Saturday 20 April 2024

An adventure in split Ep's! I have no gun but I can spit: CONSTANT STATE OF TERROR / DEPORTATION "Slave to wealth / S/t" split Ep, 2010

Life on Earth is full of mystery. It seems that some things just cannot be explained rationally. Without even looking at the not so distant past when ignorance ruled mightily and people believed that the plague was a punishment from a bearded wanker who lived among the clouds or that the world would collapse on January 1st, 2000 at midnight because of a bug, some stuff do remain inscrutable, deeply enigmatic and baffle even the most clever minds of our time like mine. Who took a piss on my mate Paul's car on New Year's Eve? Who stole my shark-shaped tea infuser at work (I suspect "mean Karen" from accounts)? Why aren't Constant State of Terror revered and whispered about with awe among us lovers of old-school metallic crust punk? Unexplainable mysteries indeed. It must have something to do with Reptilians.  

This is a delicious little split Ep that I bought for Constant State of Terror (who will be referred to as CSOT from now on because I can't be arsed), a band that I have always held in high esteem. They belong to that kind of bands that I have been following since their inception in the mid 00's. I remember seeing them in 2007 and being impressed with the performance and the music. I am not sure why they have never been more popular but I reckon the name might have played a role. It's certainly a mouthful (just imagine a Frenchman pronounce it) and somehow conjures up the idea of an uninspired lazy crust band although I do like the political idea behind the moniker. But what do I know, I play in a band called Turquoise so it's not like I can lecture anyone in terms of paronomasia. Another aspect could also be that their old-school UK style was not as popular when they were the most active in the late 00's/early 10's but nowadays quite a few bands have been toying with this vibe to some acclaim (like State Manufactured Terror from NYC for example, another one with a "let's shoot ourselves in the foot straight away" name). I reckon the band should just reform and pretend they are an upcoming band from a cool American city but they would probably have to do some Insta training first. A buzzing Insta account is half the work these days.

Brighton's CSOT are made up of people who were involved in bands like Substandard (one my favourite British bands from the 90's and another cruelly underrated one), MTA and PUS so they were already rather experienced when the band was born and from the start you could hear that they knew what they wanted to do. I cannot think of many bands capable of blending old-school crust with 90's anarchopunk so successfully. They managed to balance fast UK hardcore thrash with filthy metallic crust with ease and it must be said that the sound is crucial here: CSOT are raw. And I mean genuinely RAW and unpolished, not super tight actually, just like late 80's/early 90's bands were when energy, emergency and anger were what mattered the most. While so many modern bands strive to recreate that kind of vibe with gears, vintage shirts and fancy effects, CSOT just do it spontaneously as if it was just how they do things anyway. Unsurprisingly the two songs (the first of which, "Slaves to wealth" has exactly the same introduction as Death Side's opening number on their split with Chaos UK) were recorded in just one day and they are the perfect meeting point between the stench crust of Deviated Instinct and A//Solution and the 90's anarcho thrash of Sedition and Disaffect. Old-school punks delivering old-school punk. Bloody love it.

On the other side, you will find five songs by Deportation from the Netherlands (Amsterdam I believe). Now this is a far more obscure one as the band only recorded once, sometime in the late 00's. The thirteen songs from the session appeared on a cdr demo in 2009 but they were just too good not to be properly released on vinyl. Five of them landed on the present split with CSOT while six others were included on a split Ep with the solid Peace or Annihilation from Indonesia. I don't think the band toured much, from what I gather they were rather short-lived, and I could only find two live videos online, one of which was taken in Barcelona so I suppose it might have been more a local project. Despite all this, Deportation's humble recording is actually really good and therefore deserves to be rambled about online.

I am not too sure about the whole band's lineup, even though the fellows must have been involved in others. The guitar player did join Agathocles in 2012 and more recently started the band Raw Peace. Before Deportation singer Gośka used to sing in the good Sangre with people from Betecore, Olho de Gato and Boycot playing dynamic 00's-style anarchopunk with great dual male/female vocals (think a blind date between Bread and Water, Disaffect and To What End?) and she would eventually sing in Suicidade and Diesel Breath in the 10's. To a significant extent, Deportation is a different animal though. A more simple but extremely resilient and resourceful organism able to survive on just one food source: d-beat. The recipe is familiar and the band keeps it basic, effective and to the point. The songs are short and sweet (the five songs are about one minute long) and on that level I am reminded of Cracked Cop Skulls' primitive approach even though Deportation have a more rocking rounder sound. The straight-forwardness of 90's d-beat is a key but I would venture the band felt closer to Consume's galloping discore more than Dischange's strict obedience to the Scriptures. They are somewhere in the middle I guess. The fantastic two track female vocals confer a warm old-school metal punk feel and Gośka's tone can be compared to After the Bombs' here. Brilliant work. Two of the songs are about the cruel deportations of illegal immigrants from Europe and how it ruthlessly destroys lives. Tragically, things have only been getting worse in that respect since 2010. I suppose the band was never supposed to last very long and they did not record anything else. 

This was released in 2010 on RadicalHC Records, a label that also released the split Ep with Peace or Annihilation. As for CSOT they finally released a full album, Speak Truth to Power, in 2020 although it was recorded in 2014 (!). As expected it is a gruff angry slice of old-school British anarcho metal-punk done by proper punks who probably don't know what Tik Tok actually is. Lovely.  

Constant Deportation of Terror     

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