No Made Sense – New Season/New Blues

No Made Sense

New Season/New Blues
Self-released

When No Made Sense released ‘The Epillanic Choragi’ to widespread critical acclaim, the world should well have been at their feet. The plaudits kept coming in, and loyal fans continued to head to their shows. But it hasn’t really taken off for the Reading three-piece in the way it should have; and I’ll admit, I never got round to checking that album out in full. The wait for this album has been much, much longer than any of their epic songs.
Those concerns aside, ‘New Season/New Blues’ is a welcome return from these progressive metallers, and as its been made available on a pay-what-you-like scale through their Bandcamp page, there’s no reason why any true rock or metal fan shouldn’t add this to their record collection. Interesting and forward-thinking enough for prog musos, yet accessible and resistant enough to avoid going off on too many tangents.
The early part of the album announces itself with ‘No Gain From Seeking’, a nine-minute opus that shapeshifts as much as it drives forward, with guitarist/vocalist Leo Dennett flexing his vocal range as the riffs flow – noticeably stacked with layers to create an almost wall of noise effect. That’s just the start of things, and the next few tracks come in at around four or five minutes each and keep the momentum moving forward. ‘Lying on My Own’ is simply excellent; the refrain of the title alone is enough to stick in your head and each member’s performance here is outstanding in every aspect. In addition to ‘Four’ and ‘You Might As Well’, here you have a first half opening on par with any of the current crop of progressive metal greats, and in many ways evokes acts such as Isis and Baroness; particularly the former in capturing a bleak, intelligent, approach.
Such is the nature of this band and their music is that they manage to more than comfortably avoid the pitfall of allowing their album to tail off. The second half of the album features a brilliant section where ‘Half of the Wall’, an interlude of sorts consisting mostly of fuzz and distortion, is allowed to gently build towards the end of song, before plunging headfirst into ‘Silence’, a display of instrumental gallantry, equal parts Pelican and Mogwai in nature as it shifts from heavy to melodic. ‘You Might As Well’ is driven by an excellent technical drum beat from Sam Ward that keeps the song purring like a smooth motor, until it peters out right at the end when left on its own to close the song.
The closing track, ‘Sleep’ is just pure perfection. It ghosts into focus and just a few minutes in, everything stops and all you hear for a time is the chatter of a restaurant or some fancy dinner – I think. Dennett then returns acoustically and the songs begins to climb back up towards the top of the apex it created for itself. It continues to drift elegantly, layering up along the way, and like all good monstrous heavies, it raises the pressure, before releasing it climactically with an almighty ten-ton riff. That beast speeds up as the song begins its descent and the album reaches the finish line.
If there’s one niggling complaint, it’s that at the album progresses, the interludes feel a little too regular – tracks 4 (‘Swings’), 6 (‘Half of the Wall’), and 8 (‘Down’) all register slightly as non-songs, and while the first two appear at just the right times and inject the right amount of variation and atmosphere into proceedings, the latter feels slightly like an inconvenience and doesn’t serve to build up into ‘You Might As Well’ effectively as that particular song does some building up of its own. But again, just a minor complaint, because otherwise, this is a remarkably great album from a damn fine band, and one to force me to atone for my earlier ignorance. Unlike ‘The Epillanic Choragi’, it’s free of concept, and was instead recorded live, giving it that raw, abrasive heavy feel. It’s refreshing in this case, free of over-polishing and over-perfection, and it allows all the instruments to stand out and create their own complexities.
Sadly, this could well be the last record by No Made Sense. The release of ‘New Season/New Blues’ was apparently severely delayed and was eventually (perhaps casually) released, by all accounts, on a Saturday, and upon releasing the album, the band announced they had gone on indefinite hiatus. To quote them: “you might not hear from us again for a while. Or maybe ever. So, thanks and stuff.” Once again, a fine British band disintegrates or disbands way before their time, and hardly any bugger will notice.
If this is to be end, cheers for making the morning commute not only bearable, but fecking enjoyable. A real pleasure.
Peter Clegg

Official blog (Leo Dennett)

Clutch now have their own beer!

Yes, you read that right. Courtesy of the New Belgium Brewing Company, Maryland’s finest purveyors of the riff, Clutch, are getting their own ale! The Clutch Dark Sour Ale (9.0% ABV) has been released this month are part of the company’s experimental ‘Lips of Faith’ series. The description is as follows:
“Pure rock fury meets Belgian-style brewed folly in this collaboration with Maryland hard-rockers, Clutch. A pronounced bass line of dark chocolate, coffee and black malts bridge the sourness of our dark wood ale for a fluid riff.”
I don’t think I can put it much better than that.
Unfortunately, anyone hoping to see this reviewed in our ‘Room for One More’ series that I launched recently may have to wait. A long time. New Belgium are based in the United States and I’ve no idea whether this bad boy will be made available in the UK. But you never know. My quest for fine ale is never-ending.
Peter Clegg

Steel Panther: Uncaged again. Classy as ever

So Steel Panther have re-emerged, with guitarist Satchel dropping the following bombshell:

Nice…
That release date is Monday October 17th, for those of us in the UK. The first single is ‘If You Really Really Love Me’, released on Monday November 7th.
They’ve also handily announced a London show at the Electric Ballroom on Tuesday November 8th, going on sale this Friday (August 26th) at 9:00am.
Get on down!
Peter Clegg

Malefice – Awaken the Tides

Malefice
Awaken the Tides
Metal Blade

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Over the years, in my own personal opinion, the mainstream approach to modern day metal has declined. That sort as displayed by the New Wave of American Heavy Metal that made its uprising in the early part of the 2000’s. Maybe it’s just my own personal tastes, or maybe it’s just that those sorts of bands just aren’t as inspiring or creative as they used to be. Certainly I could point the finger at any number of (particularly American) bands who just appear to have stagnated, whether it’s just becoming more radio-friendly or just going with the all-out beatdown crowd. Maybe it’s that stiflingness that’s pushed me to explore variety.
That said, it’s not as though this sort of approach is a lame duck. If it’s done right, then it’s got potential to succeed. And Malefice do it right again on third album ‘Awaken The Tides’. Yes, David Mitchell’s favourite band return here with new drummer Chris Allen-Whyte and the result is ten tracks of explosive thrashy heavy metal that blows the competition out of the water.
Indeed, it still retains a heavy metalcore vibe, which is perhaps just a product of the popular sound at the time, but the key difference between them and their peers is the quality that lies beneath, as well as perhaps a lack of recognition – its self a product of being late to the party, or scene abandonment, or perhaps even being British?
In any event, the album itself is an enjoyable one worthy of repeated spins, starting off with a few quick blasts from new drummer Allen-Whyte on the title track. The usual traits of the metalcore sound are retained, including the Gothenburg-esque riffing, but the delivery is there to get necks moving, particularly during a brutal beatdown on ‘Delirium’. Even during the more atmospheric songs (e.g. ‘Minutes’), they still bring the brutality in their sound.
Fair enough, it’s a tried-and-tested formula, but Malefice have created a fine effort here, and its commendable they’ve not gone all out for the weedly-weedly approach that swamps/plagues metal today, and while retaining a level of melodicism to their sound, at least they haven’t gone for the pound sterling either. Whether they’ll get any more recognition for sticking to their guns is another issue, but it’s far from stale and you could do far worse than take a listen to this, even in 2011.
Peter Clegg

Official merch store (note: ‘Awaken the Tides’ not available here)
MySpace
Facebook

Sarabante – Remnants

Sarabante

Remnants
Southern Lord

At one point, Southern Lord were using the slogan ‘Let There Be Doom’, and you couldn’t see them looking beyond pumping out Sunn 0))) and Burning Witch records for all eternity. But lately, Greg Anderson and co. have taken quite an interest in all things hardcore/punk. Indeed, with a roster that now boasts like Black Breath, Nails, Trap Them, All Pigs Must Die, etc., it seems that Southern Lord have quite the gambit on anything crusty sounding, anything that screams raw anger and bile through the speakers at a considerably faster pace than any of the label’s previous numerous funeral dirges, without sacrificing the heavy.

Reaching out across the Atlantic and into the Mediterranean, Southern Lord have now snapped up Greek hardcore crew Sarabante. The first track ‘Πνιγμένοι Στη Σιωπή (which according to Google translate means ‘Drowned In Silence’) starts off with a cracking instrumental section, nice and heavy, before the vocals come in, which are nothing too out of the ordinary, though they are nice, aggressively shouty vocals. Musically Sarabante provide a tight attack, providing some speedy aggressive melodies and even showing a bit of variation during the slower mid-section, ‘Our Day of Torment (Here & Now)’ in particular showing the band drawing on influences from further afield such as Neurosis.
The production’s not always perfect, and the backing vocals, particularly on closing track ‘Do You Feel Safe?‘ seem barely audible amongst the maelstrom, but the overall quality shines through and Sarabante provide an enjoyable d-beat romp. ‘Remnants’ is 34 politically-fuelled minutes seething with rage and anger, particularly given recent events in Greece, and there’s sure to be plenty of coals to stoke the fire further down the line. A solid debut offering overall, and under Southern Lord, there’s sure to be plenty to hear from this band in the future.
Peter Clegg


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Sarabante official blog (translated to English)
Bandcamp

Review Roundup: †††/Moloch/Obsessor

††† (Crosses)
EP
First up in this review round-up, an out-of-the-blue EP offering from  ††† (or verbally, Crosses), featuring Deftones’ Chino Moreno and Far’s Shaun Lopez teaming up for some electronic rock that’s not too far away from Chino’s previous side-project Team Sleep. The result is five tracks of mostly beat-driven music, with some occasional guitar flourishes, with Chino’s trademark vocals all over everything but the closing instrumental, ‘†’.
Although Chino’s presence doesn’t help this stand out much from his major concern, the EP’s fairly enjoyable as a whole, without bringing anything new to the fore. There’s some an occasional eeriness about one or two of the beats, particularly opener ‘†his Is a †rick’, but there’s some great moments embedded in here as well – I can imagine ‘Op†ion’ sticking around on my MP3 player for a while – although it’s not quite enough to get the pulse racing. It’s more of a grower than an instant hit, and again, it’s not diverse enough to stand out from anything Chino has done with Deftones. But give it time, you might well be pleasantly surprised. It’s available for your e-mail address, and was released somewhat unexpectedly – so free of that hype, go ahead and delve in.

Moloch
Possession
Vendetta
Nottingham’s Moloch’s tortured sludge-doom assault returns here for a full-length comprising just four songs. They play the kind of doom with that same nihilistic stench played and perfected by such modern day peers as Thou and legends of misery like Grief. The first couple find a groove amongst the distortion and screams, particularly ‘Delusions’, which is a sweet jam with a riff rich in Southern tradition. ‘Heinrich’, the album’s longest track, features a b-movie sample the likes of which various sludge bands have used in the past and Moloch aren’t above that. It’s designed to be unsettling and those lady’s screams do just that. Overall, it’s a solid debut full-length, even though at four tracks it’s not much longer than their previous EP releases. UK sludge/doom is safe hands with Moloch and others on the scene continue to unleash the filth on this scale.

Obsessor
Obsession EP
Tankcrimes
Finally in this roundup, some crusty-thrash from Obsessor, which features former Municipal Waste member Brandon Farrell. This EP comprises just two tracks and is over too fast, but it’s excellent stuff that bodes well for this band’s future. It’s very much in the vein of bands like Discharge, earlier Corrosion of Conformity, etc., and the production sounds a little low-rent but captures the rawness of this band brilliantly and even gives off a Celtic Frost vibe. Either way, it doesn’t detract from this taster of what Obsessor have to offer. If they can keep cracking out tracks like ‘Underworld’ and ‘Obsession’ on future, longer releases, I can’t see any reason why they can’t carve out a name for themselves. What’s more, Tankcrimes are offering this EP as a free download – so you’ve no excuse not to check them out.
Peter Clegg
 

Room for One More: The Nook Brewhouse Berry Blond

This is another new feature I’ve decided to bring to the blog which isn’t really anything musically at all. That said, rock and metal go hand in hand with beer and by that, I mean real ale. None of that pithy lager stuff – real beer! And I was so impressed by this particular one t’other day, it has inspired me to write about it here and give it, and its brewery, some well deserved attention. With all that said, welcome to Room for One More!
The Nook Brewhouse is a family-run, five-barrel microbrewery based on the site of an 18th century brewery beside the River Ribble, right in the heart of Holmfirth in West Yorkshire. It’s a brewhouse and not a brewery, as they mainly sell their fine ales in the attached pub, The Nook, otherwise known as The Rose & Crown. They only started up in the summer of 2009 but by jingo, they’ve made fantastic progress already and their beer is top notch.

I live a busy live, particularly with twins on the way, so I’ve not got out to the Nook Brewhouse at all. That must change at some point, but that’s for another day. Hence, my access has seemingly been restricted to their appearances at the Huddersfield Food & Drink Festival. I seem to remember their Red & Blond bottled ales for sale in 2010, but at this year’s fest (which took place this past weekend), they were selling the beer on tap as well. And it was the Berry Blond that caught my eye. I didn’t even seek to ask what it was like – I’m not the sort who seeks to muse over the details when all I’m after is a drink – but what was to come upon ordering that pint was incredible.
The Berry Blond is a raspberry-tinged blond ale, with an ABV of 4.5%. What hit me the moment the drink hit my tongue was simply fantastic. I was already in jovial mood – the festival itself has a fantastic atmosphere that you can’t help but lap up – and that drink sent me overboard. The flavours were so perfectly balanced, that those raspberry overtones didn’t overtake the whole drink. It still tasted like a real ale, and one with bags of flavour. And I was soon recommended it to my brother and raving about it with glee. It didn’t last long enough – I’m not sure if that’s simply cos it went down easy or what, but I certainly wasn’t necking it. Whatever. I think a case or two of this stuff is in order.
I’ve also tried the aforementioned Red and Blond varieties, the Red being more of a chestnutty ale with a fruity aroma and some malty overtones – a tasty one too, as far as I remember – while the Blond is just fantastic, more of a wheat beer and an award winner at that. I’d explain further but I’m not too cracking at describing ale in such terms yet – I’d rather just say it’s a bloody good drink and worthy of your gullet, and indeed your wallet.
The Nook Brewhouse’s official site has these varieties and more for sale in their online store. Do local brewers a favour, check these guys out and spread the word.
Peter Clegg
NB: The next time I try out such a pint, I’ll try and make sure I get a picture of said drink, instead of raving about how great it is!

YOB – Atma

YOB
Atma
Profound Lore

Heavy is a word banded around a hell of a lot when it comes to describing heavy metal, and within its subtext, particularly anything falling under the banner of doom. With everything about the genre arguably influenced by trailblazers in heavy such as Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath, its easy to fall into superlatives about such bands being ‘crushing’, ‘massive’, ‘destroying’ etc. as though it’s a given, and will have the most frenzied fan or critic reaching for the thesaurus. The truth is, most bands aren’t deserving of the tag when compared with Eugene, Oregon’s YOB.

That said, YOB are more than just any old doom band, and while they’re no strangers to the dirge, their music are packed with a range of influences and spellbinding magic, designed for that elevatory aspect of their sonic brew. Having used Sanford Parker to produce previous album ‘The Great Cessation’, vocalist/guitarist Mike Scheidt opted to produce ‘Atma’ himself and the result is something sounding dirtier in tone, and it compliments YOB’s sound fantastically.


Any seasoned Yob fan will no doubt be prepared for the huge song lengths, but newcomers shouldn’t be worried about endurance here – at 55 minutes long, its perfectly digestible and the quality of this album is such that it doesn’t truly feel like a marathon, even during ‘Before We Dreamed of Two’s colossal moment, which we’ll get to later.  ‘Atma’ has only five tracks, but when you consider the shortest track clocks in at eight minutes, fifty nine seconds, that you’re in for a lengthy journey. At the same time, it never drags, despite YOB’s ability to drag out a build-up like a volcano on the verge of erupting.
This is evident from the get-go, as it takes over two and a half minutes for ‘Prepare the Ground’ to finally lower the boom. And when it does, damn, does it lower the boom. Turn up the volume and bang your head in appreciation for the riff here, ‘cos its quality. The title-track follows next, bells tolling not unlike those from Metallica’s ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’. Any such similarities end as soon as the bell rings out a final time into a triple-chug groove that lumbers and bellows compared to the melodicism of the opening track, leading into a slightly off-kilter section behind which a sampled speech explaining what atma is – that is, basically, the self in the truest form, if you’re intrigued.
Eventually, we reach the 16-minute ‘Before We Dreamed of Two’, gargantuan in size and diverse in its style. The first few minutes provide some Eastern-tinged wizardry from Scheidt on guitar over a tasty Aaron Reiseberg bass line, while Scott Kelly of Neurosis turns up to provide guest vocals. This is pretty much dreamland right here, pummelling riffage at first, building to a heavier-than-thou slowdown before Kelly’s vocals slow wash in over the quiet hum that follows. A few minutes of this, and it heavies back up, as Reiseberg and drummer Travis Foster re-enter the fray. The outro is literally to die for, as Scheidt provides the layers for Kelly to finally close the track. The refrain ‘distant silver shore/bring my body’ is the cherry on the cake here. It’s delicious and moist and you’ll be coming back for more.
With little time for respite, ‘Upon Sight of the Other Shore’ brings the album back out to more structured fare, i.e. a chugging, hammering riff that pounds away at the senses in much the same way ‘Prepare The Ground’ did. It’s another great track although the effect of the preceding song is such that in some ways this track is a disappointment – not that it’s not any good, ‘cos it actually excels in what is very well – but it can’t possible match up in scale. It’s sandwiched right between ‘Before We Dream of Two’ and the album’s closer, another fifteen minute plus epic, ‘Adrift in the Ocean’.
‘Upon Sight of the Other Shore’ does set up for the closer well, as it finishes with a crescendo of Scheidt growls and crashing cymbals. It fades out gradually before ‘Adrift In The Ocean’ starts,  literally crawling into its eventual stride with some psychedelic guitar at first, eventually leading to another crushing instrumental section. It continues to build and build in weight – Scott Kelly makes a second, more subtle appearance over some tom beats from Foster – and finally, around the seven minute mark, Scheidt’s vocals come in. YOB stretch out into another riff and scintillating lead, before plunging deep into the album’s final doom riff.. It’s a lengthy approach but one that pays dividends yet again and you might even find yourself air riffing to that closing riff. Hell, it deserves a metal claw at the very least. The very, very least.
YOB’s discography screams quality throughout but this could very well be the best album of their career. The interplay between Scheidt on guitar, bassist Reiseberg and drummer Foster is pitch perfect – they know exactly how to draw out a riff, insert the pressure, increasing its mass, before bringing down the hammer. It’s a time-tested process and time and again, they seem to do it better than anyone else. Put simply, ‘Atma’ is, for the most part, awesome, and for the remainder, simply breathtaking.
Please note the sheer length of this review goes for the fact I had a lot of positive things to say about this particular album. Critics far and wide are set to hail this as their album of the year and while I won’t ever offer such guarantees, due to the large palette of bands and styles I take in, YOB have created one of the best, the heaviest and the most damn interesting albums of the year in ‘Atma’, and I implore to you that it makes for essential listening. Prepare the ground.
Peter Clegg
‘Atma’ has been pushed back a week in the UK, to Monday August 22nd. You can pre-order it here.
In the meantime, you can stream it here

Cannabis Corpse – Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise

Cannabis Corpse

Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise
Tankcrimes


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Despite what you may think about the gimmicky approach, this band is all business. They don’t play parodies of death metal classics, instead focusing on delivering their own songs with an old-school bent to them. None of the technical approach that’s flooding the scene a la Obscura, Necrophagist et al (not to knock that); just riffs that shred and beats that blast so hard your long hair better be windmilling, or you ain’t worthy.
Following on from 2010’s ‘The Weeding’, ‘Beneath….’ is eleven death-metal slammers (and an intro) all in name of the leaf. Whereas previous releases ‘Tube of the Resonated’ and ‘The Weeding’ lifted and twisted song titled directly from Cannibal Corpse, the new album chooses instead to play on Deicide and Morbid Angel titles. The intro, ‘Visions From The Dankside’, sets up perfectly for ‘Lunatic of Pot’s Creation’, and before long, you might well find yourself yelling in unison with the band, particularly during ‘Dead By Bong’, ‘Slave To The Chron’ and the slow groove of the title track’s chorus, pumping your fists in the air and rocking out with reckless abandon. Riffs are tight and killer, the bass is audible and providing perfect groove, and the drums provide suitable momentum at all times.
For all their parodying and silliness, Cannabis Corpse are doing far more than simply paying tribute to old-school death metal, they’ve dragged it into the modern day and are delivering it with aplomb. And it’s incredible to think they were just bassist Phil ‘Landphil’ Hall’s side-project to Municipal Waste a couple of years ago. I think it’s safe to say they sit comfortably alongside Landphil’s main band with their own identity. Put simply, the quality of this album puts this year’s death metal disappointments firmly in the shade, and by golly is it good to see younger bands coming up, taking the mantle and slamming into into several tiny pieces on the pit floor. Get this album and worship the leaf that inspired it.
Peter Clegg
Or, direct from here, if you prefer

2011 England Riots: A musical analysis

What a tumultuous few days it has been for England. Following the death of Mark Duggan from a police-related shooting, what started as a peaceful protest from Duggan’s family and friends in Tottenham seeking answers and justice for him spiralled into wave after wave of riots. Shops were smashed, looted and torched. Proud historic businesses built up over many years were burnt down with minutes. Copycat riots spread out across cities across the country, with nothing to protest against; instead, scores of hoodlums sought to partake in the supposed thrill of this wanton destruction, destroying city centre shops in their own uprising, with no goal but to cause trouble. More despicable acts have been committed. People’s homes, livelihoods, and more, destroyed. People putting themselves in the way have been attacked and sometimes killed for no reason other than doing the decent thing. Shameful. Absolutely shameful.
As quickly as social networking whipped up the riots, so the vast numbers opposing them whipped up a clean-up operation instead. Londoners, Brummies, Mancunians, Bristolians and more became sick and tired of these hoodlums running through their towns, smashing windows, burning down buildings and looting goods. The riot clean-up operation got under way thanks to Twitter, and there was the additional ‘Anti Riot – Operation Cup of Tea’ going about on Facebook too.  Eventually, the government realised that increased police presence leads to reduced crime on the streets. It didn’t take a genius to work that one out, did it?! Although in typically British fashion, it helps that it’s rained a good deal recently.
Thankfully this crackdown has seen the riots quelled, with many arrests made, and many wayward youths and formerly respectable pillars of society shamed in the courts. That said, the enquiry and the recovery will go on for much longer, you feel. The gap between the have and the have-nots in the UK is wider than ever before and still widening and is in dire need of address.
My aim of this blog wasn’t to take a political stance, or to tie anything into current affairs. It was purely musical. And it still is.


Where I live, it’s a bit sleepy. There was no chance of any riots going off as there’s nothing to nick, although there was a failed attempt at looting a supermarket a little further away. But those few days really got debate going, really got people on the outside talking, and I for one certainly couldn’t take my eyes and ears off the newsreel. And assisted by my MP3 player, I felt inspired to choose a small selection of songs that I feel befit the mood over those few nights. As I listened to them, I felt like they made a connection in terms of summing up these riots and by providing an alternative musical backdrop to those last few days. Not the usual political punk fare and not anything ‘street’. So here goes. Just the three songs. I would have stretched to five, but on further consideration, I’m not sure my other choices fit.

Bolt Thrower – Entrenched
[from Those Once Loyal, Metal Blade, 2005]
The streets of London on Monday night were a battlefield. Tensions were at a real high, and the police were struggling to contain a situation that was wildly out of hand. Bolt Thrower largely dealt with themes of war, and ‘Entrenched’ is no different. But musically it would have been more than befitting of the situation. The intro is the first flaming missiles thrown. As the riots gathered pace and the police struggled through a lack of armoury and indeed numbers to quell the situation, the galloping riff and searing lead in this song evokes the images of a warzone such as what was seen on televisions and monitors around the world, as numerous boroughs of London were brought to their knees by a vast act of criminality, a protest gone wrong.

Napalm Death – Riot of Violence[from Leaders Not Followers: Part 2, Century Media, 2004]
‘Riot of Violence’ was of course originally recorded by German thrash overlords Kreator, but Napalm Death’s version sounds gritter, angrier and spits with intensity. The riots spread to Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol and in smaller pockets in other cities and towns and you could cite the song’s turns of pace from verse to pre-chorus riff to the speedier flashpoint that is the ‘riot of violence!’ chorus as accompaniments to the spreading of the violence.
It’s worth noting the song features a lot of lyrics about killing. These riots of course weren’t all about that, but as previously stated a number of people were tragically and needlessly killed simply for standing up for decency. Tuesday 9th August, 2011, was a truly despicable day and just the song title alone says it all about these riots. It wasn’t a protest about getting justice for a fallen family member, or an explanation from police. It had nothing to do with it at all. That was a fallacy, an excuse to go out and cause destruction on the streets. Families and businesses are today counting the cost.
Sick of it All – Hello Pricks
[from Yours Truly, Fat Wreck Chords, 2000]
‘Hello Pricks’ is an anthem about not being a dickhead in the moshpit. Its lyrics could easily apply to the hordes of scum who hijacked a protest and turned it into the worst riots seen since in England since 1981. ‘Don’t be a prick in the roses (true of Manchester, the Red Rose county). The black sheep can well refer to the numerous who feels alienated, ignored, unheard by the government, and the rioters are in that boat as well – just the majority of us don’t go round destroying people’s property or, on occasion, their lives. And the line ‘Stand up for things that’ll keep this action going strong’ should resonate as well, not least in standing up for the decent things about protesting. The community spirit really hasn’t been there for sometime. Who knows, Cameron might get his wish for a Big Society after all, as some in the media have been predicting. I reckon a few people would to well take lessons from this tale of the moshpit.
Make no mistake, I’m not attempting to make these riots entertainment value whatsoever, as I’m sure some opportune filmmaker looking to make a quick buck surely will. There’s many, many lessons to be learnt from the last few days. I’m not the person to make the suggestions as how to improve this country. But a lot of people need to take a good, long, hard look at themselves. Particularly the looters, the criminals, the violent. All of you are a disgrace to Blighty.
Peter Clegg
Bolt Thrower – Entrenched
 
Napalm Death – Riot of Violence
 
Sick of it All – Hello Pricks