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!