Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Senile Decay / Canol Caled split Ep 1989

This record is as obscure as one can get in the British punk realms. Released on Fflach records (based in Wales I presume) in 1989, it offers two quite different bands, something not uncommon at the time (see the Generic/Mortal Terror split Lp for instance), Senile Decay and Canol Caled. There is a small ad inside for Acid Stings records, a label that released Hellbastard's "In grind we crust" cd in 1999 as well as Apostles and Astronauts records. If it doesn't come as surprise that the ad promoted the Apostles and the Astronauts,  the presence of Tibetan jewelry and tapes of secret chants of lamas on the list made my day.

First, my favourite of the split, Senile Decay, a name they must have taken from the Venom song. Though information about them is rather scarce (they didn't even make it to "Trapped in a scene", in fact there is only one Senile Decay occurence in the whole book), they were apparently from the North of England (Tyne and Wear) and judging from the cover on their side, they were rooted in the crusty side of things as the drawing is strongly reminiscent of some Doom or ENT artworks. There are five songs from them, quite fast on the whole, with lyrics about conformity and alienation and other joyful facts of life. Musically they remind me of their fellow northeners Mortal Terror (their first record), Debauchery and Hellbastard (not as heavy though), with also a touch of Deviated Instinct and Electro Hippies, especially on the faster parts. Needless to say I think that their songs are excellent and that Senile Decay are bound to enthrall all the stenchcore maniacs. I wish they had recorded more of this old-school crust (is there a demo that I don't know of?).

Canol Caled were from Wales and they actually sing in Welsh, which is great since it is not a language I am very likely to hear daily... Musically speaking, there are two songs of dynamic hardcore punk. I suppose if the Anhrefn had played hardcore or if Cowboy Killers had sung in Welsh, the result wouldn't have been too dissimilar to Canol Caled. A great record. 

PS: the similarity between Senile Decay and Hellbastard is in fact no coincidental as I realized reading the excellent "Armed with anger" that Scotty from Hellbastard/Hellkrusher also played in Senile Decay at some point and that there was a bloke from Mortal Terror on drums as well. Who said incestuous?


  1. I'm quite surprised to see this record reviewed but happy to see it so. Senile Decay was a band I formed with my school mate Mick in the mid eighties. Although Scotty was in the band he wasn't on this recording and also for the record I think Venom nicked our band name for their song as we recorded this single much earlier than 89 at the same place they rehearsed at the time haha!

    Duncan from Mortal Terror was also an old mate from our school days and we used to be in bands together as kids. Senile Decay came about as Duncan went off to do Mortal Terror so me and Mick started our own band. Scotty and I were also in Hellkrusher together and I played drums on their first album, Wasteland.

    Fat forward many moons and I now play guitar for The Vile and Drums with Warwound. Both bands include Rat Varuker, Damian from Sacrilege, Ian Glasper and Kev Frost from The Varukers. I have also played drums for The Varukers.

    To tie it all up Warwound are just about to tour in America with Hellbastard next month so after all these years Scruff who is also a fellow Geordie and old mate and I will be on the road together.

    Cheers, im happy to be reminded of those happy days :)

    The Vile/Warwound

    1. Hallo there,
      Thanks for the details (and for the Venom story)! Do you remember the exact year of recording by any chance? Is there any other Senile Decay recording like a demo or even a band practice that you can think of?

      By the way, we actually met when you played with The Vile in Paris. I was the skinny French bloke who did the radio interview with you guys ;)