And The Press Went Mad

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Simon Morgan's Secret War

Last time out, I likened the global punk scene circa 2011 to the one that exploded in the UK between 1976 and 1982. Eyebrows were doubtless raised, cornflakes were invariably spat bowl-wards, incredulity was understandably stretched to breaking point. There’s no focal point, no one-stop-catch-all media interface, no mail order house with fulfillment centres strung out across the land servicing those eager to own a slice of (and thus support) this incongruous creativity! You’re talking shit again, Morgan, and we claim our £5!  Hold your horses, pogo children, hang on to your hats and walk this way. Where do you think groups as worthy as Brain Killer, Raw/Nerve, Perdition, Crazy Spirit, Dawn Of Humans, Hoax, Unlearn, Urban Blight, Total War, Elektroduendes, Black Dove, Glam, Government Warning, Male Nurses, Slobs, Culo, Vaaska, Deskonocidos, White Lung, Brain F#, Coke Bust, B-Lines, etc … actually come from?

All over this punk planet there are pockets of resistance to mundane mainstream monotony. They’ve been there for years, but, due to a combination of UK/US-centric arrogance and free-market dominance, they’ve been confined to the odd Nuggets-style compilation retrospective years after the point of diffusion. While the US and the UK have been busy playing trans-Atlantic-influence-ping-pong, places you never heard of have been coming up trumps, time and time again. Awesome groups, born in isolation, transcending influence, destined to live and die in obscurity, only to be interred by academic thesis writers and youth cult archaeologists years, sometimes decades, after the fact. With the glory days of US/UK dominance on the back foot, however, countries such as Canada, France, Spain, Australia and Italy are stepping up to the mark.

Traditionally derided and marginalised by the stylemongers of the West, vital music is beginning to seep out from under the floorboards, as the intrepid and the inquisitive cast their nets ever wider in search of stimulating and satisfying new sounds. Like hunter-gatherers, armed only with search engine and browser, the post-post-modern music enthusiast sets sail on virtual seas to track down and capture music that still retains the kind of integrity 40-plus years of the capitalist model has eroded from domestic audio crops. Do you sit and wait for the next corporate creation to slouch out of the boardroom, designed by committee, funded by Alan Sugar, endorsed by a celebrity panel of judges, and reviewed by a respected (fully-paid-up) army of critics? Do you listen to payola radio style-prods from your favourite disc jockey’s podcasts? Do you subscribe to the popular myth that it’s all over bar the shouting? Move along, there’s nothing to hear here.  

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With MySpace’s influence on the wane, and Facebook considered to be ‘trying too hard’, many of the globe’s contemporary crop of imminent insurrectionists are frustratingly hard to pin down in terms of accessible resources. Searches of Soundcloud or trawls through Media Fire databases may offer up an MP3 or two, but it’s operations like the essential Terminal Escape, and fanzines such as the legendary Terminal Boredom, that will put you on the right track. The former, mentioned last time out, is a demo-centric resource where you can download demo-tapes by groups from all over the planet, and, should you be lucky enough to fall in love, you can track down ridiculously limited related vinyl products and contribute to future funding on a pro-rata basis. After a while, you stop feeling like a voyeur, and start feeling like a maverick roving arts fund councillor. Add this to the ‘dropcard-download’ phenomenon that’s been engulfing the vinyl market for a while, and you inevitably arrive at the death of the manufactured CD. CDRs have become the cassettes of their day, loss-leaders for the vinyl format. We’ve come full circle, parity has returned.

Records need labels, and labels need distribution. The following groups and organisations are all vital combatants in the war against mediocrity. I’m off on another record buying jaunt to London this coming weekend, so a report will be issued in due course. Until then, get a bit of punk rock action in your life, and thank your lucky stars someone, somewhere cares more than you do!

Blitzhardcore Records – Website


Excellent punk and hardcore mail order outfit, based here in the UK. Available directly through this link, or through their many items listed on Ebay. Blitzhardcore are efficient, friendly, speedy, and well stocked.

B-Lines – MySpace

Vancouver’s finest nerd punks, reviewed elsewhere in these pages. Part of the stunning Deranged roster, and also not averse to the odd release on Nominal Records.  

Brain F≠ – MySpace 

Brain F rule. Their debut LP is due on Grave Mistake very soon. Recently joined forces on stages with White Lung during their storming of the US.   

Brain F≠ – Website

Ditto . . .

Convulsive Records – Website


Brooklyn based independent record label specializing in vinyl releases of contemporary DIY and avant garage punk music.  

Cowabunga! Records – Website

My mate Rich Perri’s mate’s label … awesome, dude! Home to the magisterial Slobs and a whole host of guitar toting angels with dirty faces.

Crazy Spirit – 1st 7″

Download the 1st Crazy Spirit 7″ and find out what all the hot fuss is about.

Dirt Nap Records – Website

Home of the hits: Something Fierce, High Tension Wires, Career Suicide et al.

Deranged Records – Website

Home of Brain Killer, Hoax, Unlearn, White Lung, Male Nurses, The Men and more. Canada’s numero uno label, and, pound for pound, the finest independent label on punk planet right now.

Deskonocidos – MySpace

El Texas hombres! Hispanic punk rock blending punk, post, hardcore and more. Their demo is available for free from Terminal Escape (see below).

Grave Mistake Records – Label blog

Stonkingly good label with a quality control jones and an excellent mail order service to boot. Home of Government Warning, the world’s official ruling hardcore punkers.

Hockey Dad Records – Website

More Canadian punk mayhem. Limited and often hard to find, but worth it in every way. Search and purchase.

In The Red Records – Website


Home of mates of trakMARX, Black Time, and still relevant after a decade . . . Tyvek reside here, and if you don’t own their ‘Nothing Fits’ long player, you really should get yr shit together and stop messing about.

La Vida Es Un Mus

Top British punk rock label … home of Glam (reviewed last time out) and UK issuer of Government Warning stuff too! Distro/label/etc.

Mongrel Zine

Top Canadian punk and garage ‘zine.

Needles//Pins – MySpace

Great garage punk from Canada . . . jingle, jangle, fuzz.

Nominal Records – Website

B-Lines label, amongst others . . .

No Way Records – Website

Superb label.

Raw Nerve – Band blog

Hardcore heroes . . . mysterious-guy-core . . . phew, wait, come back already, it’s way better than it sounds!

Sorry State Records, Punk / Hardcore / Metal / Noise Records 

Cool label.

S.S. Records 

Static Shock Records

Excellent fayre . . . nothing to do with Nazism!

Terminal Boredom

The ‘zine…

Terminal Escape – Blog


The demo-central-one-stop all-you-need-is-punk interface for the best in everything.

ϟLOBϟ – MySpace

The Slobs rule.

Quality Control – Web HQ 

Home of Crazy Spirit … this is how they roll: Borne out of a love for aesthetic terrorism and hate for all ironic signifiers, Quality Control Collective is a series of ruminations on the cultural detritus produced by the disenfranchised, the deceived, the angry. Empowered by a pencil, distortion pedal, scissors and glue, QCHQ attempts to cripple dominating voices with literary knives and auditory harassment.  

Toxic State – Label Blog

Crazy Spirit, Dawn Of Humans, etc…

Tyvek – MySpace

Tyvek – their LP, Nothing Fits shreds wimps.

Vaaska – MySpace 

Hispanic punk of a very high quality.  

White Lung – Website 

White Lung – MySpace 

White Lung’s ‘It’s The Evil’ is essential long playing. If only they’d stop touring and answer our tedious questions!  

Youth Attack Records 

Highly collectable and often influential US label.

Simon Morgan

Punk rocker, folk strummer, baby social worker, and parent, Simon Morgan is a polymath. He has brought you many things in his time – as Jean Encoule he created the legendary trakMARX website, but has now stepped from behind his alter ego to reveal his true, vibrant colours. Despite having gone prematurely orange, he maintains a youthful open-mindedness, which he combines with his vast experience and ready wit. His debut solo album, Domestic Abuse is now available. “Spirit/Is Life/It flows through/The death of me/ Endlessly/Like a River/ Unafraid/Of Becoming/The sea.” (Gregory Corso)

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Originally posted 2011-07-13 17:57:15. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Series NavigationYear Double ZeroThe DIY Punk & Hardcore Movement (Circa 2011)

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