Monday, 8 October 2012

Screaming Holocaust "Cancer up your bum" Ep 1989

I'll be honest here: a cover depicting a fat arse shitting a pig's head usually gets my attention. In fact, Screaming Holocaust, in spite of their small discography (two Ep's), managed to have rather striking covers. Their "War" Ep had a gruesome picture of decapitated kids in what must be a massgrave as a cover. Frankly, I'll take the pig-shitting bum over the gory stuff any day. As striking as SH's covers may be, the band remains somewhat obscure and that's a real shame because although they are not ground-breaking, they do play solid crusty punk-rock and had something to say.

SH hailed from Ipswich and were around in the late 80's. In fact, I am not even sure when this Ep was recorded as there is no date indicated. The first one, "War", was recorded in 1989 so it is a safe bet "Cancer up your bum" would have been done not long after, especially since the band was rather short-lived. So I'd say 1989 or 1990. But anyway, SH were part of that first wave of crust punk, though it probably already was losing momentum by 1989. Ipswich was also the hometown of Extreme Noise Terror and it is no coincidence that the thanklist on the backcover of this Ep contains the full ENT line-up. Actually, one could even venture that ENT might have given SH a few tips music-wise. This said, if "War" was effective but rather basic ENT-influenced full-on crust punk with two singers, this Ep brings some other dishes on the table. They kept the multivocal attack but slowed the tempo a little. The opening song, the poetic "Cancer up your bum", is a well-structured mid-paced track blending fast punk-rock, slimy reggae and dirty metal-tinged riffs in a fashion reminiscent of Domination Factor. It works very well because it manages to keep a threatening and snotty sound. The two songs on the flipside are more classic early crust: "Fanta babies" is a fast relentless song not dissimilar to ENT, Mortal Terror or Embittered (the great guitar riff may have been lifted by Health Hazard later on) with a girld doing a spoken word in the middle for added anarcho value and "Dying planet" is a heavy and pummelling mid-tempo crust number that would have fit just fine on a Hiatus record. All very enjoyable stuff, right?

Lyrically, SH were into vegetarianism as "Cancer up your bum" illustrates. The song claims that eating Big Macs will get a cancer spreading up your arse. I am not sure if it is true but it certainly brings a smile to my face. "Fanta babies" has the best lyrics on the record as it tackles how big brands like Fanta gave their unhealthy products to mothers in Zambia so that they fed their already malnourished babies, thus creating even more malnourishment. Those poor children were called "Fanta babies" and it reminds me of how Nestle, backed by unscrupulous doctors, did the very same thing with powder milk when they convinced poor third-world women to stop breast-feeding and use Nestle powder-milk instead. The results were similar with babies being even more unhealthy and big corporations being even richer. "Dying planet" is about the pollution of our environment of how the government pretends to believe in ecology when they are the ones allowing and even helping the pollution in the first place.


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