Thursday, 29 October 2015

A 90's crust odyssey

Following the colossal article about tuneful anarchopunk, I feel I need something a bit... gruffier. Something hairy and mean but groovy enough so that you can still rock out to it. But I want it rough because we at Terminal Sound Nuisance don't really like music that is too produced. Or just produced in fact.

But then I also want something that "da punx" are no longer really into, something that has been cast away in the past few years, something that many used to love but almost deny it now that they claim to be into "80's raw punk" or "dark punk", something that is unfashionable and cannot be reconciled with shoegaze-loving hipsterdom. And then it struck me. What I need is bloody 90's CRUST: the least-loved decade in punk-rock and a genre that has lost a lot of its lustre since the late 00's.

But not just the one Ep or the odd split Lp, no, I want a 90's crust epic, something with at least ten chapters from 1991 to 1999, with bands from all over the world, with over-the-top growls, raucous shouts, sloppy drumming sections, gratuitous filthy metal parts and punk as fuck artwork.

The ten records I have selected are not necessarily the best ones (although some are absolute classics), they are just those that sprung to mind when I tried to think about 90's crust from an internationalist point of view. Let's face it, there were hundreds of bands doing crust at that time, the mid-90's were the apex of worldwide crust, it was crust for breakfast, lunch and supper. Many of those bands them didn't stand the test of time and some must have been seen as pretty sloppy and average, mere third-rate copies of Hiatus. Does it mean they should be left unheard twenty years later? Of course it doesn't, I can listen to third-rate Hiatus-clones all day long! Besides, how many of the so-called noisepunk, raw-punk or postpunk bands will still be listened to in 2035?  

Should I try and define what I mean the word "crust"? I have already written quite extensively about crust music for TSN and criticized that annoying, pointless and thoughtless tendency to summon the crust tag to describe any band that is heavy, fast and uses harsh vocals. So many random bands have been defined as crust that it would be an endless and thankless task to even try to correct the mistakes. However, if crust is indeed a specific genre, it doesn't mean that it needs to be a restrictive one. Crust doesn't have to be slow and heavy, or fast and furious. More than a strict set of mandatory musical elements, it is more a feel, a tension, a way of writing music, certain aesthetics and worldviews that qualify a band as crust (assuming the band actually cares about it). Of course, crust is essentially the confluence of anarchopunk, 80's hardcore and extreme metal, so one is bound to find elements that are common to all crust bands. But in some cases, the hardcore element prevails while in others, metal rules.

But enough talk. Be prepared to be Sore-Throated to death.

I'm really not that fat in real life...

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