Saturday, November 5, 2016

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

Note: Yup, I will definitely move to Norway. Someday. Period.  

Yo, homies! We're finishing our 80s and 90s norwegian hardcore punk special. I really had serious problems trying to get some 90s norwegian hardcore material but I could get some compilations that reunite some of these almost unknown bands. I'm really sorry because I wanted to give you a more profound analysis of most of these groups. And, as you may have noticed, I've been mentioning you about compilations dedicated to the Blitz squat, for example, Blitz Hits or Blitz Live Hitz series. Unfortunately, these compilations won't be featured here but don't worry, we'll publish them next week as an addenda. 

Also, there are some 80s norwegian hardcore compilations (already mentioned in the special so far) containing some bands whose material was impossible to get and that couldn't get their respective review. I think that with the featured bands so far and the compilations of this entry, you'll have at least an extensive introduction to this fascinating hardcore scene. If in the near future we get more material of these bands, we'll immediately post it. For sure. 

Finally, I hope you really enjoyed this special (I thought it would be longer) as much as I did preparing it. See you after November the 13th for the Blitz post, as well as more surprises. Kisses and hugs!  

Ja Vi Elsker Dette Landet...? compilation

This interesting compilation was released by Snack Ohm Tapes in 1984 as a tape. It also had a reissue on CD-R in 2001. The title (in english Yes, we love this country...?) is the name of the national anthem of Norway, although formuled as a question. The featured bands are: Siste Dagers Helvete, Befalsskolen, Fjerned Haarwæxsth, Bannlyst, I Krig, Akutt Innleggelse, Trash City Rockers, Wannskrækk and Gonoreagan.

Regarding the sound, it's your typical early norwegian hardcore punk. Some of the bands that weren't individually featured have traditional punk, post punk or even protohardcore influences. Nonetheless, they have an outstanding musical execution and are a great complement for the faster bands. On the other hand, I really wanted to feature Siste Dagers Helvete. This band was also one of the first norwegian hardcore bands and The Hell (Rock-O-Rama Records, 1984), their only LP, it's amazing.

Finally, you should get this compilation. It's the perfect introduction when the early 80s norsk pønk musical scene was giving birth to the new generation of local bands that would eventually be labeled as hardcore punk. Click on the image and you'll be redirected to Snack Ohm Tapes official website where you can download this compilation, as well as other 80s and 90s norwegian hardcore compilations that won't be featured here, for example, Tsjernobilly Boogie, probably the last definitive 80s norwegian hardcore compilation, Makten Rår! and Arbeid Frigjør Eder! Arbeit Macht Frei. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Nå Eller Aldri compilation
We're starting with the heavyweights here. This compilation was released as a tape in 1985 by X-Port Plater Records. It contains the following 7 bands: Bannlyst, Psykisk Terror, Kafka Prosess, Siste Dagers Helvete, Angor Wat, Landssvik and Akutt Innleggelse. This was also the first promo tape for the record label that published it. As far as I know, this record have never had a reissue or re-release, which it's such a pity. 

Regarding the sound, all of the contained bands manage the superb 80s norwegian hardcore punk sound we've posted so far. Judging by the name of the bands, you'll get the idea. We'll talk about the two bands that weren't featured in the special. First, Landssvik didn't have any official releases. They only appeared in this compilation, as well as the international hardcore punk compilation Få Framtida Tilbake (it will be featured later for one of the surprises I've been working on lately. Just wait and see). 

And, last but not least, Psykisk Terror shared the same fate as the previous band. Despite its musical greatness, they never released a record. Nonetheless, they were featured in many 80s hardcore compilations, for example, it was one of the few norwegian hardcore bands that were featured in the swedish classic Raped Ass 2. Besides, their sound evolved from the typical 80s hardcore band mixing american and european influences, to the early grindcore sound in the vein of UK monsters like Ripcord, Extreme Noise Terror and DooM. We do hope an official discography release in the near future (something that won't never happen, but it would be rad if it ever did).  

Finally, you should get this record. I dare to say that this is the norwegian equivalent to This Is Boston, Not L.A. or Flex Your Head, due to its content. You'll obviously notice that some other compilations could be disputing this title, but I think this is THE record that compiles the perfect example of the norwegian style. Click on the image and you'll be redirected to the download link generated by our friend from Music Not Noize blog (We can't be more thankful with you!). Highly recommended. Enjoy! 

Noize of Norway compilation

Another great, underrated and rare 80s norwegian hardcore compilation published in 1985 by Den Onde Sirkel Records. It also had a reissue in 2008 that was published by Kræsj Records. It contains the following 13 following bands: Svart Framtid, Bannlyst, Akutt Innleggelse, Gonoreagan, Fjerned Haarwæxsth, Siste Dagers Helvet, Angor Wat, Psykisk Terror, N.S.G., Piggtråd, The Aqua Velva Band, The Ivy Gang and Electric Disoder. 

Regarding the sound, I think we won't have to speak so much about this. Pure 80s norwegian hardcore style at its finest. It contains some rare and unreleased tracks, for example, Svart Framtid's songs are less "americanized" teasing within the d-beat sound realm; Bannlyst, Akutt Innleggelse, Gonoreagan, Fjerned Haarwæxsth, Siste Dagers Helvet, Angor Wat and Psykisk Terror shows us some of their best "crude" material so far; N.S.G. has a superb lo-fi execution; Piggtråd makes a slower and more minimalistic approach to one of Minor Threat's classics, Steppin' Stone; And, last but not least, The Aqua Velva Band, The Ivy Gang and Electric Disoder bring us a particular noisy experience. Pretty hard to describe due to the bad audio quality.

Finally, go and try out this compilation tape. It's not the best audio quality but it does have a particular passion to admire. Lo-fi and minimalistic sounds FTW! This is the original cassette audio quality, so I'm not really sure if the 2008 reissue respected the sound or modified it. Click on the image and you'll be redirected to the download link generated by our friend from Music Not Noize blog (Once again, thanks. This special won't be a success without you!). Highly recommended. Enjoy!       

Lov Og Orden compilation tape

This is another collecttion that could be trying to reivindicate the throne of the essential norwegian hardcore compilation. It was originally released as a tape in 1986 by Den Onde Sirkel Records and contains the folowing 9 bands: Barn Av Rengbuen, So Much Hate, Brent Flagg, Overlagt Drop, Flink Bisk, Utendørs Klaustrophobi, Kafka Prosess, Angor Wat and Tvang. It was also reissued in 2008 as a CD-R with one bonus track of Himalaya Desperados, absent in the original release. 

Regarding the sound, well, once again we have norwegian hardcore at its finest. But we have a number of aspects to remark, for example, the songs performed by Barn Av Rengbuen are more raw and minimalistic compared to later releases; Brent Flagg and Overlagt Drop have interesting old school influences producing a superb hardcore punk sound; Flink Bisk takes an experimental approach with slower sounds; Utendørs Klaustrophobi and Tvang are pretty underrated bands with a fantastic lo-fi sound taking the best of the last decade; Himalaya Desperados makes a cover to Ramones' hit, Sheena Is A Punk Rocker. The sound quality isn't the best because is a live performance; and, last but not least, So Much Hate, Kafka Prosess and Angor Wat delight us with their unique style. 

Finally, you should check this compilation out. It's raw, intense, and punk as fuck. It's right now one of my favorite hardcore compilation tapes along with Spanish HC and Atropello!. It won't probably be the best audible tape out there, but hey! it's the eighties. Don't blame them and praise the D.I.Y. spirit on it. And, don't hesitate to get this marvelous jewel. It's pretty rare and expensive getting a physical copy. Click on the image and you'll be redirected to Swedish Punk Fanzines website where you can download this compilation. Both sides were ripped together as a whole. So, if you have each song individually ripped, let me know! Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Norway Hardcore compilation
We conclude the special with this compilation released in 1993 by Resource Productions, a really short-lived norwegian record label. They only released this compilation and Another Day's (Arild Dahlen's band, the record label owner) Misforstått Kveldsregn cassette. It contains the following  14 bands: Contention, Ambition, Onward, Palfinger, Yad Rethona, Another Day, Back Down, Lash Out, Enroach, Trigger, Wasteaway, Switch, Washington Disease and Paranoia Panorama.

Regarding the sound, it's pretty unique and diverse. We find youth crew, emo, and metalcore, as well as some old school norwegian hardcore style. Most of these bands exposed the straight edge lifestyle to the norwegian hardcore/punk community of the time, something really uncommon or even inexistent in the 80s. It's true that some old school norwegian hardcore punks were attached to this ideology but never manifested it publicly nor tried to start a movement related to.

Finally, you should get this compilation. Just like the last two compilations, its audio quality isn't the best. Some songs are unreleased demo tracks or live performances. You'll notice the sound difference between one track and another, but we do appreciate the effort of reuniting some of the first 90s norwegian hardcore bands. In fact, most of these groups didn't have an extensive discography (max. one demo, a split between them or even their only official release is here). And, you may say that these works aren't as impressive as other european acts, but these bands have a special charm because they follow the spirit of unicity and originality present in the norwegian hardcore scene since its beginnings. Highly recommended. Enjoy! Until next time. Kisses and hugs! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

"From Norway with love: Norwegian hardcore punk in the 80s and 90s" special. Part 2

Note: Your typical norwegian people. Nothing to be afraid of, right?

Oi!, les! We're back with the second part of our 80s and 90s Norwegian hardcore punk special. Let's begin.

Akutt Innleggelse - The Tape

Akutt Innleggelse was a Nesodden-based hardcore punk band formed in 1982 and disbanded in 1985. During this period, they only released Echoes From The Asylum (1983) and this tape (1984). This was the first norwegian hardcore band that sung in english (the other local bands sung mostly in their native language) and they also got international praise thanks to their participation in multiple compilations like I Thrash, Therefore I Am, I'm Buck Naked, Cleanse The Bacteria (all of these have already been featured in our blog. Go and check'em out again) and World Class Punk (we'll post this one soon), among many others.

Regarding the sound, Akutt Innleggelse played fast and straightforward hardcore punk with both american and british influences alike, in the same vein as early finnish, spanish and mexican bands of the time. You can think of a mix of Beastie Boys (when they were a hardcore band), Olho Seco, Atoxxxico and Chaos UK, for getting an idea of the sound of this norwegian outfit. Unlike other early local bands, Akutt Innleggelse didn't have slow-paced interludes, special arrangements or complex instrumentation. Cool.

Finally, I only have their tape. It was released by Inferno Tapes Records and had two alternative front covers (the infamous green one and the "coolest" grey one that featured a catacomb). It's remarkable to say that this record featured tracks exclusively sung in norwegian, following the same trend as their local hardcore contemporaries. In fact, if the song lyrics of these norwegian hardcore bands were in english, they could make a more popular patch than those of Anti-Cimex. 

Oh, I almost forgot. When this band disbanded in 1985, the guitarist and vocalist formed the controversial punk rock act Turbonegro. Just a curious fact. Don't hesitate to download this amazing tape because it's one of the best norwegian hardcore punk records out there. For sure. Highly recommended. Enjoy!  

Angor Wat split with Bannlyst

Angor Wat existed between 1983 and 1988. Some of their members ran Knall fanzine and founded Knallsyndikatet Records, one of the first norwegian hardcore punk record labels. During their existence, they released Med Lov Skal Man Land Bygge (1983), their split with Bannlyst (1984), General Strike (1985) and Rest In Pieces (1987). And, they also participated in different norwegian hardcore compilations like Nå Eller Aldri and the Hurra For Norge series, among others.

Regarding the sound, Angor Wat played solid and fast hardcore punk like their local counterparts although with an experimental approach. In effect, their sound also had strong anarcho-punk influences and the result of this mélange was a dark, dense and thick powerful music. I dare to say that some songs give us the impression of an unique form of sludge. It's one of the best experimental hardcore bands I've ever heard. 

Finally, I couldn't get any record from them but in the last post we gave an external link where you can listen to their split with Bannlyst. And, here it is once again: It's pretty difficult to get their records and some of them are quite expensive. I hope one day having at least one disc of this great band. When that day comes, we'll upload them. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Kafka Prosess - Live performances '86 and '87

When Svart Framtid ceased to exist in 1984, its members went on to form 2 groups: Stengte Dører and Kafka Prosess. We'll talk right now about the latter. Kafka Prosess was active between 1984 and 1987 and they only shared one split with Disorder from UK (1986). There are also some other songs included in different norwegian hardcore compilations like Nå Eller Aldri and Lov & Orden, as well as other international collections like the Network Of Friends series. It does exist a "discography" released by Skuld Records in 2000 that compiles most of these tracks. 

Regarding the sound, Kafka Prosess took the best elements of the sound of Svart Framtid elevating it to the next level. So, you'll expect US-influenced norwegian hardcore just like their local counterparts So Much Hate. Their songs are fast, tight and impressively executed, sometimes teasing with the thrashcore subgenre. Also, their lyrics were political and sung in norwegian. It's impressive the way norwegian bands influenced one to each other, following the path created with their unique style. 

Finally, our friend from Music Not Noize blog (thank you once again, pal!) posted two incredible live performances in 1986 and 1987 at Ungdomshuset, the legendary squat in Copenhagen, Denmark (It still exists today and it's the place where the K-Town Hardcore Fest is celebrated each year). I prefered to present you these presentations because they're rare and I don't have any official release of Kafka Prosess. Thus, the 1986 presentation has a live version of Ingen Vits Å Gråte (originally released in Lov & Orden compilation), which is absent in the "discography", whilst the 1987 one features an impressive cover of 7 Seconds: Walk Together, Rock Together. It's a shame that these live performances have never had an official release. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Data Morgana - En Nasjon I Sorg

Data Morgana was a short-lived hardcore band from Oslo. They only released this record (1987) and a demo (1989). After the release of their demo, they disbanded and formed other local acts like Captain Responsible, 2:20, Sekunda Mannsværk, 49 Crash, among others. This was a band that was born at Blitz squat. In fact, they reunited in 2012 for playing in the concert that celebrated the 30th anniversary of the place.  

Regarding the sound, the band took the influences of the musical path taken by their local counterparts Betong Hysteria, Angor Wat, Kafka Prosess and So Much Hate. It sounded like a revitalizing memory refresher of the greatness that the norwegian hardcore scene had reached at that moment, as well as a prelude of the new school that would arise in the next decade. It's probably one of the last bands that perfectly retained the spirit of the classic norwegian hardcore sound. 

Finally, you should check this band out. If you really enjoyed all of the bands posted so far, this one will please you too. Personally, I prefer the demo over this record but it still fuckin' rocks. I really liked it. The file was originally uploaded by our friends from Crucified For Your Sins blog (thank you so much, pals!) but it was removed. Luckily, I had one copy and that's the one I present you. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Life...But How To Live It? - First self-titled LP

We finish this part of the special with one of my favorite female-fronted hardcore punk bands. When we had the ancient blog, this amazing band was featured in a mini-series post featuring some female-fronted musical groups. Some of them will have its triumphal return. Life...But How To Live It? existed between 1988 and 1994 and released 7 records during its lifespan: Your Choice Live Series and this self-titled LP (1989), Day by Day LP and Green EP (1990), Burn EP (1991), Ugly LP (1992) and This Might Be My Second Last Beer: Live 02.04.94 Kampen Verksted (1994). This band was also born at Blitz squat and they participated in different compilations related to. After their dissolution in 1994, LBHTLI? briefly reunited in 2002 and 2008 for playing some benefit and celebration gigs for the place. There's also a rumor that at some point of its lifetime, this band refused making a contract with Warner Music Group for releasing a record.

Regarding the sound, LBHTLI? still retained some lessons of classic local acts like So Much Hate and Stengte Dører with a more modern approach. Not as agressive but still powerful. Great instrumentation, amazing introspective and political lyrics (sung in english, only a few in norwegian), fast and precise drum beats, complex and melodic guitar riffs, different tempos, innovative basslines and the unmatched voice of their female vocalist, are some elements that made this band unique. It could be categorized as posthardcore but we will just say it's hardcore punk, plain and simple. 

Finally, this the only record I have from them. I used to have the complete discography but it was lost years ago when I sold an old PC and didn't retrieve the hard disk data. Such a pity. This is the original 1989 release published by X-port Plater Records. It contains one Dicks Hate The Police cover, originally by The Dicks, and another one called For My Lover, originally recorded by Tracy Chapman (simply unbelievable but it's really deep, though). Highly recommended. Enjoy and until next time! Kisses and hugs!