Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Records I Forgot I Owned (part 3): Blind Obedience "Submit to the yoke" Ep, 1998

This is a band I consistently keep forgetting about. Whenever I browse through my Ep's and see the record, I remember I already forgot about it in the past. I don't remember the actual band and music, not at all, I remember that it is not the first time I haven't remembered them. How odd, right? Even more so since, when I do play it, I realize it is a good record, unfairly unremembered, and I grumble self-righteously about the intrinsic injustice of the situation. And then I promptly forgot again. I often pride myself to have a pretty sharp memory of bands and records - as opposed to birthdays for instance - but Blind Obedience always escapes me. Go figure. So today's post will be a bit like a memorandum.

And it will probably a pretty short one since I do not know much about BO. I think I got the Ep in the early 2010's on ebay (yes you may sneer) for very cheap along with a couple of other obscure crust Ep's that nobody seemed even remotely interested in (I think Blowhard was in the lot as well). I suppose it was a distro getting rid of innocent 90's crust records which, of course, I just had to save from their impending doom, aka the dreaded 1$ bin where punk records go to die with as much dignity as they can muster. Going out of fashion is heart-breaking, really. But anyway, I had never heard of BO before and I cannot say they have become a hot topic of conversation since. What I can tell you is that they were from the quiet town of Vetlanda (that's halfway between Malmö and Stockholm according to google map) and that Submit to the Yoke, released in 1998 apparently, was their only vinyl appearance. From what I can gather, BO was formed by some ex-members of two other short-lived bands, Lopun Alku (like the Bastards' song) and Brusjävlers, that I have never listened to although they did a split tape together in 1996. The Ep was released on Hepatit D (D for Dis?), a label that was run by a member of Greenscab (assuming it rings a bell for you) and another bloke in the mid/late 90's. Hepatit D put out a couple of sweet records in its short run, notably a DS-13 split Ep, an Antabus Ep and of course the Puke 2xEp reissue. 

Despite this shortage of information, let me tell you that BO were absolutely furious. The cover is somewhat misleading actually. It looks a lot like someone decided to copy the Extinction of Mankind and Amebix fonts and frames and chose to exaggerate their slimy, hairy, ominous aspects but did not know where to stop so that it quickly escalated into a messy outcome. I mean, you have to focus to decipher some of the words, which is never a good thing in my book (though I do find unreadable band logos to be hilarious). It's like someone put the EOM logo in the fridge, forgot about it for two weeks and now it's gotten all mouldy and a bit ridiculous and unintentionally parodic. Unless it was the band's purpose to comment upon the irrelevant redundancy of crust aesthetics by emphasizing its most clichéd traits? Who knows? Regardless, such a cover indicates to the listener that it is a slab of old-school metal crust when it is really not (should it have been? You tell me. I was slightly disappointed upon the first listen).

BO were much faster and meaner, almost harsh at times. Of course, early Disrupt, Disfear, 3-Way Cum and State of Fear come to mind, especially when the band goes the pummeling dischargy beat and the typically groovy and catchy scando riffing, but on the whole the pace is faster and more akin to super fast and hard-hitting hardcore even grindcore bands like Filthy Christians. The excellent first song with its dirgeful introduction and the way it bursts into hardcore inferno reminds me of G-Anx and given the overall frantic pace, I suppose they were a major influence. I also cannot help hearing a black metal vibe, for the extremity and venomousness of the vocals, the sort of blast beats you find in metal and the moments when dark, almost demonic, epic riffs take over. Don't get me wrong, it is still very much in the gruff Swedish crustcore camp in terms of songwriting but there are songs when you distinctly a black metal touch and the cold and thin production probably enhances the feel (maybe not unlike Summon the Crows if you know what I mean). My favourite songs, "Bitter pills", "Blind obedience" and "Submit to the yoke" are pretty much all out cavemen crust anthems though. The lyrics are pretty direct, angry and political and "War is horrendous pt 100" questions the legitimacy of using the trope of war as merely another theme to sing about when actual fightings are so far away they are almost unreal (and I dig the Sore Throat reference obviously).

Submit to the Yoke is a lovely fast crust ripper and I am curious about what the members did after Blind Obedience. Surely, they must have done other bands, right? Please enlighten me.

That's just too much.


  1. The drummer later played in several bands, among them Red Tape, Get up and Goers and Scumbrigade. As far as I know, none of the others played in any band after this. For the record, I have played with all of the members in earlier bands, which at least one of them still existed at the same time as BO.

    /Johnny Cäss

  2. ...almost forgot, you can listen to the "demo" and see a part of a live performance with BO here:

    There you can also find the Brusjävlers/Lopun Alku split and more from the area...

    /Johnny Cäss

    1. Thanks for the precisions and the link. The BO demo is pretty good and I am grateful for the many uploads on the channel from rather obscure bands I don't know. So cheers!