Reviews

Moskwa 1984 Demo LP

Goodness, this is an absolute treasure! MOSKWA should a familiar name to most punks, if only for their much-compiled track “Stan I Walcz,” one of the greatest hardcore punk songs ever written. Alongside peers like ABADDON and DEZERTER, MOSKWA was one of the strongest bands in the extremely dynamic ’80s punk scene in Soviet-occupied Poland. Recorded live straight-to-tape in a garage with zero overdubs or other studio tomfoolery, this recording captures the essence of what makes MOSKWA one of the all-time greats, even more so than their ’86 cassette album. These fifteen tracks are blasts of pure fury, tempered by subtle guitar melodies, driven by the frantic drumming and passionate vocals. Tracks like “15 Sekund” and “Na Wasz Kolorwy…” are nearly as extreme in tempo and delivery as your MOB 47s or NEOS. DEZERTER are definitely an influence, but unlike many of their peers, MOSKWA did little experimentation with song structures or genres, sticking almost entirely to straightforward, impactful hardcore punk. The included GBH cover (“Hell On Earth”) gives a pretty good indication of what the band were going for style-wise. Given the circumstances, the recording is shockingly good, a little bit biased toward the high-end (you can feel those vicious crash cymbal hits in your gut), but everything is pretty clear and dynamic. The quality packaging from Warsaw Pact includes some great photos of early concerts, lyrics for all the tracks in both Polish and English, and a short history of the band’s early days and the recording of the demo. One of the most essential reissues of the year!