Friday, 1 February 2013

FuckHatePropaganda "S/t" demo cdr 2003

This demo always puts a smile on my face. I got it in 2003, back when I was living in Manchester. Those were pre-internet days for me as I didn't have the internet at home in France and I actually discovered the unbelievable truth at uni in Manch: you could order records on the internet. This revelation would greatly affect my sanity and my wallet and things were never quite the same afterwards. I didn't however get this cdr through the internet. I got it the old-fashioned way which was still very much the rule back then. I read a great review of the demo in a fanzine called Headwound (it was done by the same people who did the Punktured collective), then wrote down a letter to the band with a few quids stuck in the envelope, and a week later I received five copies of the demo, four of which I gave away to my mates when I came back to Paris.

Coincidentally, I got to see FuckHatePropaganda on my 20th birthday in Manchester, in December 2003. They were playing with The Ex and External Menace and to celebrate this event, I was high on shrooms that night which seemed fitting indeed since The Ex were on the bill. The gig was brilliant: External Menace were terrific, The Ex were bizarre and FuckHatePropaganda were so intense sonically and visually that they scared me a little bit (but shrooms do tend to do that to you when you witness punk aural savagery).

I don't think FHP were around for very long but they managed to put out quite a few records during their short life. They did a split Ep with Sick Terror from Brazil in 2004, another one with H8 Target the same year, they appeared on two compilations (the "Hardcore vs. hunting" Ep and "Kill your management volume 6" cd) and Speedowax Recors even released this demo on vinyl in 2003. Not bad, is it? The band came from Stoke-on-Trent (yes, same as Discharge... is there something in the water there?) and was made up of members from Egg Raid and personal favourites Kismet HC.

FHP are not your typical hardcore band as this demo shows. Although they remained in the (very) fast and furious thrash attack side of things, they added some twisted, almost dischordant guitar parts to their wall of sound. Think Dropdead, Hellnation, Scalplock or Hard To Swallow with some Civil Disobedience or even Headache demented weirdness. The fact that there are three people sharing the vocals greatly reinforces the intensity of the songs and confers to the demo a definite angry feel. The lyrics are interesting and the writing-style has a lot of urgency, as if the writer was breathless with anger and frustration. "His story in History" deals with sexism in the Bible and the male-centered gender roles it imposes on people; "Draw the lines" is about racism and how it used to keep people divided; "Scraping the barrel" illustrates our alienated behaviours in modern society and how we are led to force ourselves to comply in order to keep appearances; "Graves for the poor" is about the division of the people and the absurdity of being poor in a so-called rich country, and all in the name of economic prosperity; "Dead 49-75" bitterly describes of the ever-present submissiveness in the life of the new modern worker who begs his social superiors for work and shelter; "More ghetto's" is actually about political elitism in the punk scene and how it is satisfied to live in a self-styled ghetto; finally "Product of birth" depicts the sens of schyzophrenia that social conditioning and indoctrination imply. There is also a short, Dystopia-like interlude with spoken bits in the middle of the demo.

Really good shit indeed.

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