The French & Spanish Connection: Gilles’ CDs Reviewed
Once in a while somebody would come to the shop, hung out and donated a few things for us to sell, distribute and also for us to keep in our library. A few days ago we have Gilles who was here in KL before, prolly 2 years ago, and this time he gave us a few CDs to check out. Merci beaucoup, monsieur G!
(Hippy Core Records / Intellectual Punx Records)
Intense, hard-hitting and powerful UK82-style punk from the north-eastern city of Zaragoza, Spain; apparently one of the most happening Spanish cities in terms of active DIY hardcore-punk bands and community. Recently Zaragoza had spewed out bands such as the all-grrrl raging crust quartet MISTK?ÑFER, the now pretty famous KARNVAPEN ATTACK, YAKUZA HORROR. old-school melodic hardcore kids IMSOMNIO (highly recommended if you like it raw but melodic!) etc.
This CD has been out for four years, BLOCKBASTARD have in fact released their second album two years ago. Quite an old release but nevertheless a good indication of what BLOCKBASTARD is all about, and that is straight-ahead, uncomplicated Spanish hardcore-punk built upon the UK82 foundation (especially the early days of GBH, Discharge and English Dogs) but faster and a hell lot more furious than the usual 10-foot mohawk-ed ‚Äò82 regurgitators.
15 songs, banged out in 19 minutes! A scorcher!
BLOCKBASTARD – Forensicks
Val?©ncia, Marca Registrada CD
(multi-label release – 12 labels altogether!)
Light-hearted, fun, full of riotous sing-along-a-song but still fabulously furious in the early 80s US-style, probably better if you can imagine late-70s bands playing double-quick short songs with a lot of catchy choruses and no distortion on the guitar.
A bit like a musically retarded version of Amdi Petersen Arme or The Wasterners. I‚Äôm making an effort to stress the ‚Äúmusically retarded‚Äù part because lyrically (yes, the thick-ish sleeve features English translations) ANTI-PLAYAX can be astutely political without being too anal about things, preferring to distill the rage with humour and sarcastic jibes; signs of age catching up!
Hailing from Valencia, Spain; apparently this is the in-house band for the label Trabuc Records (one of the bigger DIY distros/labels over there) with label-head Eduard on vocals and band members who also played in DERROTA and DESGUACE. ‚ÄúVal?©ncia, Marca Registrada‚Äù (Valencia, Registered Trademark) is ANTI-PLAYAX‚Äôs debut album released in 2008 with 17 songs in 25 minutes and it‚Äôs wild!
ANTI-PLAYAX – Anys Perduts
NUNC EST BIBBENDUM / APRAXIE / PIZZZA / T?äTE DE GERF
Y‚Äô A Plus De Saisons (No More Seasons) 4-Way Split-CD + 48-page Art-Zine
(multi-label release – 10 labels!)
It‚Äôs always good to get a comp CD filled with unknown bands and packaged in an interesting format. This 4-way split-CD is encased in an A5 sized art-fanzine with full-colour pro-printed hard-cover and black/white inner pages filled with heaps of artwork and texts. It‚Äôs all lovingly done, with a free postcard included too.
The only problem here is it‚Äôs all in French and the only French I know is Brigitte Bardot. Heh! But that‚Äôs my fault. I shoulda gone out there and learn all these languages instead of being stuck with English and Malay, y‚Äôknow. Everytime I think about languages, written or spoken, I feel a bit depressed due to the fact that I‚Äôm totally missing out, boss.
Anyway, language barriers aside, I don‚Äôt need it to enjoy the music contained herein or marvel at these images. According to an online catalogue I ‚Äúgoogle-translated‚Äù; these bands with their music and prose are political in nature; banging against the system and their shitty lives in the big shitty.
The four acts featured here come from Saint-?âtienne and Paris. I believe these tracks are all home-recorded using samples, drum-machines, DAWs along with the usual guitars and basses etc.; pretty much bedsit DIY punk meets street-corner hip-hop.
Out of the four, NUNC EST BIBBENDUM comes closest to the trad full blown fast & cartoon-ish punk rock; reminding me of early 80s French legends Ludwig Von 88 with its plastique rhythms and melodic rants.
As for the rest, well all the other three acts are hip-hop-derived but I can‚Äôt find much enjoyment in their tracks. APRAXIE is alright, I like some of the loops and the sound of them madly rapping (rather exotic, really) but after a while it becomes a repetitive mess and lost my interest.
PIZZZA sounds silly, reveling in using atrocious samples and driving the BPMs right to the ridiculous while concocting cabaret-style cod-polka, chip-grind, etc. The last act on the disc, T?äTE DE GERF is of a darker feel, pushing minimal beats with a mish-mash of samples but doesn‚Äôt do anything at all to my excite-o-meter.
All in, nice packaging, great artwork but shame about (most) of the music.
NUNC EST BIBBENDUM – JH Recherche JF
APRAXIE – Cram?©
[rating: 5/10] but the booklet is cool [rating: 8/10]
Pizzza CD + 48-page Art-Zine
Similarly packaged CD, this time a full album by the dreaded PIZZZA; in fact 30 songs by the dreaded PIZZZA. I‚Äôm dreading this CD because the 12 tracks featured on Y‚Äô A Plus De Saisons 4-Way split-CD are already an aural nightmare.
So how does this one fare then? I‚Äôd like to report different but this is similarly painful. It‚Äôs suffice to repeat the mantra: PIZZZA sounds silly, reveling in using atrocious samples and driving the BPMs right to the ridiculous while concocting cabaret-style cod-polka, chip-grind, etc.
One good thing though, every single one of the 30 songs here are featured on a page of the accompanying art-zine; with attending artwork, comics, collages etc. thus giving me something to look at while trying to shut out the din.
I bet this is hilarious to everyone tho‚Äô:
PIZZZA – Chanson De Cul (Song of the Arse!!)
[rating: 3/10] but the booklet is cool [rating: 8/10]
La Societe Des Tyrannicides CD-R
French anarcho-punk in abrasive, playful mood. It‚Äôs abrasive due to the grrrl vocals screaming bloody murder doom gloom utter chaos with the guitars totally sand-papered and jarring, while it‚Äôs playful at the same time when there are moments of respite with jazzy notes, clever saxophones, snaky basslines and jabbing mouth-organs.
The eight tracks here were recorded in 2004 and never released until a few months ago. As it is the band is no longer around but on this collection the delivery is constantly on the anarchic, a runaway wagon clattering down a steep hill, almost breaking apart but yet still together however loose the screws are. A bit like our mad friends from New Zealand; Mr. Sterile Assembly; crazy, cabaret-ish, arty post-punk of the avant-anarcho kind.
The music aside, I like the economical, minimal DIY packaging, where a sheet of thick card silkscreened multi-coloured with excellent loud art.
Keeping with the anti-capitalist stance and the prevailing consumerist stoopidity, this whole CD is available for download for free: here
ANACHARSIS CLOOTS – Le Noyau Demos Zirako
BTW: read upon the band‚Äôs namesake and probable inspiration:
All of these are available on the shelves at The Ricecooker Shop but we‚Äôre keeping ANACHARSIS CLOOTS‚Äô CD-R.