Discharge - Disensitise/war Is Hell
Checking out 32 hardcore songs in one sitting is a bit much even for the most pissed among us, but Discharge offer us that option. Candlelight's reissue of two classic releases by the British legends sound as fresh and nuts as they did back in the 80s. a lot of punk bands have dabbled in metal since, so much so that no one bats an eye anymore, but back when the band first came out, it was controversial---but successful. At the time, only Motorhead could get away with it. Like Crass and Chelsea and other bands formed in the Spirit of '77, Discharge expected to help save the world by destroying it.
Their move to more of less straight metal by the 90s alienated most fans, but new ones were right there to take their places in the pit. "Disensitise" is the fruit of their 2008 reunion, during which time they also assembled the "War is Hell" comp. Both records together offer a relentless glimpse into a time when the anger was real, the politics naïve but at least sincere, and of a band that evolved a style that was just slightly ahead of its time.
As you might expect, "Desensitise" features brutal, crusty punk metal that is surprisingly mighty and the equal of anything released at the time. "What Method What Madness" and "Ignorance is Your Surrender" are as socially-conscious and raw to the bone punk as anything they released back in the day. And of course 2011 needs a song titled "They Lie You Die," and Discharge deliver that one with special venom.
As solid and welcome a return to form as "Disensitise" was, for fans the "War is Hell" set is the really jewel. Sixteen classic British anarchist punk, delivered with no holds barred fury and a punishing rhythm section that still stuns today. The classics are here, and still relevant: "Hype Overload," "You Take Part in Creating The System," and the brilliant "State Violence, State Control." Four live cuts are also included, of which "Doomsday" and "The Nightmare Continues" are the most welcome.
Discharge were dangerous, defiant and necessary in their time. Like a British MDC, they rocked with purpose and with little regard for toning it down to avoid attention from the authorities. Both "Disensitise" and "War is Hell" are powerful punk statements that put to shame most of what passes for punk today. These are history lessons but, since we don't seem to learn from history much anymore, these are also cuts from today's news.
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