Monday, 26 May 2014

Slimy Venereal Diseases "S/t" Ep 1991

Please, don't let the name of the band scare you into checking another punk blog just yet.

Yes, it lies on the grindcore side of things (sort of).
No, it is not a moronic goregrind band.
Yes, it does have a silly goregrind name.
No, it is still not a band singing about anal vomit, bowel decomposition or such nonsense.
Why did they pick that name? I haven't got a clue...
Was it a bad idea? Indeed, it was.

Now, enough whining and hear me out. It's true that grindcore has gotten a pretty bad name lately: bands selling out to car companies, a scene overrun by metalheads in need of a rush of "extreme music" (believe me, I don't hold any grudge against metalheads but from what I have witnessed, the metal-grind crowd is not made up of the brightest of the lot. I remember that particular time when one of them wearing a bloody Disrupt - how ironic -  shirt was chasing me in order to beat me up because I had asked him to stop hurting people while dancing, which he was doing on purpose...) or wankers finding homophobic and sexist imagery funny. But originally, grindcore was a punk subgenre, admittedly influenced by extreme metal but not only. In fact, you could argue that fast hardcore punk was as much of an influence (if not more?) as metal. Anyway, I will leave the silly technical metal grindcore bands to the moronic horde and stick with old-school rough grindcore.

In spite of their name, Slimy Venereal Diseases is not even an over-the-top grindcore band. They do use some blast beats but they are much closer to fellow German bands such as MVD or Acid Rain Dance than to Napalm Death or Agathocles. I would argue that they chose the name as a joke in order to emphasize that they were serious, but not dead serious. I don't know much about SVD but they are definitely a band of its time sonically. Political crusty hardcore-thrash with a lot of energy and a proper DIY spirit to boot. The songs are mostly really fast with a crossover edge, not so far from Concrete Sox or Heresy actually, or even "Rock'n'roll conformity" era Deviated Instinct. The "slower" songs, like the opening song "Fear in her eyes", could have easily been lifted from an early Peaceville sampler with that distinct early crust feel (Mortal Terror really comes to mind here, especially with the dual vocal). Sore Throat is also an obvious reference here (they have a song entitled "Hello Sore Throat" after all) in terms of music (the two really short noisy blasting songs attest to that) but also for the fun aspect of the band. In other terms, if you are into late 80's crust and metallic fast thrashy hardcore, you will love SVD. If you are into goregrind however, you will be sorely disappointed. Despite the silly name, SVD was a political band into animal rights, fairly usual at that time I suppose, and with a liberating "be yourself" message.

This Ep was released in 1991 and was the very first record on Skuld Releases, a label that was to become a reference in quality anarchopunk and crust for the next twenty years (a single look at Skuld's discography is proof enough: Contropotere, Hellkrusher, Hibernation, Counterblast, Extinction of Mankind, Lost World, Bad Influence, Misery and even fucking Amebix). SVD would release afterwards a second Ep on Skuld in 1992 and a split Lp with Friends of Barney.      

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