Saturday 30 December 2023

An adventure in split Ep's! I have no gun but I can split: VICTIMS OF GREED / SCUM NOISE "Fight for freedom / The power has no power..." split Ep, 1999

This is the last post of the year for Terminal Sound Nuisance and it makes sense to say goodbye and fuck off to a particularly atrocious 2023 with a punk message of protest and an international collaboration showing a spirit of togetherness and solidarity in noise. There is more to humanity than the sound of bombs falling and the cries of grieving families, thankfully. 

From a personal perspective, 2023 has been a strange year. Not only did I start working at a job center, ironically enough since my philosophy has always been to work as little as possible without raising suspicion, but I also celebrated my fortieth birthday. Twenty years ago I pictured my 40 year old self as a spectacularly successful man graced with many records and notoriously class and envied crust pants, one who would command respect in "the crust community" (I know, I know, don't judge me) and whose name would be uttered with admiration. 20 year old me was convinced that he would definitely look up to my future 40 year old self which on some level is both adorably stupid and positive. And well, if I could contact 20 year old me tomorrow, I would first tell the little fucker to stop buying trendy neocrust and grab as much Disclose materials as possible, and second I would tell him that twenty years from now he would have the most massive collection of Antisect shirts in the country and if that does not convince that indeed he will succeed in life then nothing will. I would not tell him to enjoy his sumptuous thick hair because time does what it does. I'm not so mean.

So here I am again, sitting on my arse and writing about some rather obscure Japanese crust and Brazilian raw hardcore. Which is quite fine when I compare it with what my colleagues do on their free time, binge watching mediocre American Netflix series while mindlessly scrolling on their phone and thinking what snacks they are going to eat next. Without punk, I could be like them and I like to think that 20 year old me would be proud that I still believe and have faith. Socially, it is rather frowned upon to not have children, not own a flat, not earn more than the minimum wage and still spend most of my money on poorly recorded records, noisy gigs you cannot attend without wearing ear protections and vegan delicacies. Not to mention spending hours in a tiny vehicle to play 20 minutes before a couple of old but lovable fuckers. As a half-wise man once said to me: "Punk-rock ruined my life but I wouldn't change a thing". 

But let's get to work, shall we? As we have seen numerous times, the Japanese 90's crust scene was intense and prolific and the decade put the town of Osaka on the map. Osaka became the birth place of a crust genre that was all its own - one we have come to name "crasher crust" - and although it did spread around the world, marginally, it is still closely associated with what Gloom or Crust War Records built so that when I am told about an Osaka crust band I immediately think about manic seriously distorted savage crust. Punk towns all work this way and conjure up a specific land-base sound and contextual aesthetics. But they are also relative and closely tied to our own personal mythology. PDX punk to me is Hellshock and Black Water and Whisper in Darkness, to others it will be Red Dons. Tragically Paris punk is now synonymous with Ben Sherman collections and constipated oi music and I haven't been able to achieve much in terms of local propaganda. 

But basically Victims of Greed were from a 90's crust band from Osaka. Granted, they may not have picked the best moniker as it is a very common signifier that could point to any punk style but they are worth your while. I actually already talked a little about VoG in a previous post from the Noize Not Music is a Fine Art because they appeared on the very good and under-appreciated 'No Hesitation to Resist' compilation 10". VoG are everything you could expect from a Japanese crust band: they are fast and intense with a crunchy distorted sound, extreme polyphonic vocals (from the traditional low gruff growls to the snotty punk shouts) and pummeling. Typical cave-crust done the Japanese way with that distinct production, a bit like Gloom covering Hiatus. There are some heavier metallic mid-tempo moments for good measure and I think the different vocal tones bring some variety and the four songs in four minutes and a half fly too fast (a full VoG Ep would have been brilliant). The lyrics mostly deal with animal liberation and veganism, not unlike Battle of Disarm at the time (although they were not an isolated case). Convincing 90's crust here. The band gets some extra points for including a verse in Portuguese in the song "Authority and rotten" and translations of their (and Scum Noise's) lyrics in Japanese. Pretty old-school.

On the other side are Scum Noise from Sao Paulo, Brazil, a familiar name if you have been around for a bit of time. I don't know what Brazilian punks drink in the morning but their bands definitely live long as Scum Noise have been playing, more or less actively, since 1990 (likewise Subcut have been going since 1992). I suppose that's what you call dedication and being for real. SN belong to that category of bands that I know without really knowing, even though I have had the 2001 reissue of their self-titled first Ep for ages and play it from times to times. We're not quite intimate but have been bumping into each other regularly if you know what I mean. In spite of being often described as a crust band, SN clearly did not belong to the crust genre. To me they epitomize what genuinely raw Swedish-flavoured hardcore punk should sound like. 

The first song "The Hell is near" is a masterclass in käng with its simple riffing and direct sound, its knowledgeably orthodox vocal flow and perfect drumming. Just fast raw punk the way it should be. The second number "The world around us" is yet another gem, this time dealing with the classic groovy mid-paced Discharge-inspired formula with a primitive thrashing vibe. The Brazilian hardcore influence and its raw anger and typical vocal style does pop out and you can tell SN definitely listened to Armagedom a lot. The last two songs are a little more anecdotal for me, one more direct käng endeavour and an all-out fast hardcore thrash attack but the Ep is worth grabbing for the aforementioned opening tracks alone. Think a title match for the Cimex raw-punk title between '92 Hellkrusher and early Diskonto with '86 Armagedom as a special referee. The raw, thin even, production confers a genuine 80's feel to the music, something that few 90's got to replicate as well. Third-world hardcore punk indeed. The singer of the band actually ran No Fashion Hardcore Records, a label that was of course part and parcel of the Brazilian DIY punk scene but also released Disclose records.

It is unclear when the SN or the VoG were recorded but the Ep was released in 1999 on FFT Label, standing for Fuck Fashion Town, that was run by Koichiro from Argue Damnation. This Ep goes for cheap and is typically a dollar bin bargain. 

 Scum Greed

Monday 25 December 2023

An adventure in split Ep's! I have no gun but I can split: SERVITUDE / EBOLA "S/t" split Ep, 1999

How grim can one get? Or rather, how grim, bleak and downright depressing can one look to others? 

I am not an especially grim person. After a few pints, like every normally constituted person, I enjoy a game of darts, cracking a few dad jokes and getting into a drunken fight because I am a sore loser but I still do get reinvited, sometimes. It would be far-fetched to claim I am the life of the party but my presence illuminates the room enough and probably inspires many a youth to not be like me. I know how to prove myself useful. But to have a split record between one band called Servitude and another called Ebola does convey a vibe of tragedy, horror and overall doom so that it might not be the best topic for a first Tinder date and conversations starters like "Do you enjoy Servitude?" or "I much prefer early Ebola" haven't proved to be particularly effective. It's still marginally better than "Have you heard of Genital Deformities?" or "The last Coitus full length was something of a disappointment" I suppose.

From a punk point of view, of course, there is nothing wrong with a split between these bands, it made sense given the styles they used to work on. When I bought this Ep, I already had the split between Misery and Extinction of Mankind so I was already a lost cause as far as my terminological tastes were concerned. The symbolism of lexical fields and of naming in the punk world is absolutely fascinating and the fact that we have had our own stable but ever-changing metalanguage for 45 years is a testament to the relevance of punk. The downside is our tendency to rely too much on our cultural jargon, just like teenagers have always done to make their parents feel old, except a lot of us are well into our forties and fifties and our parents have mostly given up on us a long time ago and, unlike us, most teens do grow up. I might do a piece on punk language one day.

Before the record selection for this series, I had not played neither Servitude nor Ebola for a long time so it was an interesting re-exploration. I have had records from both bands for a while so that the fact they survived the often heartbreaking annual purges throughout the years indicated that a part of my brain knows that I like them even though I didn't exactly remember why (the punk brain works in strange ways). Servitude were from Minneapolis and belonged to the prolific local 90's crust and extreme hardcore scene that gravitated around Profane Existence and there are unsurprisingly many familiar faces when looking at the members' resumes. It would be silly doing exhaustive genealogical "ex-members of" lists but suffice to say that the individuals involved in Servitude did time in bands like Destroy!, Segue, Dissension or Code 13 and would later serve in Scorned, Provoked or Frenzy. 

The band recorded a rough and ready demo tape in 1996 (I doubt it was really distributed) that hinted at what they were going for but things really took shape with the 1997 Ep Apparatus on Profane Existence and Skuld Releases. As tempting - if unwise - as it is to blame it on Alzheimer (it runs deep in the family, sadly, the only positive I can think of is that it might allow me to forget about ska-punk and shoegaze) I remembered Servitude as an all-out down-tuned savage crustcore attack with dual male and female vocals with that distinct 90's US sound but they are not really. The Ep actually has variety, tempo changes, even some emotional moments and while there is obviously a crustcore influence, it might make more sense to see them as an anarchopunk blend of progressive crusty bands like Jobbykrust or Unhinged, of Health Hazard's furiousness and of more dissonant heavy down-tuned hardcore bands like His Hero Is Gone with an urgent, direct sound. Like One By One infused with extreme hardcore or something or indeed, not unlike Ebola, the type of bands that Flat Earth would have released. A good Ep representative of a specific 90's sound.

The three songs that Servitude contributed to the split Ep are heavier and more down-tuned so that it takes a couple of (loud) listens to really to get into it, especially with just about four minutes of music. If the music's texture is different, it also feels like the next logical step and makes sense that the band would move toward such a production (it was after all in the air at that time). In terms of influence, Servitude never sounded as threateningly destructive, intense and angry as on this one. As mentioned above, it sounds like a bar fight between HHIG, Jobbykrust and One By One. I love how the vocals work together in that specific 90's anarcho way. Some find it dated, I find it endearing. My one reservation is that it is a little short for the style and a full Ep recording would have worked better especially since there are a lot of changes and some versatility involved. The three songs were recorded in early 1997 so, for all I know, Servitude may not even have been active by the time the Ep came out in 1999. The screenprinted cover on their side looks absolutely magnificent but I could not find who was the artist. Didn't they have Insta in 1999?

On the other side are Ebola from Newcastle. Yes, there have been a lot of Ebolas throughout the years (even a tongue-in-cheek French oi band), one of which was from Berlin and a contemporary of our one. The 00's delivered quite a few extra grindcore Ebolas which was to be expected since it is a pretty cool disease (from a safe European home of course) and wearing an Ebola shirt would probably shock your nan. The story of Ebola goes hand in hand with that of the 90's DIY hardcore punk scene of the North of England and the band changed a lot in their six years existence (between 1995 and 2000, I think). Alright, let me try entangle the thing.

The band started out with Karen and Micky (from the cruelly underrated One By One) teaming up with Andy (later on in Sawn Off and Shank), Chris and Jonathan (later in Sawn Off and Minute Manifesto). This lineup recorded the Incubation Lp in 1996 , released on Flat Earth Records (obviously), an album I have had for a very long time, that I like but is impossible to store properly because my version has a 13 inch record mailer envelope as a cover. It looks good but to this day, it is the only record that has never fit in any of my record shelves or boxes. Again, pretty endearing. This first effort was a pretty devastating one, just fast, punishing hardcore thrash with dual vocals and diverse tempo changes that sounded like a date between Health Hazard, Disaffect and American powerviolence during a conference about anarchism. Ebola were always very vocal politically, not to mention literally, and they were always careful to provide interesting things to read and booklets with their records (no longer a common practice nowadays but then I am under the impression that we are all so jaded that we no longer even care to read the lyrics).

The following Ep released the next year, Imprecation, with Nick (from Enslaved Records and later Boxed In replacing Jonathan) was even more savage, demented and unpredictable blasting hardcore, more focused and articulate too I suppose but less traditionally punk. An extreme record that would be exhausting as an album and can only work on an Ep. The 90's were not done with Ebola yet and the band recorded five more songs in September, 1998, for the present split with Servitude. The first striking thing is how raw the production is. While Incubation and Imprecation enjoyed a rather good sound highlighting the relentless aggression and the manic and destructive changes, their side of the split almost sounds like a live in the studio recording. If the songwriting is similar to the previous Ep, this shift in terms of sound confers a more primitive, primal vibe to the music, a low-fi nature that borders on DIY grindcore or squat-based hardcore powerviolence. Very intense and even less for the faint-hearted than before as the vocalists remind me of angry hyenas fighting for the last vegan sausage (let's just pretend that hyenas are into vegan sausages). Imprecation would be the better Ebola record as it sounds more accomplished, however this side of the split Ep probably displays more charm and even character as it demonstrated that Ebola could still deliver in terms of blasting intensity and aggression with a direct, raw, bass-driven sound, not unlike Dystopia at times. These five songs would be reissued with a new mastering on a one-sided Ep in 2000 on Enslaved.

As mentioned, Ebola were a political bunch. Each song is introduced with an audio sample which was customary in the fastcore/powerviolence trend in the 90's (even up to the mid 00's) and there is a proper booklet accompanying the Ep. The explanations to the songs are quite illuminating and describe what the motif, the feeling and the context were during the writing. I know some people hate the practice and consider that the songs should stand on their own without a notice but retrospectively the explanatory notes help understand the mood of the time and the songs against macho violence "Malevolence" definitely stands for a specific time period in DIY hardcore punk. The whole thing looks brilliant and emphasizes the honesty of the band and the motivations that point to the 90's anarchopunk tradition (veganism, anti-homophobia...) rather than what modern powerviolence (or however you want to call it) is all about today. 

On the whole, I think that this split Ep is a good record, much rawer and more punishing than I remembered, clearly a testament to what DIY political hardcore was about at that time, musically, lyrically and visually. This was released on Clean Plate Records, the label run by Will Killingsworth who played in Orchid at that point in time.  

Tuesday 19 December 2023

An adventure in split Ep's! I have no gun but I can split: DISARM / SUBCUT "Nem esporte, nem tradição / S/t" split Ep, 1999

The shortening of our attention spans is not without its merits. From the perspective of "a blogger" - the correct terminology for what I do apparently although it sounds like I am a part of some sort of inelegant tech bro clique (that makes one shudder) - attention span as an endangered species means pretty much that I can repeat myself without fear of being singled out as a person stuck in a loop and asking the same questions over and over again, like a pub bore who always wants to share his views with you even though you've already endured far too many times his theory that the vanishing of Antisect's second Lp is the greatest mystery of humankind, bar none. Well, at least with a blog you can just close the window and switch to watching underwhelming youtube videos like a normal person while in a pub you have to hide in the toilets and pretend you have a tummy ache. 

Today's oft tackled topic is the observable lack of classic, typical crust bands in Brazil during the 90's. As I mentioned, it is kind of a rerun and you may check the first episodes as I wrote about Under Threat in 2015 and Dischord in 2017. This is a head-scratching, unexplainable phenomenon from an outsider's point of view. How come Brazil, and above all Sao Paulo, a town that had - and still does - one of the strongest, liveliest, most prolific extreme music scenes did not produce many ENT/Disrupt/Doom-like bands? I mean, even France had a contestant (eternal respect to Enola Gay) and we have always notoriously sucked at it so you would have expected Brazilian punks, famously well into fast aggressive music, to offer a solid dozen of cracking crust bands, which they did not. They certainly created their own brands of primitive thrashing grindcore and furiously fast metallic hardcore and many bands proudly adopted this sonic approach but, strictly speaking, as far as crust was concerned, seemingly few were inspired. Of course, elements of crust music were included in the classic Brazilian extreme hardcore vibe but I would not say that there was ever really a Brazilian crust style which, given the incredible potential, does come as a surprise. It does not imply either that that Brazil was actually missing something, it is just curious. As I said earlier, some things may escape me.

It would be untrue and hyperbolic to claim that the scene was deprived of Doom-lovers though. How sad would that be? Aforementioned bands like Dischord (a hard-working band who had a very decent discography with splits with Lies & Distrust, Rotten Sound or Força Macabra) or Under Threat (a project that was started by Rot's drummer and went on to release splits with Battle of Disarm or... Dischord!) and bands like Cruel Face were inspired and included elements pertaining to the subgenre to some extent. And of course, you saw me coming, Disarm were undeniably, gloriously, heroically one of the few national bands that was openly, deeply, fundamentally oriented toward gruff 90's crust.

In fact, I see Disarm as the Brazilian band that was the most typical of the 90's crust wave, the one that fitted the template with the most accuracy and, clearly, with the most ease. The name could be seen as a little unfortunate and prone to cause confusion since it is a great but fairly common moniker. The classic Swedish käng band Disarm from the 80's is the most famous, but there is also a one-man grindcore band from Italy, some short-lived punk-rock band from Springfield, a hardcore band from Niigata, yet another American band this time of the folk punk variety (gasp), yet another Japanese band but one that does 80's thrash metal, a Welsh sloppy anarchopunk band from the 80's, a Ukrainian thrash metal band with the most horrendous Disarm font of them all, yet another American hardcore band from Virginia and there is apparently an active crust band from Switzerland named Disarm. This abundance of Disarms is disarming (I take full responsibility for that shit joke). A great name that was used far too often but then in the mid-90's, our Disarm's first recording was done in 1997, it certainly sounded like a good idea since you wouldn't have heard of some of the most obscure Disarms of the past.

But anyway, the four songs on this split Ep are the best ones from the band's first run between 1997 and 2001 (the band seemingly reformed in the mid-00's as they released a split with Norway's Sound Your Alarm in 2007 and with Indonesia's Firstblood in 2013). The 1997 self-titled demo tape (this session also appeared on a split tape with Holochaos) was a rough and ready direct crustcore attack, the potential of which was confirmed with this 1999 recording. The first three numbers are by-the-book 90's cavemen crust reminiscent of From Resignation-era Hiatus, mid-90's Doom and Warcollapse with lyrics about animal rights. You know the drill. The lyrics in Portuguese also point to the overlooked - but beloved in these quarters - mid-90's Subcaos as well. The key word overall here being "mid-90's". The production has that perfect 90's crust cave groove and thickness, the scansion is ideal, the riffs obvious but effective, this is exactly what I expect from the genre and era. The fourth song however is totally different and display Disarm in full-on Brazilian thrashing hardcore mode with that typical fast and angry vocal delivery and that vibe of unstoppability. Quite the surprise since it sounds nothing like the other songs and also a genuinely good idea since it reminds the listener that this is Sao Paulo not fucking Stockholm. Following this split, Disarm would appear on a split Lp with Stomachal Corrosion. 

On the other side prolific grindcore band Subcut (but grindcore bands often are) offer, kindly, five songs of raw and energetic relentless angry grindcore with a hardcore thrash influence like Brazilian bands are usually excellent at. This is definitely my kind of grindcore, really direct and with a punk attitude and none of that technical snooze fest. I love how the band frenetically speeds up the tempo and unleash furious blast beats. The musicianship is a little sloppy and the production very low-fi but Subcut sound intense and relentless enough to make these elements work at their benefit. In fact, if it were properly produced I would not probably like it because that is exactly what I expect from a raw high octane Brazilian grindcore band. With them using dual vocals Subcut's music can be said to incorporate a primitive crust influence (after all the two genres were close at the beginning of the decade) or at least appeal to a crust crowd open to a balanced diet of blast beats like Destroy! or Confrontation used. But on the whole, in terms of song structures Subcut belonged to the grindcore side and their cover of Intestinal Disease is a clear enough sign of that. Imagine Rot and Dropdead recording a one hour practice together on a tape recorder in order to contribute songs for a 4-way split between Gride, Entrails Massacre and Intestinal Disease.

My one reservation about the Subcut side is that the five songs were taken from three different recording sessions. The first three were recorded in 1999 and the whole session would appear on the very fine split 10'' with Cruel Face in 2000; the fourth song is taken from a 1998 session while the Intestinal Disease cover was already included on a split tape with Rot. As a result, as a whole, their side has a disparate feel that is a little distracting, to a small extent because the production always remains raw and stylistically the songs were similar but still, I'd rather have five songs from the same session. Subcut would have a long life and are still active and still grinding.

This fine highly enjoyable Ep was released on No Fashion HC Records, a label that specialized in grindcore and raw hardcore and notably released a double-cd Disclose retrospective.

Disarm + Subcut   

Friday 8 December 2023

An adventure in split Ep's! I have no gun but I can split: GRIDE / LIES & DISTRUST "S/t" split Ep, 1998

What could be more embarrassing than wearing a shirt saying "good girls go to Heaven, bad girls go to PRAGUE"? I remember a group of extremely pissed and obnoxiously loud Australian ladies visibly on a hen do all wearing such tasteful tops in the town centre and consciously vomiting on every street corners. The noise and the bilious yellowish ponds made them relatively easy to avoid - which was the reasonable thing to do - but the spectacle was insidiously compelling. The locals managed to remain stern and stoic, probably accustomed to such distasteful tomfooleries and were far beyond consternation at this point. Fuck knows if this locust-like group of destruction was going on the rampage all over Europe or if they specifically picked Prague as the epicenter of their own chaos. It made the Play Fast or Don't festival that I was going to look like a garden party among decent people. Who said punks could not be well behaved? Well kind of. 

Contrary to its neighbour Poland, from an outsider's point of view, Czech never seemed to produce as many bands that got to cross the borders in terms of notoriety. Comparing countries is often irrelevant as it does not take into account specific histories and contexts that inform the production of music and formation of bands, even if said countries are apparently close culturally and historically. Sometimes local dynamics can only escape and elude people from the outside. France is a case in point. We have been consistently shit at hardcore punk music contrary to Italy, Spain or Germany because rock culture has long been abysmal in the country. However we did alright with dodgy oi, self-obsessed depressive dark-wave and emocore- quite obviously - and we have one of the best hip-hop scenes in the world (or so I have heard because it is hard to believe judging from the dross that my 18 year old neighbour is blasting on a weekly basis... I mean what's with the fucking vocoder everywhere?). But if you don't live in France, you wouldn't know the reason why there were so few hardcore bands. So comparisons could be pointless to an extent even if the ties between two countries (like Poland and Czech or, for obvious reasons, Slovakia and Czech) were strong during the 90's (notably with the labels Malarie Records and Insane Society Records), which is the period I am interested in.

When I started to think about the series, I wanted to write about a Czech record because I don't often review Czech records, a pretty simple argument I admit. At first I though that I did not know that many 90's hardcore punk bands from there and then, after a couple of cups of coffee and a closer look at the collection, I realized that the scene was more prolific than I initially imagines. Czech punks love fast music so it is no coincidence that grindcore and fastcore have been popular genres over there since the early 90's, the well-respected, well-known and still active (!) Malignant Tumour being the best example of this phenomenon and a band like See You in Hell certainly stuck too. I am not an expert in grindcore or super fast hardcore in general so I would be at a loss to assess how big and well-liked the Czech scene is but with a solid culture of extreme music festivals (like the Obscene Extreme of course) I suppose that there are large segments of the scene I am not even aware of and I have learnt to be at peace with the idea that I will never be an omniscient übermensch. 

Now that is just unkind.

But to get back to subgenres that are my bread and butter and that I pride myself in being a gentleman connoisseur, namely anarchopunk and crust, not many names came out beside How Long?, CulDeSac, Exekuce and Lies & Distrust (other bands like Nonconformist or Coexist were from the other side of the border). On one hand, this kind of categorizations does not make much sense in the context of the time and petty classifications do not reflect scene dynamics. More often than not, whether you play hardcore or crust or grindcore don't necessarily really matter, what does is the sense of togetherness, solidarity and belonging. On the other hand, you also have to look at the music itself and how certain bands captured the global vibes of the time and crust was very prominent at the time. The choice of the split Ep between Gride and Lies & Distrust was an easy one: Gride exemplified what fast Czech hardcore sounded like in the 90's and L&D were a great example of the typical eurocrust sound that went well beyond the country's borders. The Ep is therefore relevant for two complementary reasons.

As I remember Gride were rather well-known back in the early 00's when I started dignifying the Paris scene with my exquisite presence. As I mentioned I was never a grind head but I heard the name enough to understand that the band was good (I cannot remember but they must have played here) and one of their Lp, 2003's Tanec Bláznů, was released on two French labels. However, before getting this Ep rather recently in my quest to create a comprehensive 90's crust library - to my mum's dismay - I don't think I had actually spent the time to properly listen to the band. I was expecting something much grindier and, while there is of course a grindcore influence, Gride were not an all out noisecore blasting machine. The primitive, straight-forward angry punk sound really works here and makes the songs very dynamic and energetic (the coconut-sounding drums are too loud though). The five songs are very enjoyable and are completely metal-free as Gride in the late 90's were first and foremost a raw grinding hardcore band rather than what we understand as grindcore today (often far too technical). The vocals are aggressive and rather classical in conception but don't feel too forced and I am reminded of their compatriot Mrtvá Budoucnost but not as blast beats oriented and on the whole of the punkier side of grindcore and bands like Intestinal Disease, Proyecto Terror or Wojczech. The band would change throughout the year and the split Ep reflected what they started out as, as a young band with this early lineup. Gride kept going and are still active although I have no idea what they sound like today.

On the other side L&D offer four songs of, well, classically executed raw cavemen crust. I could almost stop the description here since by now, after years of reading Terminal Sound Nuisance, you probably know exactly what I mean by that. But I am paid by the word and with the inflation and all that (have you seen the shipping prices recently? Buying records is turning into a luxury, even for first-world twats like myself) I just have to keep writing. I don't dislike the name Lies & Distrust and it could summarize adequately the programs of most of the current political parties but it is a but long indeed. I would have gone directly for Distrust because at that time in the mid 90's no one really knew about the 80's Swedish band (beside käng nerds I suppose) and I have no idea who that Ohio punk band was (thank you Discogs). I like the logo though as I am a simple man of simple pleasures. The popularity of the band today is pretty much non-existent and only crust old-timers would remember them at all. All my attempts to start a conversation about L&D have miserably failed for some reason and mentioning you love lies and distrust on a dating website is also a major faux pas. So let's say I am, once again, standing for the little man here.

Musically L&D is everything you can expect from a young 90's European crustcore band. The production is not exactly crystal clear and you cannot really hear anything but the cymbals and the gruff vocals. Don't get me wrong, it still sounds very energetic and punishing but in a very DIY punk-as-fuck passioante cheap way which often goes hand in hand with 90's crust and even defines it. What they lack in production L&D make up with aggression and hyperbolic crustness. As the cradle of Eurocrust, early Hiatus is the major ingredient of course and I can also hear a Polish crust influence, like Infekcja and Silna Wola, but there is also a distinct grindcore influence popping up from time to time as if they couldn't really help throwing a couple of blast beats to keep the locals awake. The same year the band would contribute three songs (with a slightly more balanced production) on another split Ep with another crusty Czech band Exekuce (with whom they shared a member) and in 1999 Shit Records (yes) would release a split Lp between l&D and Dischord from Brazil.      

The record comes with a pretty big booklet (that is a bit of a mess and I struggled to put all the pages in the correct order) with the lyrics and translations showing how political the period was. This split Ep was released on Insane Society, a long-established label run by Barvák who took over the vocals in L&D after the present split (he's actually mentioned as the new singer in the credits). By the time of the band's demise, two members formed the tighter gruff crust band Dread 101 (that we will see on the blog sooner than later).