Friday, 23 November 2012

Wartorn "Banzai" Ep 1994

No, not the current American crustcore band, the English hardcore one from glamorous Huddersfield active in the 1990's. The band had none other than Sore Throat's singer, Rich Militia, on guitar (he also does some vocals which inevitably brings to mind Sore Throat as he has a very recognizable voice), as well as Jim from Ironside and Hard to Swallow and a Dutch bloke who went on to play in Boycot. Actually there is even the following warning written on the A-side ring: "Repeated plays may result in cravings for chocomel + gouda, wearing clogs and living in a windmill!" and who doesn't like a punk band with a sense of humour (though this is to be expected from former Sore Throat people).

Sonically, Wartorn sit well with other English hardcore bands from that time when, to put it bluntly, quite a few of them were more influenced by US hardcore than by Discharge (I am thinking about the Voorhees, Stalingrad, Hard to Swallow, Ironside, and before them, late Ripcord and Heresy). In "Trapped in a scene", Rich Militia rates Wartorn as the best band he had ever played in by then and confesses that their main influences were Siege and Gauze. In fact, the very cover reflects this Japanese influence and there are a couple of - heavy - nods to GISM too. So you can expect twelve songs of short, fast and loud, hard-hitting hardcore-punk with a lot of twists in the songs and an almost obnoxious feel. This Ep was Wartorn's second record after their split with Nailbomb and it was released on Crust Records (I am not sure yet if this is a brilliant or a ridiculous name, but after all it can be both), a label that put out some remarkable records from bands like Apocalypse, Extreme Noise Terror, Disrupt or Dropdead throughout the years.

I wouldn't be surprised if Rich Militia was the one writing the lyrics as they share similarities with Sore Throat's, some of them being very serious and political but always from a non-conformist, critical anbd cynical point of view. And there are a couple of right laughs as well! My favourite lyrics on this are "Last among equals" and "Relapse to radicalism", songs criticizing the rhetorical stagnation of the punk scene and how righteous ideals can hide a desire for domination; "Conspiracy theory", a song that illustrates the madness and paranoia inherent in conspirationist circles; "Pledge of non-allegiance" is about saying "fuck off" to religion, nationalism and anyone who tries to control you; and "Remember Krondstadt" is a short one about Sovietic betrayal of anarchists. The last song on "Banzai", "Where's those ducks?" is a Sore Throat-type song which sees all the band - with the addition of Mark from Sarcasm/Wankys - quacking together after a 3 second long burst of noise...


  1. Hey! I have been trying to get a few downloads from your blog, but I keep getting "Download permission denied by uploader. (0b67c2f5)" error on rapidshare :( Great stuff by the way!

    1. Hallo there!
      Rapidshare decided to change the settings of my account on its own but I have just fixed the error and technically everything is now working smoothly.
      Thanks for the kind words!


    2. Great! And thanks a lot for all the great albums, love the blog.

  2. awesome forgotten classic ? either way thanks for sharing, great stuff.