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)


  1. I might have some info about song 29 (found on the web a long time ago).
    The bands name is Discontrol and they are from the UK. The song is from the
    demo: The skies turn black, released 1986.
    The members later formed the bands Warfear and Wartorn

    Calle Retardo - Discontrol (Swe)

    1. Hello there.
      I had already read somewhere that this Discontrol were from the UK and that the demo recording was from 1986.
      To be honest, I have trouble believing that for several reasons. First, in terms of intent, I cannot really imagine a UK band going for that "just like Discharge sound" as early as 1986, which was the time when crust and thrashy hardcore were developing there (and it would go against the "Disaster as the first d-beat band" legend and I just won't have it). Second, I think they don't really sound like a UK band and are closer to the generic mid-90's dis sound from Sweden (hence my wild guess). And third, the name "Discontrol" doesn't strike me a possible 80's moniker for a band since the nonsensical dis names trend really started in the 90's (let's say for the sake of argument that Disattack never happened ;) ).

      I could be totally wrong and Discontrol could be a mid-80's band from the North of England but that would kinda change everything. And I was not familiar with a possible Warfear/Wartorn connection though it is interesting indeed.

      Cheers mate!

    2. Hi again.
      If i just done what i telle everyboody else to do and googled it (haha), i would have foud this:
      "UK hardcore Punk from 1994, 3 tracks from the original 12 track session, the band was originally conceived back in 1986 in Huddersfield, but took 8 years to get around to recording, along with this studio session a 9 track rehearsal tape survives. Influenced by Discharge, The Varukers and especially Death Sentence for the drop-tuned guitars. They never classed themselves as "D-Beat" or "Crust" and shunned those descriptions, and described themselves as fast, raw hardcore punk."

      More info under the videos here:

      I have no idea if this is correct thoe :-D

    3. Thanks a lot for that! For some reason I could not find any detail about them when I tried... Maybe I'm not that good googling things after all.

      The 1994 date makes sense but I had no idea the project was that old. I suppose the members (from Warfear, Wartorn and possibly... Sore Throat??) were busy with more serious bands.

      I'd love to see this reissued!

      Cheers Calle!

  2. Why are this mixtape and the first two mixtapes you made abouth british Anarcho-Goth no more available on youtube? Can you at least publish the tracklist of the two mixtapes about Anarcho-Goth? They were really good made and interesting. Thank you very much for your blog and all the mixtapes you made, hope to see more of them from you!

    1. Unfortunately, the two videos you mentioned were blocked because of copyrights issues (the labels got their materials monetized apparently).

      I realize that I never put the first three compilations on the blog but will do so when time permits (soon enough hopefully) with the lineup and the original explanations.

      Thanks for the kind words

  3. Thanks for the awesome comp! It's great to see an early Aus-Rotten track included. That first EP blew my mind when it came out and has continued to be my favorite thing by them.

    1. In their early years, Aus-Rotten were a prime example of raw Dischargey hardcore punk although they are seldom really thought about in that light. I think I read somewhere that when they started they wanted to blend Conflict and Discharge, which makes sense.

  4. Thanks for a fantastic year of research, thoughtful writing, and great taste. You're a true service to music. -ZM

    1. Thanks a lot. It has been a tough year to find time to think and write and come up with interesting points of view. I'm not sure what I'm going to do next to be honest. Still waiting for inspiration to strike.

  5. Such a shame we can,t hear this , fucking copyright bullshit, I wonder which labels? Anyway fuck em and thanks for all your other comps and effort you put in . so many bands that are new to me. Cheers.

    1. To be honest, the video got automatically deleted. I'm not sure why or how but a lot of labels (including Earache, LVEUM and others) have monetized their releases - which I understand to some extent, why wouldn't they when after all - thus making the use of the songs impossible, which sucks since this is just a modest compilation. I don't care that much to be honest as I don't really like how youtube has changed our listening habits and how we relate to music in general.

      Thanks for the kind words, I hope I will find the time to more compilations in the future.