Tuesday, 20 November 2012
Revolt "Human abattoir" Ep 1996
The English North-East has spawned quite a few good hardcore bands throughout the year and today's record, with its Newcastle/Durham collaboration, is a prime example of that. Revolt were from Durham and the label, subtly named Smack in the Mouth records, was from Newcastle. It was actually run by a bloke who played in Shank, a Scottish powerviolence band, and also released the State of Filth/Slain and the Health Hazard/Sawn Off split Ep's.
Revolt might be the least-known band of the bunch though. "Human abattoir" is their only vinyl output though the legions of Terminal Sound Nuisance followers will remember that they had a track on the 1in12 cd compilation "Decade of Dissidence". They seem to have had a couple of line-up troubles as the line-up changed between the recording and the release of the Ep. From what I can gather, at different points of time Revolt included one member of Manfat and John Holmes (toward the end, on vocals), members of Offset and even one guy who played in dozens of bands, among which the Voorhees and Embittered. But anyway, this Ep reflects what Revolt sounded like before the big line-up change and if you are interested in what they would sound like after, I recommend checking out their song on the aforementioned compilation.
Revolt are often described as a grindcore band. However close to the grindcore genre they ended up sounding, this Ep is not an all-out grindcore record like you would expect from a mid-90's grind band. The main singer has a real hardcore feel and even the faster parts are more akin to the fastest brand of hardcore punk than to grindcore. This said, there are still a couple of nasty growls and dirty metallic parts that are typically grindy and the raw, almost fuzzy quality of the overall production brings Agathocles to mind. Grinding hardcore? A bit like a more hardcore Embittered or a more grinding Suffer. Whoever you want to compare Revolt to, it is obvious they were angry as the songs are really dark and aggressive. Unfortunately, the lyrics are not included, and apart from a few Carcass-oriented numbers, it is difficult to know what the singer is shouting about. Given the period, the genre and the aesthetics of the record, one could venture that they had misanthropic and angry lyrics about human abuse but that's mere guessing.
Visually, the record oscillates between hardcore and grindcore as well. If the hairy band logo is reminiscent of the grind beauty canons, the picture and the other fonts used scream "hardcore". Anyway, "Human abattoir" was made in a proud DIY fashion with a healthy "Fuck barcodes" sign on the backcover. There is also a flyer inside the record with two small texts from Andy Smack in the Mouth who explains his views about DIY and Punk. To him, it is no use complaining about DIY bands selling out because the scene is essentially transient and that we should focus on those bands who keep the DIY ethos. About Punk, it is an attitude, not a sound nor "the domain of angry adolescent males who can do a patented hardcore leap on command". That had me laughing!
A good record with the filthy sound we all love from a proper DIY band. What else?