Sunday, 20 May 2012

Decontrol "Thunk!" demo tape 1991

People with decent music tastes tend to agree that Discharge's "Decontrol" is possibly the best song ever. It therefore doesn't come as a surprise that punk bands around the globe chose "Decontrol" as their moniker. There is a d-beat Decontrol in Canada, there was a Descontrol in Peru and even an utterly skilless Decontrol around in the early 80's in England, but the band we are talking about here was around in the very early 90's in the Durham/Tyne &Wear area.

Like Slander, Decontrol were part of the Northern anarchopunk and hardcore scene as their thanks list testifies (Hellkrusher, One by One, Senile Decay, Armed Relapse). While Slander had taken a Varukers/Hellkrusher path, Decontrol is much more of an 80's anarchopunk band in terms of sound, lyrics and esthetics. Their obvious main influence would be Conflict (they even offer a sloppy cover of "Increase the pressure" on this tape) but there is also a distinct UK82 spontaneity and snottiness to their tunes. The drumming is fast and binary, the riffs are simple, the chorus are catchy and can be sung along and the presence of two pissed off singers really helps make the songs dynamic despite the rather rough recording. The Ad'Nauseam demos, the Insurrection Lp or early Instant Agony would not be irrelevant comparisons. If Active Slaughter were 16 and couldn't play, you wouldn't be too far from Decontrol. If you like your English anarchopunk with a healthy dose of snot, aggression and attitude, Decontrol will work perfectly.

The lyrics are probably the strongest point here. Those were angry young punks. "Organized crime" gives the fingers to all religions, "Stereotyped" is about punks who are into politics for fashion's sake (it seems Decontrol were not too keen on the "metal invasion" of the scene), "No torture" deals unsurprisingly with vivisection and "Working class hero", my personnal favourite, tells the story of Harry Roberts, a man who killed three coppers in 1966 shortly after the World Cup in England. You have to love the parallel: "In the 1966 World Cup final / Geoff Hurst scored three goals / Less than two weeks later / Harry got a hat trick of his own". Just brilliant. Judging from the artwork, the band was very involved with Class War, the ALF, throwing bricks at the pigs, kicking nazis in the bollocks and having Tintin say "All yuppies are bastards!".

Top notch or what?


  1. Hi - I'm Paul - one of the singers from the band. It's been a long time since we played and even longer since I looked online to see what impression we made...

    It's great to see our demo up on here for all to sample!

    For the record, the band were approx 18/19 years old, apart from me , who was an old codger of 26!

    I was the more deep-voiced vocalist, who starts the song "Organized Religion" off...

    I wrote a fair few of the songs, but had to hand it to Nick our guitarist who came up with the main idea and lyrics for "Working Class Hero".

    I'm currently compiling all of our recordings - video and audio - to release to the online community.

    Nick and Smyf (rhymes with life) were brothers and were the main Class War fans. To look at us we were more like metallers (ironic), apart fromme who had bleached short/spiked hair or longer Dooom-crust style.

    I was more into the Doom/ENT style of punk and went along with the Conflict style as it was easier on the voice.

    In terms of our peers, I was mates with Ali and Scotty from Hellkrusher and Nick?Smyf knew One By One. We played with Armed Relapse, Genital Deformities, Disaster, Hiatus, Mushroom Attack, Active Minds, Mutant. I'm sure we played with Anemia (Scotty's splinter band).

    Thanks for the review - I'll let you know when the DVD is completed (3 gigs, demo, rehearsals, posters and digitally restored demo cover).

    1. Hallo there!

      Thank you very much for the infos. I have had your tape for a while now and no one really seemed to know about you, which is a shame since I really like what you did. It is pretty much everything I expect from a good punk band! I can see why the Conflict style is more manageable on the voice ;)

      Anyway, it is great to see that this post reached you and I am definitely looking forward to the DVD.



  2. DVD is nearly complete now - see the latest news at


  3. DVD is now complete and available for purchase as a disc, or I can offer up a copy via some torrent sites if you like... check out our facebook page...

  4. You may like to know that Decontrol are reforming. Bad news is that only Paul on voxis original member playing, but we do have some excellent musicians standing in. If I mention The Fiend, Debauchery, SORB and Incendiary Device, you'll have an idea of the level of commitment that has been offered to the band to get them to reform. Expect serious musicianship this time around...

  5. Hi there!!!
    Thanks for uploading this album!!. I really LOVE your blog!!!
    Cheers from Mexico

    1. Thanks man. It's always nice to get some kind words!

  6. - we're very much alive and our album is reviewed in terrorizer magazine issue 269 by Ian Glasper! 8/10.

    1. Hey there! Yes I saw that you were back in full force. It is really nice to see and the album is really good indeed. We played a song from it on the radio in Paris ;)