Friday, February 23, 2018

Garanterat Mangel: Your unofficial guide to 80s swedish hardcore punk mini special post

Note: Nope, you won't read about this kind of MANGEL. Sorry if you wanted to. 

Coucou, les! We're back with another "unofficial guide to" special post but for this one, I'll only make one detailed (as possible) entry. Why? Well, the real world have recently demanded me more time and I'm quite busy than ever, meaning I can't update the blog as always. In fact, this entry was supposed to be published last weekend, but some logistical issues impeded me from doing so. Now, what can I write about swedish hardcore punk? I simply love it. And, that's all. Ha ha. No, seriously. I still remember the first time I get in touch with both Anti-Cimex and Mob-47's early recordings. It was such a blast. A new world opened up for me. Later, I also had the opportunity of getting in touch with 90s local monsters such as Refused and Abhinanda that definitely made me fell in love with swedish hardcore punk. But we'll only write about the 80s this time. 

As you may already know, in the early 80s, the emerging hardcore punk bands from Sweden were heavily inspired by Discharge's iconic sound known as d-beat. But alongside japanese bands, swedish hardcore bands took their influences to the next level developping an unique and, during almost a decade, unmatched ferocious hardcore punk style. Indeed, they were more aggressive, ferocious and outspoken than their Stoke-On-Trent-based masters. Some people also call it either mangel (Mangle in english) or kängpunk ("Boot Punk" in english). There's even people arguing that Shitlickers from Gothenburg was the first true d-beat band ever (although the first swedish d-beat song was Marquee by Rude Kids (1979)). A pretty bold statement, I must add but not quite far away from reality, though. 

Despite the heavy influence of Discharge's style, (Almost 90% of swedish hardcore bands were d-beat acolytes. Even today the style is still popular) some other local outfits also started to adding some american hardcore traits into their sound such as Mob 47, always admiring both Minor Threat and D.R.I., or even some others like Crude SS played songs reminiscent to Siege, one of the godfathers of grindcore subgenre. This trend of getting gradually more american influence in european territory was more evident during the second half of the decade and, of course, Sweden wasn't the exception spawning bands such as G-ANX and Filthy Christians, two influential bands for both grindcore and thrashcore subgenres. 

But this story of swedish musical influence within the hardcore punk spectrum doesn't end here. Oh no. There's also another interesting one about the first use of blast beat drum technique in hardcore punk. You know, there was a d-beat band named Asocial that released a split tape with local fellows The Bedrövlers named How Could Hardcore Be Any Worse? (Uproar Records, 1984). As a curious fact, the name is a clear tongue-in-cheek to Bad Religion's only decent hardcore punk release named How Could Hell Be Any Worse? (Epitaph Records, 1981). So, Asocial's tracks are fast as fuck, and unlike other local d-beat siblings, the blast beat drum technique was mandatory and the main star of the show. Pretty similar to american bands of the time like Koro, Deep Wound and Youth Korps. This is the only protogrindcore/thrashcore release of this band. 

In 2002, 625 Thrashcore, a well-known american hardcore punk record label, released Barbaric Thrash Demolition Volume 3 compilation, which included an special 7" containing Asocial's tracks from How Could Hardcore Be Any Worse? split tape. However, this record (also named as the split tape) was presented as a demo and also stated that the songs were recorded back in 1982. Everyone went crazy after this, because this led to some confusion and many satarted to think the first hardcore punk band using this drum technique was swedish and not american. Indeed, during many years it was known Beastie Boys (in their hardcore era) with their song Riot Fight  (featured in New York Thrash (ROIR, 1982) compilation, also available here in the blog). and D.R.I.'s first album (Dirty Rotten Records, 1983)
were the first ones doing so. So, what must we think about all this? Well, yes, Asocial was the first hardcore band using the blast beat drum technique but the official release didn't see the light until 1984. Indeed, the 1982 demo wasn't released back in the day (There's no even a physical copy) and the 2002 release has the exact same content as the 1984 split tape. So, you can always draw your own conclusions however...If you're a fan of 80s extreme hardcore punk such as Lärm (Netherlands) and Rapt (France), download this swedish jewel here. This is the 2002 re-issue (The link was provided by our friends of Old Fast And Loud blog. Thank you pals!) 

Finally, for this mini special post, I'll feature 10 compilations containing the most important swedish hardcore punk acts in the 80s, as well as some unknown outfits. I think you'll have the best introduction to the fascinating world of this raw, violent and intense hardcore punk school, heavily influential for both crust and d-beat subgenres. With all that written, let's begin. 

Really Fast Vols. 1, 2, 3, 4 (Really Fast Records (Sweden), 1983, 1985, 1986 and 1988, respectively)!Ll5kDRRJ!FpcZi50bGCzZ3CIgX7huieu7I8bNGnxn6y-Zq9hzQXA

These are the first four out of ten volumes of this impressive swedish hardcore punk collection. It contains mostly the best and most well-known outfits such as Anti-Cimex, Mob 47, Asocial, E.A.T.E.R., Avskum, G-ANX, Huvudtvätt, Discard, Disarm, Rövsvett, S.O.D., Filthy Christians, Sötlimpa, etc., as well as not so well-known acts such as The Krixhjälters, Nyx Negativ, Tatuerade Snutkukar, Dross, among others. As you may expect, you'll mostly find in here d-beat-oriented hardcore punk bands but you'll also get some early crust, grindcore and thrashcore outfits (notably on the last volumes). Finally, inside the file you'll find all four volumes. The remaining six are absent because they feature 90s-related hardcore punk bands. If I make another swedish hardcore punk mini special post, I'll upload them for sure. Highly recommended. Enjoy!


The Vikings Are Coming...2xLP (Uproar Records (Sweden), 1985 / New Face Records (Brazil), 1987)

Featured bands: Crude SS, Bizarr, Fear Of War, Cruel Maniax, Rescues In Future, Rasta Boys, Ugly Squaw and Bedrövlerz.

An impressive swedish hardcore punk band featuring some exclusive tracks for this record. Indeed, you won't find somewhere else (except in some bootleg discographies) these tracks. Most of the featured bands didn't have more releases than a demo or/and EP. Also, you'll find some pretty rare musical outfits, whose luster was definitively overshadowed by more popular and influential acts. Regarding the sound, it still does have the iconic swedish d-beat feel, for example, Cruel Maniax, Fear Of War and Bedrövlerz, but there are some experimental tracks too such as Rasta Boys', which has a weird mix of both punk and dub intro and later changing into a more fast-paced tempo, and Ugly Squaw, Bizarr and Rescues In Future with their more traditional punk approach. The best tracks are definitely made by Crude SS with their protocrust feel: overwhelming and deep basslines, straightforward d-beat drums and a more grave vocal style. Not bad. Highly recommended. Enjoy! 


Stockholms Mangel - (Not On Label, 1986 (original tape) / Swedish Punk Classics, 2000 (CD reissue))

Featured bands: Mob 47, Crudity, Agoni (original tape), Discard, Protes Bengt, some extra Mob 47 tracks and Röjers (CD reissue).

An outstanding compilation reuniting some of the best Stockholm-based mangel hardcore punk bands. Unlike the previous compilation, this one contains pure raw and violent d-beat with Mob 47 and Protes Bengt adding some american flavor as well. No more, no less. Also, you'll find in here some exclusive tracks for this record since most of these bands didn't have an official discography release until almost 15 years later. Indeed, note that the bonus tracks included in the 2000 CD reissue are part of these aforementioned collections. Finally, Mob 47 has two impressive covers to B.G.K. (Netherlands) and D.R.I. (USA) tracks. Highly recommended. Enjoy!


Afflicted Cries In The Darkness Of War LP (New Face Records (Brazil), 1986)

If someone asks me which is the definitive 80s swedish hardcore punk compilation, I'd definitely recommend this one. It contains Anti-Cimex's Victims Of A Bomb Raid EP (Along with Raped Ass EP, this is one of my favorite record of theirs), Crude SS' Who'll Survive EP and Rövsvett's Jesus Var Em Tomte EP. The featured Fear Of War's tracks were previously unreleased and exclusive for this record at the time. So, you'll also find once again the iconic kängpunk school with Anti-Cimex and Fear Of War (but this band also has some american feel in some tracks), Rövsvett also adds their own swedish interpretation of Poison Idea (USA) and The Fix (USA) and, last but not least, Crude SS' crusty style with some tracks reminiscent to Siege (USA). And, as a curious fact, the front cover of the record is the same as the one present in Amebix's No Sanctuary LP. I completely dig this record. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Egg-Mangel (Not On Label, 1987 (original tape), Your Own Jailer Records (Sweden), 1995 (LP reissue))
Featured bands: Disarm, Svart Parad, Raped Teenagers, Krunch, Rövsvett
This compilation was recorded live @ Järva Folkets Park in June 15th, 1986, featuring the bands performing that day. On the other hand, the original tape featured these bands but also Total Egon, Disaccord, Ur Funktion and Kazjurol that, for a strange reason, weren't featured in the 1995 LP reissue. Finally, I think I don't have to write more about these bands since they were already featured in previous compilations of this mini special post so far. This is the LP version. Highly recommended. Enjoy! 

Hard-Core For The Masses LP (Uproar Records (Sweden), 1988) 

Featured bands: G-ANX, Strebers, Tribulation, Martial Mosh, Asocial, Ugly Squaw, Nihilist, 16 Blåsare Utan Hjärna, Kazjurol, Filthy Christians, Happy Farm, S.L.R., Totalitär, Dross, Libresse, Disaccord. 

An interesting record with the most horrible yet funny front cover I've ever seen in a swedish hardcore punk compilation. Don't get me wrong but who the fuck drew that? Is that an interpretation of the Beast from Disney's Belle And The Beast or what? But leaving aside the artwork, the contained repertory is fantastic. Compared with the previously featured swedish hardcore compilations so far, this one has a more varied sound. Indeed, we do not only find the iconic swedish d-beat but also some thrashcore, melodic hardcore, crossover thrash, crust and grindcore. If you already know other contemporary scenes like the british or japanese, you'll dig this one. Did you think I'd only feature disclones? Nope, you know I always try to present you some exquisite and rare jewels like this one. Many bands surprised me. I'd probably write about some of them in the near future. Highly recommended. Enjoy! (Fuck, I can't get over the front cover!)


All Hope Lost...Swedish Hardcore 1982-1993 bootleg (199x(?))

We finally conclude this mini special post with this superb bootleg featuring some swedish d-beat heavyweights. No american traits, no experimental approach. Pure mangel madness, baby. So, this record contains Anti-Cimex's Raped Ass EP, Bombanfall's self-titled EP, Svart Parad's Sista Kriget 1984-1986 discography, No Security's demo and unreleased tracks, Shitlickers' Warsystem 12", and Disfear's self-titled EP. Despite being a bootleg, this is a pretty solid record. Also, I found interesting the inclusion of Disfear since it was one of the bands that was ahead of the swedish crust movement in the 90s. I think I won't write anymore about this. Highly recommended. I hope you enjoyed this entry and see you soon with more surprises. Kisses and hugs!  

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