Reviews

Raw Power 1983 Demo LP

RAW POWER is a life-changing band. Years ago, when I first got into international hardcore, the early output of these Italian maniacs represented a gateway to a new sound and a new way of thinking for me.  Their first LP Screams from the Gutter is a stone-cold classic of unhinged screaming and bonkers guitar work, but the recording that truly blew my young mind was their demo from 1983. Often referred to as the Brown Studio demo, this rough and tumble recording largely circulated on cassette tape in punk’s international network of friends until the dawn of the internet age. Somehow, despite being one of the very best examples of furious Italian hardcore ever recorded and despite every random third-rate band from the ‘80s getting deluxe reissue treatment in recent years, the ’83 demo had to wait until 2019 for its vinyl debut. The packaging for this reissue is modest, with nary an overpriced gatefold or a nostalgia-filled booklet in sight. But the music, with its tornado of guitars, screaming-like-someone-is-chasing-me vocals, and fucking punk cowbell is as urgent and necessary as ever. RAW POWER was the epitome of Italian hardcore, and unlike some of their dour international peers in Scandinavia or Latin America, they brought a measure of goofy fun to their wild hardcore sound. A furious party indeed.