Danza de Guerra EP
RAPPRESAGLIA—“retribution” in Italian—was among the early-to-mid-’80s wave of furious hardcore bands from Milan. Their first recorded tracks, some of which were immortalized on compilations like the incredible Bad Country Tapes (BCT) Italian HC collection Music on Fire and the classic Skins E Punks = TNT 7″, are among greatest examples of raw and unhinged Italian hardcore. For years, I have played their early anthem “Attack” as the perfect representation of all that is truly special about Italian hardcore; I still put that song on mixes, and throw it on the turntable whenever I need something to pick up my mood. (Italy’s Agipunk Records released all of the excellent early RAPPRESAGLIA tracks on a collection called 1982/1983 in 2006, with the aforementioned “Attack” as the first song. I highly recommend that collection to aficionados of early Euro thrash both novice and diehard alike.) The EP I am here to review—the Danza di Guerra 7″—was recorded and self-released a couple of years later, and has now been reissued for the first time (with original art) by Germany’s No Plan records. Although Danza di Guerra was the first proper RAPPRESAGLIA release, it finds the band having already moved on from their rough and tumble early sound towards something slower, more melodic, and more muscular. No one is maniacally screaming on this EP, and the guitar sound owes more than a small debt to British post-punk, or at least British post punk as channeled through Telecommunication-era BLITZ. There are even vocal harmonies on these four songs! In other words, this is a pretty different band than that from RAPPRESAGLIA version 1.0. Still, this is a delightful record with four catchy singalong anthems, and is certainly worth tracking down if you’re a fan of the melodic side of European punk.