vendredi 15 août 2014

SOUNDTRACK TO THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION


  Lately I've been quite busy in the real world and I lacked time to write decent album critics in French down here, but I still had horribly long hours filled with despair and apathy during my nights. I listened to a lot and a lot of albums in order to forget this, and each time I thought "damn if only I could tell the world about this one". So here is  a short review (written in poor standard english nonetheless) for each entire album I've listened to during the last month. They will be short because generally I hadn't dug the lyrics too deeply, due to a an understandable lack of desire to do so.

01. Foot of the mountain - A-HA (2009), NORWAY

 A-ha's a complicated case. In a way they suck really hard, but in another hand they're totally great for what they do. A cold and athmospheric release, filled with a somewhat 80s pop/new wave vibe, highly recommended for those interested in soft and melancholic tunes, more than many shitty ambient black metal productions.



 02. Don't forget your roots - H20 (2011), USA

Roots, bloody roots, folks. Be it ethnic, religious or simply in the musical field, no one can ever escape roots for ever. For those who grew up with punk, nearly impossible to ignore the first bands we loved. With this decent american punk album the band made things correctly, even if most of the songs here are far from unforgettable.




03. Take it back, take it on, take it over ! - 7SECONDS (2005), USA

Speaking of american hardcore, this is the kind of album my mates in one of my former band were totally into while I masturbated my brain with german punk. And some times I miss those guys, and those days, so I play a good old US band like 7 seconds. An enjoyable LP for a now old band, who still can play punk properly, without shitty breakdowns or blind violence. THIS is hardcore punk dudes.



04.Conjure and command - TOXIC HOLOCAUST (2011), USA

Toxic Holocaust is some kind of a running joke in my friends circle, just like the Casualties are. But still we hear their stuff. I found this release more agressive, more hardcorish than their previous ones, with some aspects reminding me of Discharge, the Varukers or the swedish hardcore bands. At the same time totally generic and interesting.


05.Evil never dies - TOXIC HOLOCAUST (2003), USA

After half an hour of TH's musical doomsday I hadn't enough so I took their oldest shit avalaible. Again. Hip-hop and death metal tried real hard to kill thrash once for all, but you know the score, evil never dies. Not very innovative, what's important here is to hear nasty riffs and angry shootings. In a time where bearded fanatics set the world in fire not so far from my ass, it's good to know somewhere some guys kept the faith in thrash real.


06.Hell awaits - SLAYER (1985), USA

I've never been a huge fan of this record but this night I wanted to feel again what terrified me as a child with Slayer. So just like Proust I recovered all my nightmares about the upcoming invasion of homeland by the Soviet army and the fear of going to Hell if I did something evil. Monolithic, damn catchy but from time to time trying too hard to be the ultimate evil album, everything here prefigures what will be the definitive fanatic thrash sound.


07.Spectre -LAIBACH (2014), SLOVENIA

Slayer talked about old fashioned Hell but Laibach is right in the present and its new-coming Hell, shaped by untrustable authorities here in Europe. You can reproch Laibach to play some fashion electro tunes, and sing what seems a parody of their former selves, but I think they won't really care. Not as good imo as their old stuff, the result is still  pretty decent here (except for the first track) as Laibach keeps questioning our european minds and telling us urgent warnings, the way Cassandra did.

08.GI - THE GERMS (1979), USA

Well honestly... This is a cult album from the early californian punk scenes alright. But if the sound is enjoyable for a couple of songs, the whole album has a quite repetitive vibe. Sick and fucked like Crash was for sure, full of energy, this record has many qualities but I'm sorry this is a litlle bit overrated.




09.Adolescents- THE ADOLESCENTS (1982), USA

Maybe the best american punk album from the early days.
Fucking great tracks of real 77 punk music only improved by some surf rock influences.






10.Boogadaboogadaboogada - SCREECHING WEASEL (1988), USA

Forefathers of the "ramonescore" or just a honest and great melodic american band, Screeching Weasel with their first album established their musical identity the right way. Pretty simple but quite addictive, one the finest band from our former colonies.





11.Punk's not dead - THE EXPLOITED (1981), UK

Dirty. Primitive. Moronic. The fucking Exploited, man !
More than a band, a modern myth.








12.Milo goes to college - DESCENDENTS (1982), USA

And now another classic from America, this time maybe more high school oriented than the others in this list. Not bad, but not THAT great.






13.Babymetal - BABYMETAL (2014), JAPAN

Japanese people really sicken me. I met some of them, and apart one exception (a very cool and intelligent guy), those I met were all damn materialists and stupid like brainwashed by consumerism. Seriously Japaneses, do you really understand us Westerners when you try to mimick us ? I know death penalty still exist in Japan, so I will maybe sue the guys who produced this fucking shit someday.
Oh and btw fuck Metallica who supported this crime against music...

14.Accidente - ACCIDENTE (2014), SPAIN

Back in the days I accidentally found  a great punk album albeit a bit emo (...) from Chile. I lost it when I moved, something that had saddened me a little. But with this one I also accidentally discovered, I had the very same feeling. An addictive female voice, quality punk music without much anger and with even a somewhat positive sound, this record is the nearly ultimate "light" punk album. Awesome band, I'll totally follow.


15.Sin egen Motstandåre - TOTALITAR (1994), SWEDEN

Swedish hardcore, things are getting serious. You can switch from an album to another the sound's roughly always the same. D-beat, hate, swine singing in swedish, agression, no technicity and did I mentioned it D-beat. Each time the kick I need when I'm goin' too depressed or mainstream. All hail Sweden, all hail the real hardcore. Even if it's always the same from album to album and from band to band.


16.Jodete - MCD (1989), SPAIN

At the very end of the 80s this band managed to play exactly the same kind of punk US citizens used to play at the beginning of the decade. Spain was a retard country when it came to culture back then... Along with the sound we all loved in the first californian records, the Spaniards added the rocky fervour and the hate of the State many Latinos share. Highly recommended for those who dig old punk stuff.


17.Con la muerte a tu lado - GENERACION SUICIDA (2013), USA

Did you remember the time you picked an album just because of its cover ? Everything here was so attracting I didn't resist and gave this record a try. What I expected was cheap hardcore from Spain or Mexico, but what I found was a soft and nice punk band from LA, who played something between the Buzzcocks and those sentimental 70s songs I listened while travelling through Argentina. Oddly light and slow the band still has dark and anarchistoid lyrics. I fell totally in love with this album, awesome work just like Accidente.


18.Whore of Betlehem - ARCHGOAT (2006), FINLAND

Lo-fi slow death metal from Finland with some blasphemous kitchen sink singing. I don't know really why I wanted to hear this kind of stuff at the moment, but fact is I enjoyed this one. It will never be in the new death metal classics, but yeah whatever.





19.Se habla español - LENDAKARIS MUERTOS (2006), SPAIN

When I was a child and moved down into the South, Spain always seemed to be associated with some kind of punishment. The country was too hot, the sun too bright, people was poor, talked too loud and too fast an agressive and obscene language. They only ate food with pork, oilve oil and grease. Spain was the Purgatory. Now I'm way older I find Spain still gross at times, but generally this land is fantastic if you forget the franquist past. Come on, Spaniards know how to play rock and punk rock above all. An extremely enjoyable punk album with a good singing, fast tempos, catchy melodies, everything here is as great as in the classic 90s US records. Excellent band, excellent attitude, I love you Spain finally.


20.Bass drum of death - BASS DRUM OF DEATH (2013), USA

Post-rock, post-punk, post-what you want, this ethereal band achieved to make me listening to american modern rock music again. It might be something for lonely hipsters, sure, but it was sympathic.







21.Generation X - GENERATION X (1978), UK


Just another british punk classic, and possibly the best album Billy Idol ever participated to.







22.Sleeping with ghosts - PLACEBO (2003), UK

In 2003 I thought to myself that when I'll have nothing better to do I'd listen to the whole album. And it happened only 11 years later.
There's like on almost every rock album strong tracks and weaker ones but the result was great, if you put apart some texts. For once the french medias hype told something true. Retrospectively this album still has a pronounced 90s rock aftertaste for a 00s production.


23.Unknown pleasures - JOY DIVISION (1979), UK

Well that was, uh... Dark, disturbing, cheap.








24.From the dumpster to the grave - STAR FUCKING HIPSTERS (2011), USA

One of the basics in my life philosophy is "fuck the supermarket dream just like it fucks you". Ex-Chokin Victim member still plays his awesome sick mix of angry punk and music to dance, while saying a society based mainly on consumption is just plain shit. Melodies and thoughts, now that's what punk is all about.




25.Resistance - THE CASUALTIES (2012), USA

Nothing too crazy here, it's just another recent Casualties album, mixing old school punk riffs with some rockier melodies. Still quite raw, carrying the usual lyrics about rebellion, street life and hate of the authorities without any anarchy. This record also contains an hymn for the south-east asians punks, who really deserved one. In the end a decent album that many of the new punks ayatollahs will shoot down in flames, just because it's a Casualties album.
26.We are all we have -THE CASUALTIES (2009), USA

With this record the New-Yorkers tried something softer, relatively speaking, and it's sometimes working. Sometimes not. Still mad about the outside world and exposing the listener to some clichés, you'll find here the generic chaos/street punk here, far from the real political involvment, but close to the next beer. And finally there's this title, so cruel and so true, yes, we are all we have.



27.Living in darkness -AGENT ORANGE (1981), USA

Yet another of those old West Coast punk records. A dirty old sound, bitter lyrics, and even some memorable melodies. Some tracks are a little bit too long to be really forceful, but hey, it's from the early days after all.






28.Dogs eating dogs - BLINK 182 (2012), USA

Well, this was quite painful. This self-released EP, never  really convinced me. Blink gets old but has still the potential to write good songs (according to the Blink 182 standards, not the normal ones, of course) like the eponymous track, but the band shoot itself in the foot by adding out of date electronic effects and a somewhat poppish or emo vibe in the couple of last songs. I had a bittersweet aftertaste after hearing this one, honestly.


29. Punk gibt's nicht umsonst - WIZO (2014), GERMANY

Nun hat das Warten endlich ein Ende. Wizo was one of my favourtie band ever and I was quite expectative when I learned they came back to business last year. The 2014 Wizo has many things to tell us, with these 21 new songs still written in their humourous way. Wizo still kicks ass the old deutschpunk way but also shows us its poppier side again (there's even electronic sounds, just like on the Blink album above). I could say Wizo's dead and gone, that they've become another of those pop punk bands for teenagers. I could say so, but the dudes from the other Rhine side never betray their roots and remember who they have been and where they come from.  An album that deserves more than a short review, definitely and the deutschpunk sensation for this year, along with coming new Terrorgruppe release.


30. Tube of the resinated - CANNABIS CORPSE (2008), USA

Death metal was never really my thing, too dumb, too dirty, too marketed. A few band only came to my playlists, including the revered Cannibal Corpse. But what was disturbing with the "real" band becomes here a running gag with the "joke" band. The lyrical themes revolve around weed, pot, marijuana and death, making the whole a little bit more sustainable. If the lyrics are dumb and funny, those guys know their history and should not be ashamed by their sound, a pure and great true death metal maelstrom. Awesome work.


31. Tempo alter ! - DDP (2012), GERMANY

Der dicke Polizist is one those german punk bands you won't notice first, but once the big stars in your computers files, you'll discover that the less reknown bands have sometimes more to say than the big fishes. The refined and mature punk rock played here is all about melody and bittersweet feelings but don't lack the original revolt, anger and energy punk bands have in common. Genau wie Wilde Zeiten hat's mal gesungen : " Fünf Sterne Punk".


32. The ungovernable force - CONFLICT (1986), UK

In 1986 the first wave of british anarcho-punk had surrendered. The System was the strongest, the punk movement never materialized into the long awaited western world revolution. Punk and especially anarcho-punk were a failure. This album from Conflict, a very special record summarize what punk was and what it should have been in a bitter but yet frantic way. One of those albums you'll never forget, filled with destroyed riffs and social commentaries.


33. Writtings on the wall - ONE WAY SYSTEM (1983), UK

Thecond wave of UK punk is for some people the first wave of the true UK punk, far from the signed bands. And this record is of significance in the punk history. Just like Discharge the Bristol punks won't make any compromise with the mainstream musically and lyrically, but they won't forget to write actual songs and not just some coordinated noise. British punk in all its glory.


34. Blutsabbath - BELPHEGOR (1997), AUSTRIA

Raw, brutal, evil, old school. This mix of black and death metal is simply gorgeous.








35.Angry songs - OMEGA TRIBE (1982), UK

A short EP from Crass records whith some evolved anarcho-punk exposing us to punksih musical slaughter but also to real music. Uncompromising with the unfair outside society rules, those punks had dreams and expectations along with their anger, and they put them on musically and back then innovative tracks. Now, this is why I love(d) anarcho-punk.



36.Presumed insolents - THE ADOLESCENTS (2013), USA

Californian punk legends are back and for a long time I hope. Their last release is pretty decent and even has a pair of  high level tracks.
This won't be the punk album from the decade, but no doubt about it it's nonetheless a good one.





37.Phoenix Effekt - STAATSPUNKROTT (2011), GERMANY

Staatspunkrott started as one of those early 00s german punks singing how much anarchy was the solution, but they recently changed and started to play something more introspective. Fast and melodic punk music with a singing I'm not always fond of. In order to really appreciate this record, it will be necessary to hear it several times, but anyway musically speaking an ambitious and reffined punk number, like many bands like to play it nowadays.


38.Intervention - ACTION DIRECTE (2006), UK

French people are often depicted as cowards. But some aren't coward at all. Just like the R.A.F. Action Directe were homegrown radical left-wing terrorists who had the guts to start a war against this bastard State. Weirdly the band using their name comes from the UK, but less surprisingly it's also interested in the coming proletarian jihad, expressing his extremist views on a ultra-great dark industrial/punk music close to a crypto-communist Killing Joke release. Highly enjoyable enjoyable stuff filled with old school revolt ideals of times where the red star was stronger.

Note : I don't know why but there seems to be some kind of censorship with this album cover art (maybe Google or my government still fearing the real commies ?) so I put a nice picture instead.

39. In aller Stille - DIE TOTEN HOSEN (2008), GERMANY

This record may be one of the greatest rock album ever, dear non-german speaking world. Why ? Die Toten Hosen play punk-influenced rock with some deep meanings but still with a pop vibe (in the noble sense). The energy and the tension rarely fades away on this record questioning what's our lives and what our deaths should mean. This LP along with one from their mortal enemies -the Onkelz- is practically my religion.


40. Who killed spikey jacket ? - WHO KILLED SPIKEY JACKET (2014 I guess), USA

Pretty decent old fashioned street punk. Not above the rest but far from bad.







41. Back in black  - AC/DC (1980), AUSTRALIA

No one will expect me to be original with this one, we all grew up with AC/DC. AC/DC are modern times gods, and so many of us are those dudes' spiritual sons. How could someone even dislike this rock masterpiece ?





42. Høstmørke - ISENGARD (1995), NORWAY

When I was a teenager punk was dead (except US pop-punk) and white rebels turned their ears toward the black meal scenes. Back then, I found black metal pretty stupid. This record is a short-lived solo project of one Darkthrone's mastermind, but guess what it fucking sucks ! The main problem here is the pompous and ri-di-cu-lous singing ruining the whole record. Damn, trying to be a BM opera baryto was one of a shitty idea.


43. Dark medieval times - SATYRICON  (1994), NORWAY


For this one overrated will be the word. I seriously don't understand why this record has such a renown. Okay TNBM is played here, and there's also those folk moments many love, but come on this is so fucking flat. Not bad, not great, just flat like every Beyoncé or Maria Carey song are.



44. Garbage - GARBAGE (1995), USA

Now that not-so-old people making TV shows are starting to miss their youths, you can watch tons of documentaires telling how the 90s were great. Kids, never  fully trust TV, the 90s were plain shit.
And music from this era was mainly horrible corporated shit. This said, Garbage released what could be the ultimate 90s mainstream rock album, in a post-Acthung Baby world. Garbage could have been the next pop stars, but they had some sick lyrics you know making them one of those few "mainstream" band worth to listen.

45. Not your kind of people - GARBAGE (2012), USA

I live in a declining country, where morons voted for a socialist president. His party will kill my country softly but certainly. While mosques are built everyday, the government and the big companies keep to tell us, natives, to be brainless sheeps consumers. The musical propaganda tells us how supermaket idols are great, come buy it, come buy it ! Garbage plays here again it mainstream supermarket rock with awful lyrics. But for once I'm totally OK with the cultural intelligentsia, this album is damn great. Did those morons really dug the band's lyrics ? I don't think so. Being so subversive with such a stupid pop rock sound, is why I love you, Garbage.

46. Road to ruin - THE RAMONES (1978), USA

This month I listened to all those nice records, but in the real life, in my car or wherever else, I only listened to the Adolescents and the Ramones the old fashion way, you know, with a real CD. The last of the original Ramones died this month, another pillar of my musical culture disappeared from Earth. Ramones, your simple rock is just timeless and immortal. We'll carry on, we're ramones to the core.



47. Transilvanian hunger - DARKTHRONE (1994), USA


Enough black metal wannabes hipster bullshit. Back to basics with one of those immortal records from the true fucking norwegian balck metal. Raw, hypnotic, lo-fi, analogic, dumbly evil, that's what BM is at its very core.



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