Reviews

Chaos Productions

Komintern Sect Les Uns Sans Les Autres 12″

That basic French pop-punk style, complete with those trademark vocal choruses, seems to be the order of the day on this release. Unfortunately, though, the songwriting is un-notable except for the catchy “Maurice,” which opens this seven-track 12”. The other songs have hooks that are predictable, and songs with little if any staying power.

Les Collabos Les Collabos LP

This band returns with more of the same fast guitar riffs that help make their songs on The First Sonic World War compilation so good. This French group has an excellent sense of melody but doesn’t sacrifice their power for it. Their choruses are similar to Oi bands but without the mindless lyrics. I want to hear more from them.

Reich Orgasm Future Pour Tous 12″

Still more skunk from France. The thing that differentiates REICH ORGASM from the pack is some extremely tasteful guitar frills inserted at just the right moments, but they don’t sacrifice any hummability in the process. I find this EP very enjoyable, but I’m beginning to wonder if this particular style is peculiar to French punk bands as a whole, or only to those on the Chaos Production label.

Trotskids Je Sens Mauvais 12″

The TROTSKIDS play quite a bit faster than most of the new French skunk bands. They have the same heavy sound and irresistible soccer chants, but the accelerated tempo adds a lot more punch and appeal, at least for me. Great stuff that I strongly recommend.

V/A Chaos in France LP

Chaos Productions presents thirteen bands from France. A multitude of different noises ranging from hardcore to skin chants. Reminiscent of English punk circa 1981, sometimes too similar. Has a lot of power and ambition, but needs more creativity.

V/A Apocalypse LP

An excellent well-produced sampler of new French hardcore bands. Although REICH ORGASM and KOMITERN SECT contribute some irresistible chunky mid-tempo punk, and the weaker NO PUB offers a splendid little ditty called “Viol-ence,” KIDNAP steals the spotlight with some amazing bone-crunching stuff. Their “No SS” is one of the most brilliant, dynamic songs of 1983, with its dense fuzz guitars, tense build-up, and haunting background vocals; their other tracks are also killers, and the politicized lyrics go straight to the heart of the matter. Much better than Chaos Productions’ earlier Chaos en France compilation, so order it and support a valuable independent label.

V/A Chaos en France, Vol. 2 LP

The second installment of this French skunk-oriented series is infinitely better than the first. For one thing, the production is generally more powerful; for another, there is more musical diversity. Along with the many “skunk” (a fusion of skin and punk styles) outfits, one can find thrash (MOPO MOGO, NO CLASS, and NANA BONNARD), CLASH-inspired ’77 punk (the BRIGADES), rock ’n’ roll-punk fusions (LES COLLABOS), pop-punk (the RATS), and Oi (SK NIX). Recommended.

V/A Chaos in Europe LP

Despite a well-drawn but obnoxious macho cover with blatant evocations of violence, the third Chaos Production compilation proves to be another very strong release. This one has bands from all over Europe on if, thereby extending its range and variety. Herein one can find the standard French-style skunk (KOMINTERN SECT, REICH ORGASM, L’ENFANTS SAUVAGES, and Spain’s DECIBELIOS), catchy pop punk (AL KAPOTT, DREI ORLOK, Spain’s TNT, Holland’s NV LE ANDEREN, and a killer cut from Sweden’s ASTA KASK) pure Oi (BRUTAL COMBAT and Italy’s NABAT), and all sorts of punk (the KAMBRONES, Germany’s F.F.F. and NEUROTIC ARSEHOLES, and Sweden’s SLAM). Highly recommended.