Punk as it should be


Review by Stuart Munckton

Available at gigs for $5 or contact <oibombscare@hotmail.com>

Punk rock has come a long way. The pop-punk, like that of Blink 182, which dominates the airwaves these days has little in common with the anti-establishment message of the angry working-class youth who burst the music scene open in the 1970s.

But not everyone is content to stand and watch as punk becomes tame, safe and apolitical. Recently formed Adelaide band, Bombscare is out to reclaim punk's radical heritage.

Nic, the band's guitarist, lyricist and an activist in the socialist youth organisation Resistance, explained: "Our music is a reply to where we think punk music is going these days and to try and get it back to what it was originally about.

"The band's aim is to do more than just play music. It's aim is to be a revolutionary tool. With it's music, the band is fighting. We want the band to be associated with militant struggle for socialism."

The band have released their first CD, a four-track EP entitled Schwerpunkt — German for "main line of attack"). The songs are fast, loud and played with an almost savage ferocity. The recording is rough and very raw. The energy and anger that drives the band's music hits you in the face.

Bombscare put their anti-capitalist politics up front. The CD cover is a photo from the Seattle protests, featuring a lone protester, head bowed in a cloud of tear gas, giving the peace sign to a line of riot cops.

The words to "Firebomb" were written on the bus coming home from an East Timor rally. It is sung from the perspective of Timorese freedom fighter who is prepared to die for liberation.

"Raise the flag" is a call to join the struggle against injustice and to "raise the red flag high!". In "Barbarians with guns", Bombscare insist that "No one is right in Bosnia", including the United Nations which is "playing lives off like it's all a game".

One criticism that could be made is the slight repetitive feel to the songs. This is partly due to the vocal style, a throat-wrenching monotonal yell. This style works to give added depth to the frustration and aggression of the songs but the lack of variation wears its effectiveness out after four songs.

On the whole, it is an impressive first recording. At a time when so much popular music is filled with self-indulgent angst, Bombscare issue a call to stand up and fight. They are raw, angry and political to the core. Punk as it should be!