If you happen to dig a bit in the the early 80s' hc/punk scene from my hometown, Kobra is one of those name that, sooner or later, will pop up. It's one of those quite obscure bands that's mainly known between the collector nerds for their only release, 1985's "corri nel sangue dei tuoi nemici" (run in the blood of your enemies) self-released 7". Like it frequently happens, obscure doesn't necessarily mean great. It's like how Wretched would have sounded if they had a poor guitar work and were influenced by bad metal. Not even the fantastic cover could save that ep from its mediocrity. Apart from that, Kobra are mainly known for their 1983 UK tour with Wretched. Recently I was reading in General Speech #9 about a great live recording captured during that aforementioned tour. I usually avoid live recordings but this one intrigued me. I've asked around but since I'm not cool enough in the tape trading circuit, I couldn't get my hands on it. Then this bootleg ep, pragmatically titled "live queen's walk community centre nottingham 13 aug 83" surfaced in a distro. Recording is of course raw but not bad at all for being captured on stage. What really surprised me is that you can hear a completely different band here. While "corri nel sangue..." totally lacks of the trademark urgency of italian hardcore, songs here are more energic, faster and direct compared to the material they released 2 years later. It reminds a lot the Wretched side of their legendary split with Indigesti. All the eight songs featured here were also completely unknown to me. Perhaps material for a demo that unfortunately never got recorded? Anyhow, this bootleg re-evaluated completely Kobra in my books. A great piece of history for Milano and 80s italian hardcore in general.
martedì 18 aprile 2017
A couple of weeks ago, while I was listening to the recent SPHC repress on wax of Final Exit 2008 "seasons are going and going...and lives goes on" 3"cd, my partner suddenly came in the room. While she sporadically appreciates some hc/punk music, she usually hates grind/death/noise and everything in the middle. To my surprise she said: "I like this band. Who are they? They remind me Melt Banana. No wait, how was called that John Zorn band?". "Naked City", I promptly answered with my heart full of pride. "Yeah, Naked City! They sound like them". And I think she nailed it perfectly. It would be indeed too reductive to tag this album, and this japanese duo in general, simply as a noisecore band.
I've been enjoying Final Exit since they released their first split eps in the mid 90s. They've always been an unique band that was able throw in their low-fi noisecore assault a lot of weird and unexpected parts. But on "seasons are going and going...and lives goes on" they've outdone themselves to assemble their masterpiece. In barely 10.30 minutes, they melted perfectly their aural decimation with NWOBHM, Death Metal, HC/Punk, Pop, Doom, Surf, Rock, Industrial and Jazz parts. While they've obviously taken clue from Anal Cunt and Meat Shits (they are indeed named after the last ones), both Hisao and Ryohei are excellent musicians who could play whatever genre they wanted but consciously choose to stay loyal to their roots and keep gracing us with their wonderful noisecore. They've been able also to avoid the usual clichés of the genre: "SAGAGALGO" is a twelve tracks concept album about the flowing of the time. Tracks are named after the 12 months and the artwork reproduces perfectly the four panels of the cd version. It's housed in a full-coloured gatefold cover with a beautiful picture to represent each season. SPHC has given this reissue all the attention and quality it needed.
lunedì 3 aprile 2017
Recently I've been finally able to cross off from my wantlist one of my mexican top wants. I've scored it again from that endless pit of insanely hard to find south american records that is my friend Jum's collection. I'm talking about the Desgarracion Brutal/ Regimen Democratico split 7", the only vinyl effort by both bands (DB also released a demo tape). Released in 1992 by Producciones Septima Regione (a label run by the Hereja guys), this might not be as well known as other mexican punk/hardocore classicos, but it's on the same level of greatness. Both bands offer two tracks each. DB are the undisputed winner here, uber brutal & wild mexican hardcore with guttural vocals in the vein of Atoxxxico or M.E.L.I. This sounds way better than their demotape. Regimen Democratico plays a more controlled & predictable style of hardcore/punk, but still with an unquestionable mexican flavor. Solid band as well. Scored this copy in immaculate conditions for a great price. The artwork looks like it has been draw by a 8 years kid and I love it for this reason. An awesome split that should be in every south american hardcore fanatic's collection, good luck finding one!