Friday, 26 September 2014


Under Tony Abbott's far-right government Islamophobia in Australia seems to be ramping up to unprecedented levels of hysteria, thanks to its racist policies and an ongoing campaign of fear-mongering propaganda. On September 18 a massive "anti-terror" raid, involving no less than 800 heavily armed cops, was mounted across two states. The entire operation resulted in a single man being charged. It mirrors recent events in the US that highlight a disturbing heavy-handedness and over-militarisation of our police forces.

To clarify my position, I'm an atheist but I respect the right to peaceful religious belief and practice. However, as with most reasonable people, I hold all forms of religious zealotry in an equal measure of disdain. But with the kind of xenophobia that Australia is becoming known for, criticism is never restricted to being directed at religious fanaticism alone. It always seems to bleed over into rabid hatred based on little more than cultural and racial differences.

So in the spirit of saying FUCK YOU to white Australian bigotry, and showing some solidarity with our closest neighbours, here's another banging demo from Indonesia, this time from Yogyakarta's Warmouth.

Two tracks of gnarly, neck-snapping, grinding hardcore. Rad vocals with a heavy as fuck and totally damaging guitar tone. Get pissed. Bandcamp link below.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014


Jeremy Saulnier's debut feature Murder Party made an impression on me when I saw it a few years ago. I've still only seen it once, but I remember it as an oddball little indie horror flick with a sharp script, interesting characters and a mischievous anarchic streak. It's exactly the kind of rough around the edges, no-budget first effort that makes you sit up and take notice of a new director as being one to watch. 

Cut to seven years later and Saulnier's sophomore feature Blue Ruin. The leap in maturity and quality between the two movies is staggering. It's not just a case of an increase in production values due to a bigger budget, it's obvious that Saulnier has grown as a filmmaker in leaps and bounds. Honestly it feels like there should be a whole filmography dividing these two films (and in a way there is, as he served as DOP on no less than seven features in the interim).

Blue Ruin is my latest foray into a sub-genre that I love, albeit one that I don't really have a name for. Southern thrillers? It's a sub-genre that I can trace back to the Coen's Blood Simple, although I'm sure that movie has its antecedents that I'm not aware of. This year has been a notable one for movies in this vein with Jim Mickle's excellent Cold in July (the first of Mickle's movies that I've really connected with) and David Gordon Green's masterpiece Joe (seriously if you haven't seen Joe, drop what you're doing, and go watch it NOW). Both of those films deserve their own write-ups and I hope to get to that at some point.

The way that Blue Ruin's story unfolds in the first act relies heavily on visual storytelling to introduce you to its central character, Dwight. When we first meet him he's a homeless loner living out of his car, and it takes a while to understand how and why he arrived at this low point. One thing is obvious - his life has stalled, and he seems to be living in a kind of self imposed limbo. Then, out of the blue, something happens that wakes him out of this stupor and gives him purpose again. Something that propels him forward with such powerful determination that he seems unable to stop his forward momentum, even as things begin to spin out of control.

Honestly, that's as far as I want to go with a synopsis, because one of this film's pleasures is in the way that the story is gradually revealed. It's no spoiler to say that Blue Ruin is a revenge flick, as that's touted pretty heavily in the film's marketing, but one of the things that makes it stand out in the genre is that Dwight is no archetypal revenge protagonist/antihero. There's no macho posturing, no ninja-level weapons and martial arts skills, no quipping swagger to this character. This man is damaged, unconfident, introverted and constantly terrified. As such, you can't help but fall in love with and root for the character, especially given the terrible adversity he faces in the course of the story.

Right across the board there's so much to love in Blue Ruin. The actors are all excellent, feeding off of Saulnier's killer script, the standout being Macon Blair whose understated performance as Dwight brings so much to a character who is a man of few words. The film is beautifully shot in rural locations throughout Virginia and just drips with backwoods atmosphere. And finally, the sometimes languid pacing is often punctuated by some really fist-pumping violence, a couple of times resulting in some perfectly executed gore that, in the service of such a genuinely emotional story, has a powerful impact. Highly recommended.

Friday, 19 September 2014

OBLIVIONATION Language of Violence lyrics

I emailed the guitarist of Oblivionation a while ago, asking for a scan of the lyric sheet to their recent album Language of Violence. He didn't have one on hand so he typed out the lyrics to all ten songs for me and then gave me permission to post them here. That, girls and boys, is how you do it.

As I've already pointed out in previous posts about this Massachusetts juggernaut, Oblivionation have some of the sharpest lyrics of any hardcore band currently going. Intelligent, well informed, penetrating and mean as fuck - these are lyrics that lack ambiguity and get straight to the matter at hand. Case in point, album opener "Language of Violence" is a scathing epitaph for a species that is currently waging no less than forty three wars and armed conflicts upon itself.  

You know that feeling that really banging hardcore gives you? When the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, your eyes widen, your pulse increases? It shouldn't just be the music that does that, it should be the words too. Oblivionation get that. Others should take note.

All lyrics by Quinn Dillon (and mucho thanks)

Language Of Violence

When logic fails
Violence prevails
The language of violence we all understand
We decry war
And still we wage more
The language of violence is our native tongue
As we evolve
One problem unsolved
The language of violence is the language of man
Violence won't end
Still we pretend
That somehow man
Is not an animal
Violence won't end
and still we pretend
That somehow man
Is capable of being anything more
Nothing can kill instinct
We react we don't think
Nothing can kill instinct
You're part of our evolution
To make peace
Killing is our solution

Bought and Sold

What does it mean to be free?
It's nothing I feel
When I look around
It's nothing I see
We want to believe
The choices we make
Can't be influenced
By a flat screen tv
The collective unconscious remains
Unaware of the fact
That the illusion of choice
Is burned in our brains
Becoming your brand
It then speaks for you
The politics of purchase we don't understand
We can't distinguish our needs
From what we want
What we want is more
We want what we see
Can't break yourself free
Because we depend upon ads
As the mother of necessity
You're not a person
You're a target
What does it mean to be free?
It's nothing I feel
And I'll never know
Because I'll never be
You think you're immune
But you do what you're told
The compulsion to buy
Starts with being sold

You're Not Pro-Union, Just Pro-You

You're not pro-union
You're just pro-you
Privileged and ignorant
Loud mouth hypocrites
Who don't like to think
Talk like you're bleeding red, white and blue
But your motives are pink
Just right wing "commies"
With no fucking clue
Working class zeros
For free market heroes
You romance the past
But Reagan threw the air traffic controllers
Flat out on their ass
You're not pro-union
You're just pro-you
You right wing "commies"
Just don't have a clue
Socialists you blame
But can't see that you're one too
Take from the greedy
And give to the needy
If the needy means you
Then piss on the poor
For demanding more
Like that's not what you do
The goose scorns the gander
While watching Fox News
What you call a contract
They call a handout
One you haven't earned
Your part of a problem
That you can't stand
But you still haven't learned
For you not enough and for others too much
The loudest voices sound most out of touch
So smarten up
And till that day comes
Fuck you

Crawl Or Be Crushed

They prefer we stay where we are
Under the boot of a system that's gone to far
Belly to ground
Face in the dirt
Our voices stifled by mouthfuls of Earth
Crawl or be crushed
Give up or get out
There's no other choice
How long do we wait for the last straw to break?
How far are we pushed?
How much do we take?
The spirit of rebellion cannot be touched
Our will to survive means crawl or be crushed
Crawl or be crushed
No more
Stand up
Rattle your cage
Or lie in a grave
Push back
Or die a slave
Your voice is a rally call
Our voice
Unites us all
Crawl or be crushed
Our time is now

Gainfully Annoyed

Just keep your head down
Blend in, don't cause any waves
If you don't learn anything
At least learn your place
Don't ask
Don't speak
Don't think
And you'll do just fine
But know it all fucks just like you
Tend to get out of line
Nod your head up and down
It's our show and you're just some clown
We're not gonna ask
You're not gonna tell
So just shut your mouth
Don't care
So don't you
Tell us
What we should try to do
We don't care
So don't share
Your thoughts
Only matter to you
You should thank god
We gave you a job
You're nothing more
Than some replaceable slob
So shut your mouth
Just shut your fucking mouth
Nod your head up and down
It's our show and you're just some clown
With a college degree
Who still hasn't learned
How to shut his big mouth

Fear Breeds Action

Ignore all your problems
It's no use to solve them
Head in the sand
I can't understand
You're just kicking the can down the road
And we both know
You leave it up to others
To reap what you sow
Shirking the truth
Dodging the phone
You're drowning in fear all alone
Stepping over a dead horse
That you refuse to own
Cause what you won't see
You won't believe
Cause if you won't see
You don't have to believe
How far do you think you can get?
Revising the past
Removing the parts you regret
Denying what you know is true
Pretend all you want but the day comes
When life will catch up to you

Salting The Earth

Choking on dust
Gasping for breath
Piles of cinder and ash
Sift through remains
And find nothing left
Give what I get
What I give is...
Get what I give
What I get is...
Live life as I'm show
Or life as I choose
An option that's hung like a noose
What I don't surrender
I still seem to lose
Get what I give
What I get is...
Give what I get
What I give is...
I don't give you shit
With nothing to lose
But something to take
I grab all I can
Steal what I can't break
Stripped and clear cut
Stumps rot in the dirt
What's left has no worth
Point of death
No chance of rebirth
The fruit off the vine
Is now what's salting the Earth

No Singalong

Not here for you
It's not your song
Not part of your scene
It's no singalong
We're just square pegs
Who grew some legs
Not part of your scene
But still love Gang Green
We know that kids
Don't care about a song
About life after punk
It's no singalong
We're just square pegs
Who grew some legs
Not playing to peers
But still listen to Poison Idea
Now we're homeowners
With yards and lawnmowers
We "bought in"
Whatever that means
Angry but older
Someone should have told us
The importance of 401ks
Divorces and children
Ass aches and taxes
Are what retired punks go through
You may be laughing
Thinking we're trapped
But the fact is
One day it might be you
Laugh it up, it's the truth
Some might escape it
Most never do
Youth won't last forever
It's sad but true
You'll get old, sad but true

Poor You

We're not playing violins
But you think you've earned them
No one has it easy
You're no different
So don't make it my problem
Life isn't fair
Doesn't mean it's any less fair to you
You nothing special
And it's no one's fault
You can't face up to the fact
You're only problem is you
Everyone faces up to it
The world doesn't spin just for us
Piss and moan about where you're at
If want to point a finger
Then just blame yourself
You like to play the part
But you're no victim

How Far Is "Gone"?

Frantic and scattered
Can't slow down
Brain starts to panic
Can't slow...
Can't concentrate
My mind starts to race
Like I'm on the hunt
But I'm being chased
Deafening noise on a static tv
What's so clear to you
Beats the shit out of me
Won't slow...
Broken connections 
The circuit won't work
A faulty design
Defective since birth
Aimlessly float
A ship with no sail
I don't fail to plan
But plans seem to fail
All the advice I've heard
As hard as I try
I still haven't learned
To escape the fire without being burned

Wednesday, 17 September 2014


Here's a tasty two track demo, submitted by some of our friends to the north in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Cloudburst play scorching metallic hardcore with a strong emphasis on the hxc end of the spectrum, just the way I like it. I've been told that the scene up there is exploding, and if these pissed off young punx are anything to go by, I'd better get up there soon to see for myself.