Sunday, 17 June 2012
Domination Factor "Dominated till death" demo 87 + live in Brum 87
Don't let the rather crappy name fool you, Domination Factor is a crucial listen if you are into early crust music (and if you aren't, what the hell are you doing here?). Not only does this band rule, but they also deserve a seldom used adjective in the realm of punk: they are original.
If you have any serious interest in 80's British crust punk, the voice of the DF singer is bound to ring a bell and for good reason since it is the same bloke who sang afterwards for Prophecy of Doom. In fact, DM was very much a pre-POD band so it is no real surprise that DF aimed for originality as POD, beside being absolutely excellent, were a band that stood out for its distinctive sound and aesthetics. Ian Glasper, who knows his shit, describes DF as "grind-crust-reggae-ska" in "Trapped in a scene" and claims the band's short lifespan was due to its unorthodox mix of music genres (I mean reggae AND crust? Really? And that was long before Mouth Sewn Shut). I don't know if he's right but it makes sense that at a time when everyone was going more metal and was trying to play faster and heavier, DF might have picked a wrong card intending to include reggae and dub influences in their music. But 25 years later, listening to their demo know, only one thing can be said: the demo is bloody brilliant.
To be honest, there aren't that many dub moments on the demo and when they come they always fit very well with the rest and create an interesting atmosphere. While POD were very much a grinding metallic crust affair, DF were a lot punkier, definitely not as metal, more straight-forward than its gloomier successor. The vocals don't have as much effect but they still sound quite similar to POD's. It reminds me of early Deviated Instinct crossed with early Extreme Noise Terror, some anarcho bands like Exit-Stance or Anti-System and even, as strange as it may sound, One Way System's mid-tempo songs.
As if the demo wasn't enough, I have also included a whole live recording from the same year (1987). The gig was at the Mermaid in Birmingham (a venue also known as "crust valhalla") where every band of the period got to play at some point (remember that flyer with Antisect, Deviated Instinct and Hellbastard? Yes that was at the Mermaid. Or the stenchcore festival with Chaos UK, ENT, Hellbastard, Deviated Instinct and Ripcord? Mermaid again. Antisect, Sacrilege and Generic? Yep, there too. Amebix, DI, Sore Throat? Huhu.). The sound is rough but still enjoyable. All in all, I guess Domination Factor will be of great interest to Prophecy of Doom lovers and will be a potent offering to stenchcore maniacs.