Love From Stoke on Trent, via Sweden

I watched a video clip some time last year on Youtube which dealt with the quite remarkable legacy left by the Stoke on Trent, UK – based band Discharge. When they erupted onto the scene in the early 1980s, they were on Clay records, along with bands such as GBH from nearby Birmingham. They seemed to be different from many of the other cartoon punks of the era, in the sense that they merged Crass’ severe, austere visual aesthetic [all black and white photos of nuclear war victims, and desolate lyrics concerning the threat of nuclear war] with a searing, heavy punk sound. Their original drummer, Tez, pioneered a unique style of drumming that underpinned all their songs, and which has now become known as ‘D-Beat’. Vast numbers of copycat bands have sprung up over the years, from locations as diverse as South America and Sweden. Especially Sweden.

So, going back north to the current home of the D-Beat flame, and to be honest I know not why the style has become so popular up in the Scandinavian countries, we must alight on a really storming new release from one of the prime movers on the D-Beat scene, Wolfbrigade. They have just released their new album, ‘Damned’, on Southern Lord records. And what a slab of rust-coloured vinyl it is, too. They seem to have spent the long, cold dark nights refining their trademark sound until it reached its logical conclusion, a heavy, down tuned and stripped to the bone blast which in a sense has out-Discharged Discharge. This is furious, pummelling, unrelenting hardcore punk of the kind that you cannot fight or refuse; this is another must purchase. In a similar vein to the brevity used to great effect by California’s OFF! these guys have produced an album that runs to 35 minutes in length, and in that short time they say all that needs to be said.

A full album review will follow soon, in the meantime here’s a taster.

See them live:

12/5 STOCKHOLM @ Kafé 44 (swe)

17/5 POTSDAM @ BlackFleck (de)

18/5 GIESSEN @ Jokus (de)

19/5 VERDEN @ Juz Dampfmühle (de)

12/7 OBSCENE EXTREME (cz)

13/7 LEIPZIG @ tba (de)

14/7 DIY FEST (pl)

14-15/9 ENEMY OF THE SUN FEST Praha (cz) (2 gigs, one all Wolfpack songs, one all Wolfbrigade)

12/10 HAMBURG @ hafenklang (de)

13/10 BLOODSHED FEST (nl)

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