Friday, 21 September 2012
Coitus / The Losers split Ep 1993
Like the Substandard/Nerves record I reviewed a couple of days ago, this split is a good example of the early 90's English scene, with a heavier band on one side, Coitus from London, and a more old-school punk-rock affair on the other with the Losers from Nottingham. And like the Substandard/Nerves split record, this geezer offers two oft overlooked but very enjoyable bands. This record was released by Fluffy Bunny Records, a label that also put out the excellent Decadent Few Ep in 1992, and it has one song from Coitus and two from the Losers.
Undeniably, Antisect is considered as a band that has had a big influence on many punk bands throughout the years. However, there aren't actually that many bands with a similar sound to them, especially their later metal period. Obvious answers could include early Extinction of Mankind and Nausea. Of course, SDS fit the category too but as much as I like them, I have always thought that they tried too hard and in the end failed to recreate the Antisect intensity. But Coitus made it, not through mimic (because it never really works that way), but by taking the Antisect sound in order to try it and reshape it. I like to think that if Antisect had kept playing in the 90's, they would have sounded something like Coitus and it is no coincidence that Antisect guitarist Lippy was involved with the recording of several Coitus songs. The song we have here is called "Unknown" and beside the Antisect influence, there is some heavy Celtic Frost worship as well along with a hint of early Hellbastard and Sodom. Coitus were a fantastic band that succeeded in making rocking heavy music (in a Motorhead sense) while keeping it genuinely dirty, dark, threatening and angry, something that pretty much none of the "Motorcrust/Motorcharged" bands can pull. Coitus epitomize what great metallic punk should be, which is punx playing filthy metal with guts and snot without being concerned with musical intertextuality, meaning it is pretty useless to try to fit references to "cool bands" into your songs.
Coitus also have a lot of personality in terms of aesthetics and lyrics. In fact, it is hard to guess what they are going to sound like if you only judge by the cover. They have a couple of cowboys/pirates-themed songs and they use the "desperados" imagery on a lot of their records. Lyrically, the songs dealt with daily life and how hard it is to cope with it, alienation, violence, and always with a touch of madness in the words. The meaning of "Unknown" is rather unclear but I think it is about the serial killer Ed Gein, who was into necrophilia, and how the media use these shock stories to excite people's baser instincts and make profit out of them. It is also about lust, this unknown, uncontrollabe drive to commit cruel acts. Not your usual antiwar rants, isn't it?
On the flip side, we have two songs from the Losers whose drummer was a German bloke who went on to play in Recharge. This is actually the only Losers' record, which is quite a shame because they did have an ear for catchy punk-rock. Far from the dark and deranged Coitus sound, the Losers play straight-up punk-rock with a heavy rhythm section and singalong chorus, not too dissimilar to what the Nerves or Sick on the Bus are doing actually. The two songs have great chorus that you are bound to remember and sing along to in no time, especially the song "Loser" which deals with, well, being a loser in everything, everywhere, all the time. The second song, "I don't wanna live", can be seen as a possible consequence of being a loser: killing yourself. Yet someone else who can't stand the pressure, the pressure of life, he's just had enough and he's sorry! Perfect tunes to wake up to or play on a friday night if you ask me.
Both bands have cd discography available. Epistrophy released the Losers discography quite a while ago but it can be found for cheap and it includes these two tracks as well as demos and lives. A double-cd discography of Coitus was released two years ago by Irish label Underground Movement. It should still be available and it is a proper mandatory record.