(A): Welke Gelijkheid? (“what equality”) / The Dullness Of Mankind / All Raise For The Next Case
(B): Poppycock / Mushrooms / Summary
Counter-Attack was an anarcho-punk band, orginally from Alken, Limburg (but gradually ‘embedded’ in the anarchist/squat scene in Ghent). They played anarcho-peace-punk influenced by ‘Crass’, ‘Flux Of Pink Indians’ & ‘Dirt’. Originally they had a female singer but the line-up became ‘Groovy’ Jochen (vocals), Stef ‘Irritant’ Heeren (guitar/vocals; later ‘Katastrophobia’ drummer), Wim ‘Simsallabim’ De Neve (bass), Jeroen (drums; later Yvan Meers of ‘Visons Of War’). Autum of 1998 they recorded for their Laments And Skulls LP on Prejudice prods. The recordings for Masters And Jesters (LP out on Nabate) were done at Michaël ‘Link’ Maes’ studio in December 1999. Some years before that (1996) Stef sent me a letter and their demo (Demonstrate Or Demolition) asking to help/support them with gigs.
My review in Tilt! #9: >>Politico-punk with a distinct 80s feel (the ‘Crass’-era). Sounds rather ‘snotty’ (and I don’t mean that pejorative): simple riffs, high-pitched female vocals cut with male anarcho-rants and very little distortion on the guitar. But don’t get me wrong: this sounds very sincere and enraged. Lyrics about class-struggle, gender-roles, the juridical system, nationalism and nuclear arms. This seems a band dedicated to DIY and aiming for (a) revolutionary change.<<
This demo was the first feat of the very first line-up of ‘Counter-Attack’. Heavily influenced by ‘Crass’, sometimes a bit too much but quite fresh, in a time when everyone was into crust. I think that’s why we sounded interesting. At the time I was doing an internship for the non-profit association Voor Moeder Aarde [For Mother Earth; environmental organisation], hence the approach with anti-nuclear artwork. The demo helped us cross the borders of Limburg: amps and guitars on the train and of to another Leed festival at the Vort‘n Vis [autonomous hardcore-punk venue in Ieper]; fabulous times! It was my personal Pandora’s box and the impetus of what was to follow for ‘Counter-Attack’.
(A) Suspicious Thoughts / Hungry Is Love / Dementia Appeases Anxiety / Drinking Up My Mind / Quéssé? [qu’est ce que c’est?’ = what’s that?] / Brains For Breakfast / L’Esprit Rongeur & L’Être Rongé [the gnawing spirit & the gnawed being] / Il Était Une Foire Dans L’Ouest [there was a fair in the west]
(B) Sale-Ça [dirty-that] / Transparence Apparente [apparent transparency] / Masques À Rats [rat masks] / Momentary Joy / Dernier Passage [last passage] / Cortège Grotesque [grotesque procession]
My review of this in Tilt! #8: >>Pretty sturdy but versatile uptempo anarcho-punk that wouldn’t have been out of place on the Punk & Disorderly compilations of the ‘old’ times. The biting female vocals certainly help reminiscing these. (Do you remember ‘Vice Squad’?)<<
The tape was sent to me by the band’s drummer ‘Trache’ Sébastien Pesot (Montréal). The singer was Anne-Sophie D’Ascanio, Sébastien Boisvert played bass and Jean-François Clerçon guitar. Their music was described as “disjointed punk with female vox”.
The www informs us ‘General Fools‘ came from the highly active Sherbrooke [Québec] punk-scene: “All ages D.I.Y. venues like the Zone Indélibile and the Katacombes hosted many local bands, including ‘Shitfit’ [with UK ‘Headache’s Max], ‘General Fools’, ‘Pass Out’, ‘Urban Assault’, ‘Scapegoats’, ‘Chapak’, ‘Monik Maniak’, ‘Apathetic Nation’, ‘Blind Remainz’ and ‘Seized’. Many of these bands were formed from a small core of musicians, who played in multiple bands.”. Watch ‘Gneral Fools’ play live: 93-05-16.
The lyrics were mostly kind of poetic more than politic. We were not much defending or claiming anything, just thinking outside the box. But the thing that was nice is that Montréal was split in 2 very different scenes: French and English punk. And since I wrote and sang in both languages, we were doing shows and having friends in both scenes, also doing gigs in Québec and Ontario.
(A) Coming Of Christ / Either Way / Pedistal Of Lame / What You Don’t Give Me I’ll Have To Steal / Gray Train
(B) Blind / Squat Theme / Innercity Violence / Register / I’m a Rodeo Cowboy With Jesus As My Judge / instrumental
Another tape from the collection of Steven ‘Stel’ R.
The first demo of this hardcore band from Richland, Washington. They consisted of Nate Mendel (bass) – who later played for bands such as ‘Brotherhood’, ‘Christ On A Crutch’, ‘Sunny Day Real Estate’, etc. and nowadays in ‘Foo Fighters’ – plus Mike Fischer (vocals; R.I.P.), Jason Cobb (guitar; R.I.P.) & Eric Akre (drums; ‘Christ On A Crutch’). After the death of Cobb in 1988, everyone moved to Seattle, Mike played in a number of bands, including ‘Aspirin Feast’. Some of the songs were also on the band’s second demo (No Question, ’87). MRR labeled them as “metallic punk/thrash”; others compared with ‘The Crucifucks’, the Canadian ‘Subhumans’ or ‘The Freeze’.
There’s a live-show (88-07-25) of ‘Diddly Squat’ on the www…
Back in the days, my knowledge on American English slang wasn’t what it is today. I did an interview (via mail) with ‘Diddly Squat’ and asked them what their name meant. The answer was that it meant ‘nothing’. So, for a very long I though that ‘Diddly Squat’ was a name they just made up. Whereas now, I know that it actually, literally, means ‘nothing’.
Steven ‘Stel’ R.
(A): Twisted Tracks / Fast Forward / Stop At Nothing / White Collar Witch / Skate Hero / Fear For Tomorrow
(B): instrumental / Bite Down Hard / Direct Hit / Needle On Red / 10.000 Lights
A band from Stoke-on-Trent that played melodic hardcore. On this tape (from Steven ‘Stel’ R.’s collection) the line-up was: Shaun ‘Crabby’ Higgs (vocals), Darren Harris (guitar/vocals), Rob(ert) Jones (bass; later switched to guitar/vocals and was replaced by Dave Ellis) & Richard Stanier (drums). The recordings date from early 1988. Some tracks also appeared on the Bite Down Hard 7″ that Pushead released on his label the same year, others on the Days Of Wild Skies LP (Meantime recs 1990).
Impact Time was recorded in two sessions in January and March 1988. These were the first ‘proper’ recordings by the band following 18 months of hard gigging around our home-area of Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire. Shaun ‘Crabby’ Higgs was singing on the March session. We had 200 copies of this tape professionally reproduced with red labels and about 50 copies were circulated to record labels, fanzines and promoters, with the rest being sold at shows. The tape brought the band some recognition in the International scene, with a good review in Maximum Rock’n’Roll, and interest from a few record-labels, including Pusmort.
‘Exit Condition’ was never a “political band”. We were all fans of the first generation of punk bands, and when those bands became stale and boring we latched onto the energy of the hardcore scene. We we loved the raw power of ‘Discharge’ but many of the other UK 82 style bands left us a bit under-whelmed, and it was the North American bands that really influenced us to play the way we did. We saw ‘Hüsker Dü’ in 1985, and that very down-to-earth approach with the great tunes and their uncompromising approach was really appealing to us. Britain’s ‘Stupids’ were also very important. For me, being in a band with your friends was the best thing. That idea of creating something of your own and battling against the rest of the world…
L => R: Rob Jones, Darren Harris, Shaun Higgs & Richard Stanier
Start … / Rape Your Mother / There’s A Man / Admit You’re Shit / Schneller, Lauter, … [Faster, Louder, …] / Weißt Du Es? [Do You know?] / Words Are Useless / Just A Jerk / Revolution ? / … In Den Tod [To Death] (Ennio Morricone)
‘Challenger Crew’ was a HardCore band from Homburg (Saarland, Germany) with ‘Moses’ Michael Arndt (vocals), ‘Noodle’ Daniel Weinbrod (drums), ‘Stoffel’ Stephan Junkes (guitar) & Thomas Hoheisel (bass). The latter 2 joined ‘Spermbirds’ Lee Hollis in ‘2Bad’. Someone wrote ‘C.C.’ “played a crossover style of thrashing hardcore with influences of ‘Attitude Adjustment’ mixed with ‘Tu Du Hospital’ & ‘Sons Of Sadism’…”.
This tape was recorded in 1986 and a year later Peter Hoeren (later Crucial Response recs) relased 5 tracks of this demo on vinyl (7″) on his label Anti-Schelski recs. The split-LP with ‘Everything Falls Apart’ also got out in 1987 (that was on Armin Hofmann’s X-Mist recs and Reiner Mettner’s Double A recs).
The band was invinted to perform on a Smurfpix gig (87-03-15) but unfortunately they didn’t show up.
The tape can be listened to Andreas Michalke’s website but ‘Moses’ agreed that it could use some more attention, so here you go…
After he had done a few issues of his own zine Vox Vulgi, ‘Moses’ collaborated with Dolf Hermannstädter & Armin Hofmann for Trust magazine. From June ’88 on he did a whole series of ZAP hardcore fanzine. Later he also wrote a couple of books (Chaostage – of which a movie was made – & New York City Hardcore).
‘Challenger Crew’ (Esslingen, Ger, 1986); courtesy of Stephan Junkes