Wednesday, March 26, 2008

V/A-I Thrash, Therefore I Am (Schizophrenic) review

Finally, parts of the legendary Borderless Countries Tapes are seeing a proper vinyl release. I Thrash, Therefore I Am was volume 18 in the series, and arguably the most famous and best. To my knowledge, this isn't the collection in it's entirety, but just the best that could fit onto on LP, so it will suffice. I wish every one of the tapes would be remastered and reissued in this format, but they would probably be waaaay too expensive for anyone to actually put together.

Mob 47 provide a perfect introductions to this record for old and new hardcore fans alike. They belt out 9 tracks of top-notch Swedish hardcore that set the standad for all to follow. Product Assar offer up two tracks of lo-fi, relentless punk rock. All pretty straight forward and doesn't break any barriers. Sounds like standard 80s style thrashcore. Honestly, I could take or leave these two songs, as they aren't bad, but are definitely the worst on here. The next set is Moderat Likvidation. The quality on their songs are actually pretty good. It's low budget, but the mix is done well. The guitar playing is surprisingly good (actually all the playing on these tracks are way ahead of a lot of low-budget 80s punk, with some awesome bass soloing!). The vocals are super pissed. I have no idea what this dude is yelling on about, but he sure does fucking hate it. The intro on "Dodeus Barn" reminds me of "Last Rockers" by Vice Squad (which actually isn't a bad over-all comparison, though these dudes have a definite metal influence). These tracks are fucking awesome, maybe even better than the Mob 47 contributions.

Side B kicks off with Existenz, who play tight, fast, punk rock and their tracks are GREAT quality. The vocals are short bursts of syllables, and the English parts I can pick are pro-active (song titles like "Burning Bones of War" and "Fight for Freedom" speak for themselves). Their songs are well put together in a really awkward fashion, the guitars and bass change up rhythm while the drums keep playing pretty much the same straight ahead punk rock beat the whole time. They actually make this sound interesting, which is really cool. They also do some cool breakdowns, though. "Fight For Freedom" breaks into a slow part with a little shuffle to the drums for about five seconds before blasting back full speed for the end. These dudes are fast as hell, but still sound punk as opposed to some of the heavier hardcore on this record. Their last track, "Anger Burning in My Head" sounds like late 70s/early 80s UK punk with a lot more bite to it. Akutt Innleggelse start their set with "De Dode Vakner", and the main riff on that one is pretty much "Bloodstains" by Agent Orange, but all trebly and obviously recorded in some dude's basement on a crappy old tape deck, so it sounds raw as all hell. The guitars are feeding back pretty much any time they let up for an instant during both of their tracks, and the vocals are a tortured mess. This is beautiful. Anti-Cimex are the only other band besides Mob 47 I'd actually listened to before this. The vocals are loud and angry as hell, but unfortunately they're pushed too far back in the mix to really jump out at you. Other than that, these songs are spectacular, and should be standard listening for any 80s hardcore punk newcomer. This is pretty gloomy stuff, with song titles like "Dead Struggle in a Burning Hell". The album closes out with Enola Gay, who sort of remind me of an old crust band called ATV. They're hardcore, but they rock out, too. Their songs are slower than the other bands and some have a little more character, but they can still play fast. Hell, listen to the drums on "Syndebuk"! And then the fucking atomic bomb feedback that goes into insanely fast hardcore on the song "Enola Gay"! Fuck!

The insert in this record is a good interview with the guy who put together all the original BCT comps, who is pretty verbose. The interview is great, with some good history on the series, but the best part is the end, where he's talking about being 53 years old still being as punk as he was in his 20s. It's great, anyone who ever talked about burning out needs to read this. You grow up, but you don't grow out. The color vinyl is pretty sweet as well. Now that this record is available to the masses, I expect to hear these songs actually covered and/or blatantly ripped off at shows on a regular basis.

Buy It On Interpunk! (30 songs for 10 bucks!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hello.
i just found this blog (was looking for some lyrix from i don't even remenber what song)
and well, i think i gotta read it all in the next days. you made me want to listen to the record right now...
i just wanted to say : great articles (the few i actually read), carry on i'll be reading (and listening) tightly!
ciao.

marine