KARCER - Nic Nikomu O Niczym CD (Jimmy Jazz Records)
Everytime I'm offered a bit of Polish Punk I go ''YES!''. The best tours we've ever done with THE VECTORS have been in Poland. We've had so much fun with the punk scene over there. Danger. Excitement. The stuff that makes you feel alive. The real thing.
My experience of Polish Punk has always been drunken crust punks with no front teeth passing out in a pool of piss and vomit while blasting a battered old DOOM tape. Usually back at the squat after a bloody knife fight with the local nazis. Every support act we've ever had there has played really fast HC-to-Grind with a singer screaming something about ''the system''.
This is not like that at all. KARCER has appearantly been around for nearly 20 years, and I don't know their old stuff, but what you get here is a mix of every sub-genre possible except Punk, Grind, HC and Oi!. The guitars vary between slow Thrash and mid-tempo Skate Core that somehow only blurs into a constant sound of average dull Metal Pop. If the band accidently stumbles on a decent riff they do their best to ruin it with complicated breaks or la-la-la-laa guitar leads. The whole thing goes on for forever too.
They also cover Bob Dylan's The Death Is Not The End.
The booklet has the lyrics translated into English, which seems to be the standard in Poland. Good thing too, as some of them are really funny, and certainly the best part of this release. Bylem W Twoim Domu (I Was In Your House) has some great lines about breaking in to some poor sod's home, poisoning the dog and robbing the place, and as the band say; the funny thing is that the guy still wishes them ''a nice day'' when they pass him in the street. The lullaby Kolysanka goes ''Sleep and cry no more / or I wrench off your head / tear off your little arms and legs / I'll hammer the nails in your little eyes / I'll sew your mouth so you die'', which shows that the band has some of that good old Polish spirit. Too bad the music never cuts it.
With my love for Poland I really wanted to like this, but I couldn't. I'm sorry, but this simply isn't any good.
THE UNDEAD - First Worst And Cursed CD (Dionysus/Bacchus Archives)
Here's a compilation of THE UNDEAD's original releases. Of all the bands called UNDEAD this is the best; not Bobby Steele's 80's band, but Sid Terror's old California outfit.
The two 7''s from 1977 and 1978 sound a bit like FORGOTTEN REBELS' first LP at times, sort of good mid-tempo punk rock with snotty, nasal vocals. Supermarket Music features backing vocals from Jeffery Hyman and Douglas Colvin whom you might have heard of...
The main part of the CD is from their 1980 LP, which has a bit more of a Gore-Core feel to it, compared to the first stuff. I'm not that into the horror punk scene, but the lyrics have a lot more attitude and punk than your average vampire posers. There's not one bad song on this, but it could have done with some faster numbers just to add a bit of variation. It kinda blurrs into a background of decent punk rather than grab you by the balls, if you know what I mean. Pick of the lot are We're All Scum, Hell On Wheels and the up-tempo Kill Me Please.
And I wasn't going to mention THE MISFITS, but now I did it anyway.
The original vinyls on Death Records are hard to get so this release is very welcome. I'm not sure it features everything they released but with 16 songs from the vaults 1977-1982 and a hidden bonus track from 2002 - yeah, they're still around - this is a solid collection. A piece of punk rock history that you'll actually enjoy listening to too, unlike some of the other recent 70's reissues. Maybe not essential, but pretty good.
NO SHAME - Rebound For Glory DBL CD (Full Steam Records)
This absolutely reeks of Political Correctness. Starting with the cover, which depicts the band marching alongside token starving African children and native Americans (''indians'' to you and me and John Wayne), led by a Joan D'Arc type woman. If you for some reason don't get the message it also has the legend International Lovepunk Movement in the corner. Love Punk?! Sounds just as impossible as Christian Punk, but there it is.
Trying to create a fake link between yourself and oppressed minorities when you're white middle class european males is always really stupid and false, but then PCness has always been about getting the state to grant you victim status and killing debate, and never had anything to do with actual thought or getting new ideas across. Self promotion worthy of U2.
On to the music. Once you've gotten through the first song, a horrible accoustic ballad littered with sentimental clichés about how life treats the rich better than the poor, this is mainly over produced street pop punk somewhere in RANCID territory, but with too much skate punk influences. It relies heavily on pop harmonies and ooh-aah backing vocals. It's just too happy, nice and polite. I guess this is what some people find catchy but to me it's just annoying. Sometimes they slow things down and go into minor chords, but this just makes them sound like some late monday night entertainment in a resort hotel.
Though some of the lyrics are intelligent and well-written the over-all feel is just more PC slogans being shoved down your throat. A bit like being force fed vitamine pills mixed with syrup really. The fact that this is a double CD just triples that. The full colour booklet comes complete with an Iroquois statement about saving mother earth. It's just too much. I guess I could write that one way of cutting industrial pollution would have been to put all the songs on one CD instead of this vanity package of two, but that would be a cheap shot, wouldn't it?
There are a few songs that cover relationships instead of party line slogans, but they're even worse. I think they call it schmaltz in Hollywood. The odd lyric is ok, and they don't sound very Finish when they sing - if you think that's a good thing - but that didn't save this release.
Good punk rock songs sound like they're written in two minutes of anger, NO SHAME songs sound more like the detested ''well-crafted'' type. Though they sound nothing like it this has a lot more in common with PHIL COLLINS' Another Day In Paradise than the SEX PISTOLS' God Save The Queen.
Made to be played on expensive stereos by hippies who feel bad about their upper bracket income. This revolution not only starts at home, it ends there too. Comfortably sipping whine - not too much, mind you - slumping on the couch under a framed Ban The Bomb poster. Or maybe I'm just a thug who doesn't understand that things like ''inner beauty'' and ''being natural'' is more important than good old ''having fun''. Feel free to call me names.
If you're part of the PC brigade and can only comprehend things stated in one simple sentence I'll spell it out for you; I didn't like it.