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DISCHARGE – ‘End of Days’ Review

dischargeBack in 1980 I boarded a clapped out mini-bus with 14 other punks to attend a gig in Derby (The Assembly Rooms I think?) headlined by Discharge and supported by Disorder amongst others. The early Discharge singles had taken the sounds of the Clash, Sex Pistols and The Damned and made punk faster, heavier, angrier and more authentic. As we arrived, we entered the hall only to witness Wattie Buchan of The Exploited playing pool with some punters. He saw my jacket and the Crass patches and wrote “Crass are shit” with a marker pen…although he pissed me off at the time…just a few months later his band joined Chron Gen, Anti-Pasti and Discharge on the seminal Apocalypse Now tour. If you saw one of those gigs as I did, you witnessed the UK82 punk movement at it’s best.

Discharge were different. They have spawned a number of imitators, a whole D-Beat movement and, despite a strange foray into heavy metal that had me and many others aghast, they regrouped and returned with a vengeance.

When I saw the recent video for Hatebomb I was taken back to those heady days of the early 1980s when I thought we were going to change the world. The new Discharge album is, mind-blowing. Opening with New World Order, a massively powerful guitar riff, supported by the great drums and bass and Cal like vocals of newest member Jeff Janiak, it’s a return that builds on the past strengths of the band and takes them to another level. I can’t wait to see this performed live at the forthcoming San Francisco gig. The D-Beat, short staccato guitar solos, screamed short lines of vocals rival anything they have ever released.

Next up is Raped and Pillaged, a song that could have been lifted from the Hear Nothing…album. Discharge sound angrier than ever and, almost thirty years in, their playing is top-notch…this ain’t no trip down memory lane, it’s a band building on everything it’s learned to craft a more powerful product than ever before and for this band, that’s saying something.

Targeting warmongers, corporate greed and governments, the title track End of Days is introduced by the public service announcement of what the nuclear warning will sound like before dispatching one of the most commanding punk tracks ever recorded…and, what a solo to compliment the lightning fast riff. Wow!

The Broken Law starts slowly but soon picks up speed…by now, it is clear that the boys are on an all out, relentless assault of your eardrums. There are clever and subtle moments but they don’t dwell on those preferring a formula that does not let you off the hook throughout. The songs are of perfect length with most tracking in between two and three minutes. After multiple listens, I cannot single out a weak track amongst the entire 15.

Hatebomb is just one of the stand out tracks. Extremely bass heavy and a shouted chorus of the word “Hatebomb” with some superb drumming driving it forward, there is so much angst and tension communicated. Injected bounces along at a pace with a singalong chorus “injected, infected, addicted for life” – punch the air and scream it out!

Looking at Pictures of Genocide (surely one of Discharge’s best song titles?) had me back in Derby banging my head and jumping around the room whilst Hung, Drawn and Quartered took it to another level…by now, I hope you’re getting the thrust here…Discharge have not disappointed and have released the punk album of the year, maybe the decade…the evolution of their sound is just that, it’s not a revolution and, in my mind, that’s exactly right. By the time the album’s closing song Accessories by Molotov Pt. 2 is finished, you may want to listen to some dub, the new Stone Roses single or some Mozart but you will want to return to raw power of Discharge and End of Days – there is nothing like it!

Stumpy – Punk Online

 

Track Listing

  1. New World Order
  2. Raped and Pillaged
  3. End of Days
  4. The Broken Law
  5. False Flag Entertainment
  6. Meet Your Maker
  7. Hatebomb
  8. It Can’t Happen Here
  9. Infected
  10. Killing Yourself to Live
  11. Looking at Pictures of Genocide
  12. Hung Drawn and Quartered
  13. Population Control
  14. The Terror Alert
  15. Accessories by Molotov, Pt. 2

 

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