Monday, October 31, 2016

"From Norway with love: Norwegian hardcore punk in the 80s and 90s" special. Part 1


Note: Pølse i lompe. Tortilla + sausage? Is this really a norwegian dish?
 
Hey hey hey, ricuritas. We've finally started with our much anticipated special we've been talking about 2 weeks ago. I must confess that it's been a tough work and I haven't finished compiling the information that we'll be featured here. Also, it will probably be the last special of this year, because I'm preparing another one but it's a little bit more ambitious than this one. And, of course, I have other entries waiting to be finally published, so we'll keep you informed with the progress.  

Now, I decided to feature a special with norwegian hardcore punk bands because it's one of the most underrated scenes. I'm pretty sure that you may have guessed that the reason of this is that swedish and finnish hardcore/punk scenes were more popular and influential than the norwegian scene. And, of course, when everyone talks about norwegian underground musical scenes, almost everyone thinks about the second wave of black metal. 

Despite all of this, Norway spawned an impressive repertory of hardcore punk bands that had some international recognition. And this is the perfect opportunity to feature them here. It's remarkable to say that compared to their scandinavian neighbors, norwegian hardcore punk bands had more notorious american hardcore punk influences. Of course, there were groups that explored other sounds but the american style predominated. 

Finally, we'll feature some of the best norwegian hardcore punk bands in the 80s and the 90s, as well as some compilations. I'm planning to finish this special this week because I'll be abroad between November the 5th and 12th and during that time I won't post nothing. If we can't finish this week, we'll have to continue after the end of my journey. Let's see what happens and let's get started. 

Betong Hysteria - Spontan Abort


This was one of, if not, the first norwegian hardcore punk bands. Formed in Oslo in 1981, only lasting 2 years. During these years, they only recorded and released one record Spontan Abort in 1982. Vi Vil Ikke Ha was also recorded in 1982, but didn't saw the light until 2011. Almost 30 years later. Wow. And, they also participated in different compilations like Framtida Er Nå and the Hurra For Norge series, among others. 

Regarding the sound, Betong Hysteria incorporated early american hardcore punk bands influences like Black Flag, Circle Jerks and The Germs. It's one of the few bands in the 80s that have fast-paced and slower songs in their repertory. Even some of them have an interesting post-punk feel. But don't worry, the band manages after all the ferocious display of frenzy that characterized the beginnings of the hardcore punk subgenre. You'll probably notice that there were faster and more aggressive norwegian hardcore bands, but this is a good start.  Not your boring traditional punk band for sure. And, their songs were exclusively sung in their native language dealing with subjects like police brutality, government vigilance, media lies, among others.

Finally, I'll only feature their first record beacause I couldn't get the second one. The link was generated by our friends from 7inch Crust blog (thank you, pals!) and this is the original 1982 release. The 2008 reissue contains the original record with remastered sound and Tredje Rike, the track that only appeared on the Framtida Er Nå compilation and wasn't available elsewhere until this re-release. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Bannlyst - 1983 demo tape 

 

Bannlyst was a short-lived band from Molde, they existed between 1983 and 1985, and released one demo in 1983 (and probably another one the next year (?)), one split with local comrades Angor Wat (you can listen to it here: http://www.swedishpunkfanzines.com/?page_id=6275) and La Dem Ikke Lure Deg EP in 1985. Norwegian Leather Records released their "discography" in 2011 containing the EP tracks, the tracks from the split with Angor Wat, some compilation tracks, including the one featured in the Nå Eller Aldri compilation, as well as a live performance at the legendary Blitz squat. Members of this band went to form some other legendary local acts like So Much Hate and Stengte Dører.

Regarding the sound, Bannlyst mixed the best of both american and british hardcore punk styles. We could say that their sound is somewhere between Poison Idea, Agnostic Front (early works), Discharge and Anti Cimex. Our friend from Music Not Noize blog (thank you, dude!) brought us this rare tape. I didn't know about its existence. In fact, I ignored that Bannlyst ever released something before their only EP. Also, I have to say that this record is fantastic. Even though the sound quality it's not the best, it contains 3 rare covers (Borstal Breakout of Sham 69, State Violence, State Control of Discharge and Louie, Louie of Black Flag) and other tracks that probably aren't in the discography.  

Finally, you should get this record. Not only for its rarity but also for being the early development of the sound of this superb band. Anything related to So Much Hate and Stengte Dører means quality. Satisfaction guaranteed. I'd also recommend you get their discography just because of the fact that contains their only EP, it's such a jewel. The split with Angor Wat is also a must. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Svart Framtid - 1984 EP and Live @ Blitz



Ah!, we've reached the heaven with this EP. This is the only studio record of this mythic norwegian hardcore band, released back in 1984 by X-Plater Records. I'm pretty sure this record is named after George Orwell's book of the same name. Når De Døde Våkner ‎Records released the same year a cassette containing one live performance of the band on December the 12th, 1984 at the legendary Blitz squat. This record contains the live versions of the EP, compilation tracks and never heard before material.

Regarding the sound, Svart Framtid (Black Future) had huge american hardcore punk influences. You can think of bands like Batallion of Saints, Vatican Commandos, and Void for getting an idea of their superb sound. Besides, the lyrics are also sung in their native language criticizing different themes like religion, economic system, corruption and violence, among others. Due to my lack of knowledge of norwegian, I can't talk about the lyrics of other songs that aren't on this EP but I guess they follow the same path.  

Finally, you must get the EP because is a 80s hardcore punk jewel. Also, it's probably one of the best norwegian hardcore/punk records ever released. This is the original version. The file includes the artwork, inserts and lyrics (translated to english by the band itself). There's also a 2011 reissue, released by Voltage Records, a czech record label, with a poster featuring the same original artwork and inserts, as well as the english translation of the lyrics. The live performance at Blitz shouldn't be missed out either. The download link for the EP was generated by Hammer Und Axt blog, whilst the live record download link was generated by our friend from Music Not Noize blog (thank you, dudes!). Mandatory download. Enjoy!    

Barn Av Regnbuen - Det E'kje Nåkka Artig Længer  


Barn Av Regnbuen (Children of the Rainbow) was a Norwegian hardcore punk band that existed between 1986 and 1987. During this period, they only released two records: Det E'kje Nåkka Artig Længer (1986, X-Plot Plater) and Helter Og Skurker! (1987, Barneplater). In 2008, Crave To Grave Records released Folk Uten Framtid, containing their two records as well as compilation tracks. This record is probably one of the best and complete discography records ever produced. 

Regarding the sound, Barn Av Regnbuen had an unique and particular musical style unmatched by their local contemporaries. In effect, they mixed both american and british hardcore alike with complex song structures, weird vocal style, catchy and melodic guitar riffs and cool basslines without losing the ravaging hardcore punk fury of the time. They're one of my favorite norwegian bands for sure. 

Finally, I'll only present you their first record. The link is provided by our friend from Music Not Noize blog (thank you, pal!). Personally, I prefer Barn Av Regnbuen's second record but this one it's pretty cool too. It's the perfect apéro for knowing this wonderful band. If you can, get their discography but listen to their first record as a start. You'll be undoubtedly begging for more. I'm pretty sure of it. Highly recommended. Enjoy! 

So Much Hate - How We Feel


So Much Hate was a band that existed between 1987 and 1993. It's probably the most well-known and popular norwegian hardcore punk band. In fact, they got international special attention thanks to their participation in Your Choice Live Series and Blitz Live Hitz compilations, as well as being one of the first norwegian hardcore punk bands having english songs. During their existence they released: How We Feel (1987), Blind Alley (1988), Seein' Red (1990), A Day At The Station (1991) and Lies (1993). 

Regarding the sound, So Much Hate played fast and uncompromising hardcore punk like many US-influenced european hardcore bands of the time like Ripcord, Heresy, The Stupids and Negazione, among many others. We could say that the sound of this norwegian act fit into the thrashcore subgenre. Some songs have an interesting melodic hardcore touch without losing the speed. And, the lyrics criticize lots of life aspects with a superb introspective yet politically conscious point of view. 

Finally, it's almost imperative for you to download this record. It's fast and brilliant with superb execution. One of the best european hardcore punk releases ever produced. If you can, get their other records. They're impressive as this one. Sadly, it's the only one I have. Maybe in the near future we'll feature more material of this outstanding band, just maybe...Anyway, it's a mandatory download. Go for it. Enjoy!

Stengte Dører - Sangen Om Vår Vidunderlige Verden


We conclude this first part with this amazing hardcore punk band. Stengte Dører was a band that existed between 1985 and 1992. They released one split with serbian outfit Proces (1985), this record (1988), Hver Dag Er En Perfekt Dag (1989), Alt Er Alt Ingenting Er Mer (1990), and Siste Rais (1992). There's also a live performance at Blitz released in 2011 by Spud Boot Records. They also have appeared in multiple compilations like the Blitz Live Hitz series. 

Regarding the sound, this band had a notorious american influence blending fast music with an unique melodic touch. The song structure is absolutely brilliant with great guitar riffs (some of them reminiscent of traditional rock), fast and precise drum beats, and an aggressive yet audible voice. For some reason, I think of UK bands of the time like Visions Of Change when I listen to Stengte Dører. And, their lyrics were highly-political and sung in their native language (a few songs were sung in english).

Finally, you should get this impressive record. Some of the best representations of the unique norwegian hardcore punk style we've started to explore in this special. Once again, the link is provided by our friend from Music Not Noize blog (thank you, pal!). I have nothing more to say. Mandatory download. Enjoy and until the next post. Kisses and hugs!  

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