From the Vaults: Γκούλαγκ (GULAG) In the Showyard (Στην Αυλή Των Θεαμάτων) LP
In the honor of our new Athenian coordinator Lydia, and my upcoming trip to Greece, I chose to feature this criminally underrated Greek punk masterpiece. GULAG, from the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, started playing in the mid ’80s. On this platter the band charms us with its distinctly crafted guitar and vocal-driven melodies, which really are unmatched by anything, in my opinion. In the Showyard is such a dynamic album – non-formulaic, with a wide range of tempos and moods. It’s melodic, sometimes aggressive, sometimes dark, sometimes eloquent, but never boring or predictable. There’s something for everyone here, seriously. Gulag is a truly unique sounding band.
The songs are sung in Greek, but the insert of this LP includes English translations. The lyrics seem to be honest and thoughtful and even poetic at times. It makes me wonder how much meaning is lost through the translation.
I do not know much more about the band, but I do know they also released:
Είσοδος Κινδύνου 0° C LP (Lazy Dog Records, 1987)
Big Talk 7” (Wreck-age Records, 1989)
Η Άλλη Πλευρά/Άλλες 8 Χαμένες Ώρες 7” (Lazy Dog Records, 1994)
Πάτα Γερά LP (Lazy Dog Records, 1996)
While searching for more info on Greek punk I ran across Punk.gr and discovered a great video of them playing in Athens this past march, and it seems they still have their magic!