Reviews

Weird System

Blut+Eisen Schrei Doch! LP

This powerful album features an energetic, thrashy sound aided by killer production and some truly inventive compositions. Songs like “Lange Cesichter” and the superbly arranged “Dein Leben” add variety to a solid collection of tracks that contain some excellent guitar work. A consistent, strongly recommended record.

Blut+Eisen Fleisch Rollt / WSWUF 7″

This vinyl offering from a new German band contains one fast punk song with a nervous, screechy guitar ending (“Fleisch Rollt”), and one hot little thrasher with a sudden chorus and more sharp guitar parts. Good.

Buzzcocks Total Pop 1977-80: Rare, Live and Great LP

A decent retrospective of one of early punk’s finest bands. Pop punk that lasts, mostly dealing with the insanity of love. Their catchy tunes, great harmonies, and hard drive are virtually unmatched (the punk BEATLES?). Still, you should try to pick up all the original releases as this retro just scratched the surface.

Cretins Man Between Walls 10″

Very slick rock with pop/punk influences, kinda like X. Weirdest part is that they dedicate the record to DICK DALE, CLIFTON CHENIER, and HOUND DOG TAYLOR (among others), none of whose grungy blues or surf influences appear at all.

Neurotic Arseholes Angst LP

At their best, the NEUROTIC ARSEHOLES display some stylish and melodic punk compositions supported by clever instrumentals. While less aggressive than their debut LP, this one connects most of the time it remains in that melodic mode; happily that’s the majority of the time, and classy ditties like Du Russe” and “Kern Tag Ohne Liebe” attest to that.

Razzia Tag ohne Schatten LP

RAZZIA were one of the better German hardcore bands on the Underground Hits vol. 1 collection, and their first solo album continues in the same basic direction. They produce medium-speed punk, fast punk, a bit of thrash, and one weird rhythmic tune (“Barriere/Karriere”). Overall it’s a solid release, and some songs really stick in your head (like “Kriegzustand” and “Nacht im Ghetto”).

SS Ultrabrutal Monstren, Mumien, Mutationen LP

With a name like SS ULTRABRUTAL, I at least expected an ultra-hardcore sound, but it was not to be found anywhere here. They should change their name to SS ULTRAWIMPY, because most of this is boring ’77ish stuff with flat guitar tone and few hooks. There are a couple of strong songs (like “1236Y-Atom”), but not enough to make this album worthwhile.

Kaaos / Terveet Kädet So Much Fun split LP

KAAOS and TERVEET KÄDET split this German release. While most tracks are available elsewhere, the materal is very hot, and at least available to more people in the world. TK is in fine form, although their new drummer (replacing Walde, who died) is not quite as tight. KAAOS is consistently powerful and productive.

The Buttocks Fuckin’ in the Buttocks LP

This veteran German band treats us to a selection of mostly live and some studio material ranging from 1978-’81. Most of these tracks showcase the BUTTOCKS’ no-nonsense amalgam of aggressive punk and hardcore to good advantage, though the superior sound quality of their studio recordings (from their two EP’s) shames the rest of the LP. Limited edition of 1000.

The Squirt Men and Their Masters LP

This gang from Switzerland has done a damn good job at fooling me with their neat 1980-’82 Los Angeles punk sound. All the songs are sung in English and, believe it or not, there’s a bit of bands like DEAD BOYS, DETOX, BIG BOYS, and early TSOL. Really cool.

Torpedo Moskau Malenkaja Rabota LP

Reminds me a bit of early SHATTERED FAITH, with its tuneful hardcore approach, yet there is a more heavy-handed European thrash influence at work, too. While not startling, the record is engaging and listenable. Do I sound like Steve Spinali yet?

V/A Waterkant Hits LP

Here are ten new hardcore bands from West Germany, without a sleeper in the bunch. Most of the bands thrash—E-605, RAZZIA, MASSAKER, SS ULTRABRUTAL, and HH MILCH are all great; OXENSCHWANZ is totally weird, and the others go off in a variety of directions. Well worth the time and money.

V/A Keine Experimente! LP

A potpourri of modern punk styles can be found on this fine new compilation, from thrash (the UPRIGHT CITIZENS) to older-style punk (the BUTTOCKS, SS ULTRABRUTAL) to rousing funnypunk (DEUTSCHE TRINKERJUGEND) to Oi (DAILY TERROR). Many of the best bands—BOSKOPS, RAZZIA, ZSD—play more than one type of punk, but it’s their thrashers that really stand out. An illuminating introduction to some old and new German hardcore outfits.

V/A Life is a Joke LP

Not one of the New Underground series, but a new international compilation on Germany’s Weird System label. It contains two cuts each by RAZZIA, FANG, TERVEET KÄDET, RIOT SQUAD (South Africa), SAVAGE CIRCLE (Italy), SHIT SA (Spain), the INOCENTES, HYSTERIA (UK), and CIVIL DISSIDENT (Australia). The latter offers the most pleasant surprise—they’re a brutal thrash outfit—but the whole record smokes.

V/A Keine Experimente! Vol. II LP

An excellent follow-up, this compilation features some of the hot current crop of young German hardcore bands, with some great tracks by TORPEDO MOSKAU, AGEN 53, PORNO PATROL, EA 80, CHOAS Z, NEUROTIC ARSEHOLES, TIN CAN ARMY, CRETINS, and VOLXFRONT. A fine recording, on colored vinyl.

V/A U-Boats Attack America!!! LP

This American release showcases the greatest hits, as it were, of the German Weird System label. BLUT & EISEN, NEUROTIC ARSEHOLES, RAZZIA, CRETINS, and others serve up a series of blistering HC and punk cuts mandatory for those who don’t have the original German recordings. Excellent, varied sampler.

V/A Life is a Joke, Vol. 2 LP

An international comp featuring BLUT+EISEN, ANGRY SAMOANS, SUBHUMANS, KTMK, COC, FANG, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVY, and lots more. Hot tracks from the DEPRAVED, NEUROTIC ARSEHOLES, FALLOUT. Many tracks previously released, but now largely unavailable.