Thursday 26 December 2019

The Beat to End All Beats: Mania for Discharge (1991-2006)

Today is bloody Christmas and here I am, trying to come up with the most relevant way to introduce this ace d-beat compilation, retrace its genesis and highlight its cohesion. 

Of course, as you well know because you must be one of my millions of faithful readers and therefore do not really need an explanation that I am still going to provide for the sake of it, The Beats to End All Beats must be seen as some sort of summarizing conclusion to the two series about Discharge-loving hardcore punk that I did for Terminal Sound Nuisance, namely The Chronicles of Dis and Sonatas in D Major. Although the present compilation can be enjoyed greatly in itself, my previous writings about the things of the D reflect its deeper meaning and its cohesiveness. 

As a teenager, the 1995 tape compilation Does Dis System Work? proved to be a major eye-opener, not just about overt Discharge fanaticism but also, love it or hate it, about d-beat as an actual, legitimate punk subgenre. Discharge relentless repetitiveness was duplicated and repeated again and again and again, just like the horrors depicted in the lyrics still repeat themselves. This tape was as much about the great Dis music than it was about the d-beat phenomenon, about the mandatory and yet creative over-referentiality. Does Dis System Work?, in addition to covers of Discharge and top shelf Discharge mimicry, also included actual Discharge songs. About 25 years after its making, I chose to focus on a specific timeframe, from 1991 (the release year of War Cry and the first Dischange Ep) to 2006 (arguably the last year before social media and streaming service took over and radically changed the ways we listen and relate to music, but the choice is subjective). As a nod to Does Dis System Work?, I chose to include some Discharge covers that were also on the tape (Final Conflict, Asocial and Perukers for instance), however instead of the actual Discharge songs (in the "played-by-Discharge" meaning of the term) I focused as much as possible on "just like Discharge" d-beat songs, either on bands that tried very hard to sound like Discharge and embrace the Discharge aesthetics or on bands that delivered quality covers of Discharge. Hopefully, my compilation will illustrate meaningfully both the d-beat genre as a coherent style and the unquenchable referential passion that necessarily generates it.

The selection ranges from classic d-beat heavyweights (Meanwhile, Disclose, Disfear) to super raw and rather anecdotal recordings (Realities of War, Hell On Earth), one of which I am not even sure of the identity (Discontrol). Some bands with wicked names like Warcry or Final Warning rubb shoulders with others going by such monikers as Disjah or Disfornicate, but such is life. There are 52 songs from 52 bands in about 84 minutes. Play loud, enjoy and comment. And play proper d-beat for fuck's sake!

01. Discard "Four minutes past midnight" from the Four Minutes Past Midnight Lp, 1994 (Sweden)

02. Warcry "Mania for war" from the Harvest of Death Ep, 2003 (U$A)

03. The Perukers "Protest & survive (Discharge cover)" from the GBG 1992 Ep, 1993 (Sweden)

04. Cluster Bomb Unit "Without a warning" from the Endless Struggle compilation 2xLp, 1995 (Germany)

05. Realities of War "Untitled?" from the S/t Ep, 2013 (recorded in 1992) (Japan)

06. Slander "Politicians cause it..." from the Politicians cause it... demo tape, 1992 (England)

07. Destrucción "Sus hijos se mueren" from the S/t split Ep with Sida, 2002 (Spain)

08. Disjah "Why (Discharge cover)" from the In Defence of Our Future... A Tribute to Discharge Lp, 2001 (Sweden/Japan)

09. Distress "Я Вам Не Верю" from the Еби Систему Пропаганда cdr, 2004 (Russia)

10. Dischange "On knees" from the S/t split Ep with Excrement of War, 1991 (Sweden)

11. Funeral "Religions victim" from the Cry of State Desperation Ep, 2003 (U$A)

12. Squandered "Enemy within" from the Chaos of Destruction vol.2 compilation 2xLp, 2000 (England)

13. Deadlock "What is war for?" from the Fear will Continue Ep, 1994 (Japan)

14. Disgust "Anguished cry" from the Brutality of War Lp, 1993 (England)

15. Disprove "Devastated hope" from the S/t split Ep with Avgrund, 1997 (Japan)

16. Asocial "Q: And children? A: And children (Discharge cover)" from the House of Gore Ep, 1992 (Sweden)

17. Warcollapse "The blood runs red (Discharge cover)" from the Crap, Scrap and Unforgivable Slaughter Ep, 2003 (recorded in 1994) (Sweden)

18. Final Warning "Faith" from the Eyes of a Child Ep, 1994 (U$A)

19. Decontrol "Victims of conquest" from the In Trenches... Lp, 2000 (Canada)

20. Deathcharge "See through their lies" from the Plastic Smiles Ep, 2001 (U$A)

21. Disclose "The nuclear victims" from the Chaos of Destruction vol.2 compilation 2xLp, 2000 (Japan)

22. Disfornicate "Who loves the poor" from the Left with Fear / ...and the Darkman Smiles... split Ep with Disregard, 1995 (Sweden)

23. Hell On Earth "Progress" from the Chaos of Destruction vol.2 compilation 2xLp, 2000 (Slovakia)

24. Concrete Sox "Death dealers (Discharge cover)" from the Discharged compilation cd, 1992 (England)

25. Extinction of Mankind "Ain't no feeble bastard (Discharge cover)" from the Ale to England Ep, 2002 (England)

26. Aus-Rotten "No change, no future, we're lost" from the Anti-Imperialist Ep, 1993 (U$A)

27. Driller Killer "Bombs away" from the Brutalize cd, 1994 (Sweden)

28. Cracked Cop Skulls "Bloodstock" from the Why Pussyfoot when you can Kill? Ep, 1998 (recorded in 1995) (England)

29. Discontrol (?) "Finally" from an unknown recording, probably the mid-90's (probably from Sweden but they are not the same Swedish Discontrol that did the split with Demisor... So the name could be wrong but the beat doesn't lie)

30. Mobcharge "Antichrist" from the S/t demo tape, 1997 (Spain)

31. Besthöven "More victims of war" from the More Victims of War Ep, 2003 (Brazil)

32. Abraham Cross "Why (Discharge cover)" from the Peace can't Combine 12'' Ep, 2002 (Japan)

33. Four Monstrous Nuclear Stockpiles "Napalm'n death" from the Give Peace a Chance cd, 2000 (France)

34. Avskum "The bomb is our future" from the In the Spirit of Mass Destruction cd, 1999 (Sweden)

35. Disaster "Devastation" from the War Cry mini Lp, 1991 (England)

36. Disfear "No hope of survival" from the A Brutal Sight of War cd, 1993 (Sweden)

37. The Dischargers "But after the gig (Discharge cover)" from the There's no Place like Hell cd, 2006 (England/Belgium)

38. Nausea "Hear nothing, see nothing, say nothing (Discharge cover)" from the Discharged compilation cd, 1992 (U$A)

39. Hellkrusher "Dying for who" from the Dying for who Ep, 1992 (England)

40. Meanwhile "All for a fistful of dollars" from the The Show must go on Ep, 2002 (Sweden)

41. Recharge "Politics, lies and deception" from the Chaos of Destruction vol.2 compilation 2xLp, 2000 (Germany)

42. Final Massakre "Probability of deaths construction" from the The Bells of Hell Toll the Final Chime Ep, 1999 (U$A)

43. Doom "The possibility of life's destruction (Discharge cover)" from the Why can't we hate more compilation cd, 1998 (England)

44. Uncurbed "Hell on Earth (Discharge cover)" from the In Defence of Our Future... A Tribute to Discharge Lp, 2001 (Sweden)

45. The Varukers "Bomb blast" from the Still Bollox but still here cd, 1995 (England)

46. Excrement of War "Toxic gas" from the Dogtags and Bodybags split Lp with Deformed Conscience, 1998 (recorded in 1995) (England)

47. Final Conflict "A look at tomorrow (Discharge cover)" from the Discharged - From Home Front to War front Ep, 1991 (U$A)

48. Holokaust "Behind the barbed wire" from the S/t Ep, 2002 (U$A)

49. Ruin "Distort/Confuse" from the Distort/Confuse Ep, 2006 (Scotland)

50. Dispense "The end of the world" from the In the Cold Night cd, 1994 (Sweden)

51. Final Blood Bath "System of Hell" from the Dear or Alive Ep, 2002 (Japan)

52. SDS "Why (Discharge cover)" from the Discharged compilation cd, 1992 (Japan)