mardi 10 juin 2014

THE 5 FINEST GERMAN PUNK ALBUMS FROM THE 80s AND THE 90s

At least in my opinion, of course.


 How to say it ? This afternoon was a little special, we reached here at the very core of Europe unbearable temperatures and I didn't have to go to work, so let me set things clear : I had nothing better to do than to write stuff down here. And since the world keeps to be ignorant about one of the best kind of music ever written, german punk, I felt it was my duty to show you what a great deutschpunk record has to be.


  I grew up mainly on german punk stuff even if I discovered the music industry through mostly american hard rock/ hair metal bands as well as with british progressive records my parents gathered back in their youths. If you've read further into this shitty blog you already know it, I keep retelling the same story ad nauseam. At a time when Blink 182 was the punkiest thing on air, and everybody seemed to listen to gangsta/islamic rap I felt really lonely and fell into deutschpunk step by step, gathering so many albums, the same way some dudes from my then-borrough fell into djihadist speeches, muslim bigotry, alcoholism or neo-nazism. Just in order to set things right I hope to know pretty well my business for someone without any german passport, and I allowed me somehow to try to give relatively good advices when it comes about german punk music.
Instead of discussing stupid things, let's go straight to the point with the finest 80s and 90s records.

I) The 80s


  This decade was pretty hardcore in the musical field. The Brits and even the Yanks managed to create great genres like the UK 82 stuff or thrash metal and even if it's taboo to say it some hair stuff was quite funny, if not good. The 80s also saw the rise of the new wave, known in Germany as Neue Deutsche Welle. But it was also a time of musical experimentation and german punk was quite radical and innovative then, filled with bitter lyrics and a real hate against both systems (capitalist AND socialist). Yeah punk used to be a rebellion...

01. Yankees raus - Slime (1982)


  If the Sex Pistols started the whole punk thing, then Slime started the whole deutschpunk thing, setting standards for every following german band. Attaining quickly cult status the band was known for its virulent anti-german lyrics... sung in german and somehow participated into the emergence of a 'new Germany' nearly cleaned up from its nazi past. Their self-titled LP from 1981 is a legendary record, banned for its highly anarchist content and helped many to rebel against the system without any eastern God or red flags. But my personal favorite is their second, because of its high pitched guitar playing and its still rocky yet energetic riffs, played at a speed unknown to the euromasses back then. This record kicked my ass the way the Pistols did, but this time with a real anarchist attitude. Today Slime is quite sad to watch, and have come close to sold out, but I'll always remember they used to be that great...





02. Tage ohne Schatten - Razzia (1983)


  The so-called ghetto way of life is in Europe no more the way it used to be. Times are changing but not for the best, and we can only be saddened while hearing what used to be the soundtrack of the peri-urban (need I to add white, even if I don't like this statement much ?) rebels. Concrete makes you aggressive, and this LP captured pretty well the feeling of being trapped into an hostile urban environnement giving you no hope for some better days. Few records combine this anarchist hate of the system with such a cold anger and a sick riffing. Forget about the US crap, this is hardcore punk from the early days.


 

03. Wir sind die Ratten - Vorkriegsjugend (1984)


  Talking about real hardcore... Along with Schleim Keim, their counterpart in the socialist open air jail, VKJ had a really, really raw sound. Coming right from the divided city at the heart of the Cold War, this album stinks the hate of life as it's supposed to be in the politically correct people's mind. Without any compromise both in the lyrics and in the music, the lost souls from Berlin exposed their self-destructive and disabused thoughts to the entire world, and influenced many punk acts even outside Germany. Such a sick and dark punk record who's overthrown only by Discharge and the swedish krangpunk wave. And that means a lot, believe me.Yeah, this record is one the few acclaimed in my shitty "not really homeland", having many common characteristics with the crypto-communist band Les Béruriers Noirs the baguette-eaters keep to declare as the right punk orthodoxy to this day.



04. Heimatfront - OHL (1981)


  OHL is very special in this crazy deutschpunk nebula. While the others are mainly an offspring of the radical left, OHL were always against far-right, far-left and religious extremes making them somehow anarcho-liberals and maybe punker as the rest. Their highly provocative and from time to time stupid lyrics about war or violence used what could be mistaken as german pride and have made this band one of my favorite. But their music is also fucking great and evolved from the classical early punk magma to something darker, speeder and with some black metal influences in the recent years, what I'm totally into. This is their first record and like much of their stuff it's worth listening, especially if you're looking for old punk tunes.


 

05. Ohne Gnade - Chaos Z (1982)


  Before they got lost for ever and played quite depressive songs in Fliehende Stürme, Chaos Z members managed to achieve one of the most brutal and degenerated sound avalaible in continental Europe. This masterpiece of primitive agression is still today relevant, attacking western States propagandas and instilling despair into every listener's mind in way between the Rote Armee Fraktion and the "No Future" punks. One of the best soundtracks for the decline of the western civilization providing you an apocalyptic atmosphere right at home.







They could also have been in the list : Inferno, Normahl, Toxoplasma, Ea80, Abwärts, Daily Terror, Blut + Eisen, Canal Terror, Angeschiessen und so weiter...




II) The 90s


According to the opinion of those who lived during this decade : the 90s fucking sucked ! But still in this painful period some good bands recorded major albums, even if they were way lighter and cooler than those from the previous decade.

01. Bleib' Tapfer - Wizo (1992)


  The 90s records were kinda different. They assimilated good things from pop music or heavy metal and had a more melodic direction as well as better production standards. But in Germany they didn't lost their punk "soul" to the contrary  of US bands. For these reasons mainly the best 90s album is nothing more than Wizo's critically acclaimed first LP. Funny, morbid, with the right anarchistoid attitude and sometimes silly, every song here is played with a unique style, at the same time technical and easy to listen to, making the whole record unforgettable. Except of course the song about the goldfish who's lame...


 

02. 15 Punkcerealien - Terrorgruppe (1997)


  For a short time West Coast punk rock was cool again, but Germany's closest band to the US bands was even cooler. This 15 tracks LP had some serious guts back then and moved the boundaries between what should remain american like ska and what was purely european noise. Combining the best of both schools Archie and his mates released THE record I needed at this very moment. A really light sound, but still with speed and agression, that carried bitter lyrics about the real european society and not just about skateboarding, girls I'll never fuck and California. In two words : killer record.




03. Hol' dir die Pest - Das Untergangskommando (1997)


  There's something special about the Decline's commando. They were the kind of band that makes unforgettable songs from their very beginning to their very end. Although not really technical, their music had a soul, and showed the world that german punk wasn't dead and could still bite. Their schlägers-like melodies brought to life by the incredible Michel got stuck in my mind for ever, even though they were not the more raffined tracks you could find in the deutschpunk scenes. Like a nightmarish version of the volksmusik my grand-parents listened to, singing despaired lyrics about society, religion and life generally speaking the band expressed its views with something lacking to many : honesty.



04. Nimm drei - Dritte Wahl (1996)


  As a metal-influenced band Dritte Wahl couldn't not be one of the first deutschpunk bands to release heavy and let's say it ambitious tracks. The former east-germans like every one in this list have their unique sound, loud, nasty but filled with more melodic elements. A great musical combination supporting great lyrics about the classical punk themes (fuck society, fuck the nazis...always the same) but also about your place in this world introducing quite melancholic nor contemplative ideas. One of the very first epic punk albums I discovered, it still brings many younger american bands on their knees to this day.





 

05. Die Geschichte von Richie... und andere Schicksalsmelodien - The pigs must die (1998)


  For more than a year awaits an article about this album to be published in French. But for this one, I'll give you priority dear english speaking readers. You guys surely know who Green Day are, huh ? Don't get me wrong 'American Idiot' is a fucking good record (don't listen to the punk ayatollahs faggots... seriously) but did you know they weren't the first to put out a punk opera ? No ? So let me introduce you to one of those records who shook me back in the days. Here we follow the rise and fall of Richie, a young boy who'll become another of these rock star hookers. A sad story, there's no doubt about it but what's so great here is that the lyrics are working hand in hand with the musical background, or that although you hear a regular deutschpunk album it also respects the opera codes and shows sometimes enjoyable melodic rock moments. The only album from this band I dig, but what a sick album.



They could also have been in the list : Dödelhaie, 1 Mai 87, Rawside, Der Dicke Polizist, Versaute Stiefkinder, Hammerhead, Zaunpfahl, even die Ärzte und so weiter...



 NOTE : For more check this out while it's still free, the other 90s deutschpunk classics are here

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