MRR COLUMN REVIEW

On Pre-Olympic nightmares and Overdosing in Republican World

Something is happening in this city, and I don’t mean the fucking Olympics. “The Games” begin in two weeks time, and it hasn’t stopped raining for another two.  This weather is on some serious Sodom and Gommorah shit, its freezing and torrential, our house stinks of wet shoe as a result, everyone is plodding through work and waiting for ‘summer’ to finish so things can resume normal service. The faces of the men driving cars for a living through the streets I now go to work in, near the Houses of Parliament, seem extra furrowed, at once laden with the heavy expectations of  ‘the eyes of the world’ that are apparently upon us (as if they were diverted every other time) and fuming silently at all those imposed diversions, of literal road closures and metaphorical bait and switch techniques for a government gorging on the poor, most of whom are their passengers. distractions and events that noone could get tickets for, let alone afford.

Any opportunity to break the mega-event consensus has been leglislated away, so mammoth is the task at hand that pesky naysayers have to be shut down, and civil disobedience has been temporarily outlawed through a combination of temporary dispersal powers for the police over any unplanned protest and that other convenient sledgehammer, copyright law,  which effectively bans people from using (I’m not fucking about here) combinations of certain words such as any two of the following ‘Olympics’ ‘Games’ ‘Silver’ ‘Gold’ ‘Bronze’ ‘2012’ (yeah, the name of this actual year got copyrighted) in any content for public consumption.

Meanwhile, though, the punks are all falling in love. Not me, I’m all set with that banana creep in the header, I just mean a lot of ‘em. Pretty sure its so we have someone to apocalypso with when the pressure cooker that this city has become finally bursts like a blister squeezed from all sides, someone to lock eyes with as our lungs fill up with a tsunami of pus.

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I got some cool stuff in the mail. Let me tell you about it. I got this zine from Mike, a man I have never met or seen who runs Inflammable Material distro. Excellent. Lots of great bits and pieces to check out including a ‘zine called ‘Overdosing in Republican World’ apparently by someone called Kevin who also makes music as Pink Reason? Disclaimer: I spend the vast majority of my musical time these days repeating single songs by bands I know nothing about from twenty years before I was born, so suffice to say I have only just ascertained what Pink Reason is, let alone that its actually something different to Ariel Pink. Sorry. Regardless of all this deeply uninvolved not-knowing, I am now pretty intrigued. I liked this fanzine a lot because it covered a bunch of subjects I am interested in that you don’t get to read about in publications that look like this very often, while still teaching me about some stuff I had never heard of (esp in the case of a reprint of an interview with Hungarian art agitators Inconnu, from an ’88 issue of this very mag, no less.) It’s always obvious when someone has chosen subject matter that they care about for interviews and write-ups, rather than cherry picking whatever boring permanently interviewed band for another snoozeville. There are interviews with Rosenkopf, write ups on 10-96 and Bobby Sox! Lots of a-ha moments, lots of wry smile-inducing commentary and sideways takes on many good records and many weird situations. Even this guys whole drugs-man vibe that I’d normally baulk at doesn’t dampen the deeply charismatic vibes that end up sort of making you want to go do acid anyway. In short, a punk fanzine made by someone who doesn’t stop there. Hope there are more of these.

We’ve been jamming the Won’t Belong demo tape mercilessly. Feel like I’ve been crying out for something like this for a good amount of time. In brief, it’s a piss-and-you’ll-miss-it (I always come back from the bathroom to find my tape has stopped) chunk of yet more bullseye-hitting hardcore from the Western Mass cartel of apparently infallible humans. Members of literally everything, this is super no frills all rage, with the added differentiator of Meghan Minior (lady punk heroine in her own times) reigning down vocal justice on the bad ones with absolute aplomb. Sounds like it could be a project band from the lineup and what not, hope they do more!

Speaking of lady punk heroines and earth-shattering howls of the netherworld, Permanent Ruin put out a flexi. Yeah! Who doesn’t love a flexi. This is gutwrenching stuff as you might expect from the combined forces of previous In Disgust personnel meeting head-on with Condenada and MRR (Coordenada?!) force of nature Mariam, although sound wise this has a personality all of its own and a mean, ill-tempered one as you’d hope. A top quality release and bendy as you like!

I’ve said a lot about the London-based band Woolf in this column in the past but I want to draw people’s attention to the existence of their LP on La Vida Es Un Mus, which has been out for a few months, for the purposes of ensuring that you hear it. I was discussing with someone the other day how in local circles at least and I am pretty sure it would work with the record, the band have become of a sort of taste litmus test, like you know if someone ‘gets it’ in the general punk sense (i.e. is maybe a switched on person with cool ideas) if they turn to you after a Woolf set and go ‘holy SHIT this band is unreal’ or words to that effect, and you know to smile and mentally note ‘berk’ if they have, well, any other opinion. The recording on this LP is not perfect by any means in terms of capturing the sound they have live, but it gets their sense of melody and not-quite-like-anything-else ness quite right. Do you wanna sit in the venn diagram spot where Scissor Girl, Teddy and the Frat Girls and Elastica overlap and drink Jagerbombs? I’ll meet you there.

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