It seems that putting a new issue of Suspect Device together and sorting out the Shorts 7” doesn’t really leave me much spare time to write a blog. But the zine has at the printers and the 7” will be going to the pressing plant this week, so with that with the fact that some crap TV program is on in the next room, I’m spending the evening listening to music and writing rubbish.
I have been getting a lot of great records recently, a lot seem to be from Europe, particularly from Spain and Finland, but other countries have been well represented...
Back at the end of August, The Shorts played with Porkeria from Texas, in Brighton, they were really great, kind of like Los Crudos playing Discharge songs; they were energetic, powerful and I loved them. Their LP “La Mierda De Siempre” is a collection of addictive, straight ahead, speedy punk rock gems; that they sing in Spanish doesn't take anything away from their greatness. Their self titled 7” may see them easing off the accelerator just a little, but the songs are still there and I love this record just as much.
Other Spanish speaking bands that I have been playing a lot recently include Canada’s wonderful Ilegal, and Barcelona’s brilliant Sudor, who play stripped down punk that has really hit a chord with me, their new 7” only arrived this week and has hardly left my turntable, and my Sudor playlist has accompanied me most days at work too.
Over in Finland Combat Rock Industry Records have been supplying me with some great melodic stuff; favourites have been Atom Notes, First Times, Kuudes Silmä, Särkyneet and Ydinperhe. Not forgetting the new Phoenix Foundation “Silence” LP and 1981 7”. Sweden has been represented by Desperat, who’s “Demokrati Eller Diktatur?” 7” has been re-released by US label Beach Impediment. These guys were in Mob 47, so it’s no surprise that they deliver some great Discharge inspired fast hardcore, I”m not sure anyone does this stuff better than these veterans.
And not forgetting the Netherlands, Citizen Patrol's new 7”EP is probably the best stuff this band has done yet, and that’s saying something as their previous EPs and LP have been firm favourites.
The UK hasn’t been sleeping either, with great EPs from Violent Reaction, Endless Grinning Skulls and State Funeral, the latter coming with the excellent new issue of Artcore. Epic Problem have been recording again and their new songs are the best stuff they’ve done so far, I can’t wait for them to be properly released, hopefully early next year.
Old favourites Anthrax put out a great LP, not just resting on their laurels and going in for the Rebellion cabaret stuff, they put out a record of strong new songs. The subject matter deals with the crap going on in this country and the rest of the world, and that they are scarily similar to the subjects they covered with those great early record shows how little has changed over the last 30 years.
Heading back across the Atlantic and Grave Mistake put out the School Jerks LP, a nice slab of snotty punk rock in the vein of early Black Flag, SOA and DOA. Speaking of those Canadia veterans, their new (and last?) album, “We Come In Peace”, sees them turning back the years to deliver an album to rank alongside anything they’ve ever done. If it is to be their last then they’ve certainly gone out on a high.
Away from records, I went to see Negative Approach and Punch in Brighton. despite the horrible drive I like going to gigs in Brighton, there’s a good vibe and I have some good friends there. Punch were as great as I’d hoped they’d be, tight, powerful and inspiring. To be honest I wasn’t expecting much from Negative Approach, but they totally nailed it in the most surprising way. Hard and fast and taking no prisoners.
I have recently got a couple of books; Russ Bestley & Alex Ogg’s The Art Of Punk is a wonderful collection of punk rock sleeve, poster, zine and flyer artwork spanning the history of punk rock, from the ‘70s right up to the present. Looking through it brought back so many memories. Also Martin Sorrondeguy’s Get Shot is a collection of his photos from 1985 - 2012. There are some brilliant shots in there, and both books are wonderful documents.
I have found some of the music mentioned above has really inspired me, and not just because it’s been great to listen to but also because it’s reaffirmed why I’m still so involved and motivated by punk rock even though I’m 46 and married with a 14 year old daughter. The fact that there are bands and records that still have that affect on me is something I cherish. Long may it continue.
The new issue of Suspect Device will be out very soon, as will the Shorts 7”, so keep an eye on our website, and while you’re there check out our distro.