Last’s weeks review wasn’t enough, I decided a re-write was in order, so Sean Forbes (Hard Skin) and I both wrote a lil’ something about the new Heavy Metal LP LP for Static Shock Musik. Even though we hadn’t spoken or read each others’ work, we both referenced the Crass comps —uncanny! And Sean’s likening of the track “Total Bullshit” to the Sleaford Mods is totally spot on—the same thing went through my mind when I first heard it! And of course it’s always interesting to see what tracks stand out to different people—but there is a common consensus on how good “Total Bullshit” is! From Static Shock’s website:
And you thought the world had run out of great band names!! No sir—welcome to the debut album by Heavy Metal. Over the space of 13 tracks the three piece from Berlin make dirty punk, childlike chaos and raw DIY gems with reckless abandon. In parts it sounds like pissed idiots with a 4 Track recorder armed with a load of ATV 7”s and in other parts like some obscure Australian DIY 7” from 1979. Standout cuts are “Snail of Rock” which is all snotty 77 punk rock, ‘Would You Adam and Eve It?’ which could have been one a classic Step Forward Records release and “Total Bullshit” which sounds like the Sleaford Mods but with the recording quality of Bullshit Detector compilations on Crass. You used to love Heavy Metal when you were young and now you can fall in love with Heavy Metal all over again.
After only six rehearsals and no previous recordings to date, Static Age is proud to introduce Berlin’s emerging powerhouse, HEAVY METAL. With this astonishing first full-length, HEAVY METAL crash through 13 tracks of noisy, antisocial, high-tension punk, eagerly mixing electric punk aggression with woozy electronic euphoria.
The songwriting, which hits that sweet spot between rudimentary racket and surreal elaboration, brings the band’s restlessness to the forefront—they could break out into dance or a fight at any minute, everything sounds possible. No sense is left on the cutting room floor; instead, the clamoring drums, buzzing bass and snappy riffs are cut with catchy synths, bountiful pedal action and an exploding cocktail of bleeps, loops, samples and solos.
This ticked off diversity shines on multiple, rewarding occasions. Single-ready “Don’t Call Me Brother,” with its kaleidoscopic synths and old-school beat, is a bona fide dance floor pleaser despite its antagonizing lyrical content, and “Staring at the Rich Kids” is an instant classic, a stomping class critique that could have easily been found on a Bullshit Detector comp circa 1979. Yet it is bonus track, “Total Bullshit,” that flawlessly showcases the creative menace found in the wake of their nihilism.
A joyride of shambolic punk, with a frustrated Welshman spitting wit and sarcasm into the microphone, “LP” could be the circumstantial soundtrack to a weeklong drug binge, going through all the motions to match, including ecstasy, hysteria, hostility and an uncontrollable, primitive urge to fight and fuck. And by recording everything themselves, HEAVY METAL’s already bizarre sound is pushed further into the delightfully deranged corners of their collective potential.
An intoxicating stream of consciousness, “LP” was recorded in their Lichtenberg practice space and mastered by the wizard of sonic chiaroscuro Daniel Husayn at North London Bomb Factory, making it sound as unhinged and sardonic as it is distinctively captivating. They’re already working on what is promised to be a much anticipated follow up, so get into it or don’t. Just don’t call ’em brother.
Standout tracks:Don’t Call Me Brother, Haywired, Here Come’s Sparky,Staring at the Rich Kids, Total Bullshit
Also, coming up in the new issue of Maximum Rocknroll is an interview that my friend Juliana and I did with Bay Area SxE HC band Tørsö, as well as Part 2 of the Yugoslavian punk special, this time with bands from Croatia, including personal faves Kaos and Paraf! Also, you can find a talk with the director of Prodiga Hija (Prodigal Daughter) Mabel Valdiviezo, who with her personal documentary tells her tale of growing up in Lima, Peru during the ’80s in the Sub-T punk scene, moving to the US and living as an undocumented immigrant and then going back again. I remember she reached out to me a few months ago for an interview and sadly I couldn’t due to travels, so I am looking forward to reading her interview in print! That and of course much, much more! 🙂