The Apostles

Reviews

The Apostles / Anathema Fight Back split 12″

This lovingly assembled release is as much a record reissue as it is a work of brilliant punk scholarship. The LP comes with a joint issue of two of the best music fanzines of the last decade (Negative Insight and Defiant Pose), featuring copious documentation and writing on the lost and unreleased anarcho punk releases of the 1980s. This split 12”, featuring London’s the APOSTLES and New Malden’s ANATHEMA, is among the most famous of those lost, unrecorded, or unreleased records. Originally slated to be released on Fight Back, a sublabel of CONFLICT frontman Colin Jerwood’s Mortarhate, this record stalled out at the test press stage. This left ANATHEMA without any vinyl releases over the course of their short lifetime and robbed the world of some great material by classic punk weirdos the APOSTLES. For those who love the anger, urgency, and underrated melodicism of 1980s UK anarcho punk as much as I do (that is, who love it enough to want more than just CRASS and CONFLICT records), this 12” is a really welcome addition to the collection. Not only is the music cool (particularly the APOSTLES material), but the zine really is quite lovely and informative. Recommended!

The Apostles Smash the Spectacle EP

The fifth incredible barrage of music and ideas from at least some of the APOSTLES. Public airings of internal splits, extreme swings of hate and love, self-pity and vicious projections, diatribes against Left and Right, phony anarchists, women who’ve hurt them, drugs—you name it, it’s written about at length and in depth. Schizophrenic—maybe too sane—maybe…whatever it is, it’s one intelligently and intensely.

The Apostles The Curse of the Creature & The Giving of Love Costs Nothing EPs

Right, here we go. The APOSTLES have released two new self-produced EPs, one with highly intelligent rants (The Curse of the Creature), the other with both sensible and very misguided rants (The Giving of Love Costs Nothing). But since we’ve given them space elsewhere in this issue to air their sometimes inconsistent views, I’ll concentrate on the music here. They have a droning, mid-tempo punkish attack with primitive two-chord guitar and half-spoken, half-sung vocals. sort of like SIX MINUTE WAR’s old garagy, semi-experimental style. Some of the more basic numbers click (such as “Our Mother the Earth…”); others meander about too much and don’t do much for me.

The Apostles Blow It Up, Burn It Down, Kick It Till It Breaks EP

This EP precedes the one reviewed in MRR #10, and, as stated then, the APOSTLES are a very interesting band. Musically, they play slower, powerful punk with some distinctive variations; lyrically, they ooze with radical commitment. But one track (“Fucking Queer”) displays some confusing contradictions—self-hate?—which fly in the face of their otherwise virulent progressive and anti-fascist stances.

The Apostles Rising From the Ashes EP

The APOSTLES are enigmatic. They are one of the most articulate and politically oriented bands I’ve ever heard, but despite their obvious intelligence, they’re a bit ominous. Their political philosophy is a strange amalgam of progressive (anti-establishment, anti-government, seemingly anti-racist) notions, and they advocate violence to overthrow the system. Musically, this record is raw, abrasive, punky, folky, experimental, and atypical, but the APOSTLES’ significance lies in their provocative ideas.