Archive for kängpunk

Review: Deny

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2020 by Magadh

Deny Dystopia Flyktsoda

I’ve been meaning to get around to reviewing totally crushing recent release by the Swedish band Deny. There are so many d-beat/crust bands kicking around Sweden these days that sometimes it can be a little difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff, but these guys are definitely in the former category. Dystopia is a seriously hard rocking piece of kängpunk that hits all the right marks.

Before getting into the particulars, I want to return to a point that I’ve adverted to a number of times over the years. Given the relatively small number of people in Sweden (slightly more people than in the Chicago metro area), it’s absolutely mindblowing that it has produced the volume of completely crushing fucking band (among with Deny must certainly be numbered). My friends and I back in Portland used to fantasize about going to Sweden because we assumed that there would be a crust punk band playing on every corner.

Deny hail from Mariestad in Västra Götaland, a ways away from the hotbeds of Swedish hardcore in Gothenburg, Malmö, or Stockholm. Their songs tend to be short, but have a real punch and catchiness and always leave you wanting more. This is a major virtue since one of the failings of a lot of d-beat bands is to write songs that outrun the quality of their ideas.

Deny write songs that are short and to the point. Their sound, at least in terms of song structure, is a little in the retro side. They remind me a lot more of a band like Black Uniforms than of more modern bands like Martyrdöd and Myteri, although they definitely have some melodic moments. If you really twisted my arm, I’d say they sound like the Spanish band Instinto, with somewhat shorter songs and brighter production. The singer screams with real intensity, but in a way such that you can actually understand what’s being said. There is a lot of political and social commitment here, so it’s nice to be able to hear (and understand) what they have to say about it.

As near as I can tell they aren’t down-tuned at all, and it’s really refreshing to hear a band embracing the kängpunk genre who doesn’t need to tune down to C to get their point across. Deny let their songwriting do the talking. There are little interludes here and there, some metallic, some melodic, but their theory is pretty clearly to punchy, ass-kicking tunes and let the music do the talking. After checking out their songs, I had occasion to dig the video that they did for the title track, which is awesome and seriously disturbing.

They have a number of earlier releases available on Bandcamp  and these are definitely worth checking out for people who love totally unapologetic Swedish d-beat. But Dystopia absolutely goes a step beyond their previous material. The playing is absolutely razor-sharp and the production is absolutely crystal clear. The songs range in speed from frantic (“Meatmachine”) to what you might call d-beat standard (“Market of Flesh”) to slower (“Never Again”), but they show mastery at each point. I can’t remember a record that I’ve heard lately where I dig every single cut, but this is definitely one.

Dystopia is as close as you’re going to come to a perfect punk record in this day and age. Deny have integrated a lot of different genre influences, from straight d-beat, to its more melodic variants, and even some metal overtones. The end result is a record that rocks hard and sounds all their own. This disc should be my jam for a long time to come.

Review: Röntgen

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , on November 30, 2019 by Magadh

Röntgen, Inhale Death (Blown Out Media)

Quite a cool 7″ released by one of the very few bands from New Mexico that I’ve ever heard. Straight ahead hardcore thrash with little in the way of frills. These guys have some d-beat elements, but they don’t sound like the 8 million Dissober clones out there. Let me just say that I like bands tuned down to C as much as the next guy (maybe more depending on who the next guy is), but I have to admit that it is kind of refreshing to hear this music being rocked in standard tuning. It shows a kind of faith in one’s ability to create rocking punk with artificially punching up the heaviness.

Inhale Death features seven cuts of mostly in a kind of middling tempo. They have some nice changes and lots of feedback, and they don’t commit the cardinal sin of bands in the kängpunk world of making their tunes longer than the underlying ideas will bear. The recording is crisp, especially the guitar sound which has quite pleasing buzzsaw quality to it. The guitarist uses heel damping rather more often than is common in d-beat releases but in that kind of scratchy punk rock way that makes the music sound more intense but not more metallic.

The vocals are not in that super low, unintelligible register that characterizes so many bands like this. The singer sounds like he just came home to find a beloved family pet dismembered on the front lawn.  I still can’t tell what the fuck he’s saying (or really even if it’s a he although the names on the lineup suggest that it is), but he sounds desperate and angry and not so much like a wounded Yeti, which is a plus.

D-beat should always leave you wanting more not less. When I hit the end of this disc after the first listening I immediately queued it up again…because I wanted to hear more. This is punk the way that is should be done: raw and angry. If I could give this band one piece of advice it would be: do not change a fucking thing.