, I'm sure we've all worked with someone like Willa at some point in our lives. It's a great excuse for a rendition of Sham's 'Sunday Morning Nightmare' as well. For me, the closing track 'Ale Not Kale' is the highlight of the EP. Brings a smirk to my face everytime I hear it. Singer, Mark, has taken the Curly-beat and ran with it. Briefly breaking into the Seekers' 'I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing', North City Lager System show they have the talent to turn their hand to anything. Well, maybe not healthy living. Needless to say, Johnny Scumhater's drums hold the whole thing together and Bill proves to be a very solid guitarist. The overall sound is bolstered by 2nd guitarist, Steven Cooper, and if I didn't know better, those guitar scrapes could have been supplied by Blyth Power's Jer Hatcher. Absolutely amazing! Hopefully I'll get to see these chaps in the not too distant future.
Reid. E. Ramone

THE PARTISANS – Anarchy In Alkatraz/No Future Demos 80-82 LP -  Sealed
Do Welsh punk legends The Partisans need any introduction or description of their sound? Not to those of a certain age that’s for sure and forty years ago this was one of the bands floating the boat of a couple of young Punks in an age before Suspect Device was conceived! It’s got to be the last of the last that can be dredged up from them surely?! If it is!?! What a fitting finale! Some of the tracks on this album capture the band before they even wrote the songs that made them part of Punk folklore as they cover songs by the UK Subs and the like. Other tracks are as the album title suggests – demo versions of some of the tracks that appeared on their two No Future singles and album. The energetic and unrefined sound produced here was to become one of the templates for what we all now refer to as UK82! The whole package here is a thing of great Punk beauty – white vinyl if you got in early and a fantastic booklet that contains some of the band’s memories, pictures and lyrics. One for the collector without doubt, but also a chance to listen to a raw Partisans with all the energy and enthusiasm of youth, while not giving any thought as to where it would all end up forty years later!
Sealed (Gaz)
PEDAGREE SKUM - Nightmares & Scream Escaped LP - Grow Your Own
Another furious onslaught of anarcho punk with Pedigree Scum spewing out their frustrations in lyrics that are both personal and political, but all concerned with trying to survive in our crazy world, all delivered with great vocals that remind me of Pauline Murray in places. Musically, the songs are both melodic and powerful, crisp yet driving, and while they may not always be the fastest, they zip along at pace, making them sound catchy and anthemic. The band have obviously absorbed the various styles and incarnations of punk from the very earliest days, through anarcho punk right up to the present day and have added influences they have picked dup along the way into their own sound to produce an album that I have been returning to pretty regularly. It goes without saying that GYO have done a fine job with the packaging and artwork.  
Grow Your Own (Tony)

PI$$ER - Carved Up For Yuks - Kibou / TNS / Cimex etc
The press sheet says “PI$$ER is unlike most other bands” and that’s a pretty good introduction. If you haven’t yet heard them, they usually add some groovy sax to their hardcore punk rock, which has made both their ‘Wretched Life’ 7” and ‘Crushed Down To Paste’ mini LP interesting and unique listens, and I have enjoyed both. Here, you get 7 songs taken from those releases, but they have been made even more weird and wonderful as James has applied lashings of reverb and delay to remix the songs. Initially I didn’t think I’d be listening to this much, I assumed it would be a good novelty record that would get the odd play every now and then, but maybe a year of working from home and not going out has missed with my mind, as I quite often select this to accompany me when work stress gets too much. Members of this band have done time in The Domestics, Doom, Anti-Cimex, Sore Throat, English Dogs, Revenge Of The Psychotronic Man, Shitty Limits, Filaments, Partisans and Dis-Tank among many others, and this is the most unique band for all of them.
Kibou (Tony)

RUBELLA BALLET - Radio Sessions 1982-2018 – FOAD
Rubella Ballet have always brightened up the Punk scene with their Day-Glo appearance especially the drab black and white of the Anarcho scene from which they are always associated. It’s not just their colour, but their sound and outlook always appeared a bit brighter than the rest, although that’s not to say I disagree with what was and is still being said by many of the bands from that scene. Anyways this record is one for the collector and fan I guess as it features their John Peel Sessions from 1982 and 1983 and fast forwarding from those days to a session on ‘Part Time Punks Radio’ in LA 2018. All on a fantastic luminous pink vinyl and cover art in the same vein. Tangled Web at the end of side two is just a great track, worth it for that alone! 
Rubella Ballet (Gaz)

RUKOUS – Kaikki Saastuneet Tuhotan – Kibou/ Cimex 
Ten full strength doses of distortion-saturated Finnish D-beat with the head-bobbiest hooks you can imagine! Rukous do exactly what it says on the logo – when you can decipher the logo from its cob-webbed bedraggledness that is – a Rukous indeed! From the moment the balloon goes up the guitars arrive like a legion of circular saws.  There is a grind vibe to the higher pitched snarling vocals, whirling feedback and general assault of many of the songs – occasionally it sounds a bit like a ZX81 and a fax machine are wrestling for attention in the background, such is the sheer ferocity (for the record, I like that a lot, but see the fade out of Synnvinhauta for example no. 1 if you don'r believe me) - but there is always a twist in the tune that frog-marches you straight back to classic Scando style D-beat. Verikoirat, for example switches lanes recklessly and without pausing for breath from rumbling crust to big old dirty ass chugging. The lyrics are in Finnish (naturally enough), so I can’t comment on song subject matter but you can bet your britches they slot in nicely with the skulls, hazmat suits, gasmasks, etc. on the cut and paste cover. Oh yeah! You know it has all of the above, and wailing sirens introducing Kaikki Saastuneet Tuhotaan straight out of the Anti-Cimex songbook to boot. Personal faves are the infectiously grindy Tannya Paskaa Pt 2, and the nod fest that is Kuolematon Ruoho, which to my damaged ears has more than a touch of Tragedy and Sewer Trench thrown into the mix. A beautifully deranged and magnificently raucous Rukous! Fans of Skit system, Deny, Svaveldioxid and many more will not be disappointed.
Kibou (Alan)

SHUTDOWN - Emits A Real Bronx Cheer LP
It must have been around the time that this album was originally released, in 1995, that I remember one particular time watching Shutdown at The Joiners, by this time singer Neil had become a good friend and I was already a big fan of the band, they also played in Southampton fairy often, so it wasn’t the first time I’d seen them, but this time I was stood at the back next to the sound booth and not only did they sound great, but I could FEEL them. Their music thudded in my chest and my head spun; I’ve never taken drugs or been drunk, but maybe this was what intoxication feels like, a blissful moment when it felt like no one else was there, just me and the band. I played this album a lot when it originally came out, but it was only available on CD, a format I’ve never really taken to; it didn’t stop me loving it though, and it is one of the few CDs that I will keep as I slowly get rid of most of the others. Anyway, this has now been given a vinyl release and it sounds so good; I played the CD not long before the announcement that this was going to happen, and although the songs were good, and the memories strong, it didn’t really have the impact it once did. Now, however, it sounds so much better, the remix has brought these songs back to life and they sound just like they do in my memory banks, the greatness that I remember when I look back at those times seeing them live has been unleashed. I love this album all over again, and the fact that this has been released on a label started by Neil, in conjunction with Travis Cut’s Chris Evans’ Firefly records makes this even more especial. Two old friends releasing an old favourite album.
Helpless Dancer/Firefly (Tony)

SPITE - Complete And Utter Spite LP – Boss Tunage
Spite formed in Bristol during the early 1990’s roughly, but given their sound and feel along with the City’s fine Punk credentials it could have been ten years earlier than that! They got serious about it all between 94 and 96 though and this great LP captures both of their EP’s released on Blind Destruction Records and a fine live set. The band featured ex Ripcord front man Steve Hazzard, Pete Rose on Guitar, his then girlfriend Beckie on Bass, who did a stint with none other than Chaos UK and John (Ripcord, Can't Decide, Dumbstruck, Violent Arrest) on drums who played with Pete in a half decent Discharge covers band. Not wanting to be Discharge Cabaret though and feeling they had a bit more about them they formed Spite! The rest as they say is history and about 25 years of it has passed since the band decided to call it a day. However! They’ve left us with some energetic and crunchingly powerful Punk tunes with John’s vocals barked out over the top of them. One for the collector it may be, especially as the two EP’s are now probably very rare, but make sure you give it a decent airing before filing it away on the Punk shelves in your house somewhere. Released on a very blue vinyl with a CD version included as back up for the car if you’re as old fashioned as me! 
Boss Tuneage (Gaz)

TOKYO LUNGS - Soul Music - Kibou/Amok
The UK is now a one party dictatorship and Covid 19 continues to keep everyone inside and away from the things we like, so what do punks do? Well, they pour all that frustration into blazing punk rock songs. Tokyo Lungs are half of The Domestics, bashing out 24 songs in just 20 minutes; there is no time for any padding or filler, it’s just straight ahead, fast punk that doesn’t hang around waiting for your approval, it demands your attention. It is a glorious noise; the drums rattle away while James handles everything else; the guitar sound reminds me of early North America hardcore, and for some reason Toxic Reasons come to mind, although the songs are faster than theirs. This album gives James another outlet for his frustrations, and he doesn’t hold back, he gives the current shitshow both barrels, and like the music there is no time for philosophising or long drawn out theories, he gets straight to the point with a barrage of angry words. Let’s face it, the current state of the world should be a fertile breeding ground for angry punk rock, and Tokyo Lungs show that even if you cannot be in the same room as others, you can still make a loud, fast and pissed off racket, and make it available to all. This is how punk should sound in 2021.
Kibou (Tony)

ZERO AGAIN - Revert To Nothing 7” - Kibou
When a new band consists of old hands, it doesn’t take them long to get the ball rolling; so hot on the heals of the debut Zero Again EP, comes this snarling monster. This is heavy and angry, pulsating and pounding, it is bursting with menace and energy and although that first EP had its moments, these are the songs that really hit the spot for me, and the whole record is fucking great. There is a bit of Rudimentary Peni in there and some latter day Killing Joke, but the band that keeps coming to my mind is Endless Grinning Skulls; like EGS, they take cues from those old favourites, but bring the sound right up to date by injecting some 21st Century rage and urgency. This is on repeat here at the moment.
Kibou (Tony)

VARIOUS – Birds Of A Feather Vol.3 CD – Grow Your Own
Not content with spoiling us with the Dogshite 10”, GYO treat us to another great compilation of bands you may, or may not have heard yet. This one seems to include a few more heavier sounding bands, but they are all really good, and neither they, nor the less heavy bands, feel out of place on this compilation, and it shows the cool mix of bands and sounds we have to enjoy at the moment. Some, like 51st State, Dogma and Bug Central already have releases out on GYO, and of course Gary and Steph helped get the Sickness album released, but there are lots of bands I hadn’t heard yet, as well as a few welcome surprises (Haest, Drunken Marksmen, Zero Again for instance); bands you may not associate with GYO, but who’s DIY ethic and lyrical content fit perfectly. There are 25 bands featured, and nearly half of them were new to me, but I really enjoyed the different sounds. As with the previous two volumes of Birds Of A Feather you get a nice info/lyric booklet too. No bullshit detected here.
Grow Your Own (Tony)

VARIOUS - Blasts from the Past – Network of Friends / Lärmattacke
For sheer pedigree, this LP cannot be beaten! When the track list includes unreleased demo and quality live tracks from the likes of; Mob 47, Heresy, Raw Power, So Much Hate, Rattus, Neuroot and Lärm, it is a must have. I can honestly say, every track is a sweat-drenched, boots in the air cracker! This comp collects the great and good from all across Europe during the 80’s and early 90’s and plops them at your feet like the best mix tape your coolest friend made you. Some are unearthed versions of tracks you may already know, but there’s also a whole bunch of new ragers. It is impossible to pick favourites because there a simply so many to choose from (Oh, Ok then – Raw Power - Fuck Authority, Crude SS – Leonid Var Röd and Bedrövlerz – Vi Hatar Dig really did it for me if I have to take sides). Yes, some of the tracks are raw and unpolished, but that only adds to the feel I had discovering a lot of these bands at the time, on battered cassettes in the car on the way to gigs to see some of the others play. Most survive on uncompromising velocity alone! There’s also a lovely insert with info on the bands, providence of the tracks, stickers etc. This LP comes with mixed emotions. Initially it provides a bit of much needed nostalgia and ferocity in these times of social isolation and 2m distancing, but then, on the flip side,  it documents a pan European scene we are now slightly divorced from due to Britain’s current penchant for blinkered navel-gazing. All in all, it is a perfectly pitched time-slip to remind us what we had, and to remind us to double our efforts and make sure we fight to keep British hardcore cemented with mainland Europe in the difficult days ahead. A network of friends indeed!

VARIOUS - Diggin’ Up The 90s Vol.1 LP - Amok
This is such a great compilation, featuring 16 bands doing what I love listening to most; stripped back, raw punk with untamed energy and enthusiasm. Just as the Bored Teenagers series has done for obscure UK recordings from the late 1970s, this compiles tracks from criminally ignored international punk releases from the 1990s, by bands like Ashley Von Hurter & The Haters, The Bloody Mutants, Menstrual Tramps and post Crudos band Fuck The Bureaucracy. The songs are straight to the point, fresh sounding and exciting, the sort of thing that people should have been listening to in the 90s rather than those over produced, over hyped, major label wannabe bands. Those bands may have made the money, but these bands that you’ve never heard of had the true spirit of punk flowing through their veins. This is 1977’s legacy, this is punk played by people who just want to play fast, have fun and sing about stuff that concerns them, or excites them, or whatever. Bands from The US, Canada, Ireland, Australia, Switzerland, France and Japan prove that punk has a universal appeal, and I love it all. Bring on volume 2.
Amok (Tony)


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