Category Archives: Punk

CRYSTAL AXIS.

I have to credit this month’s issue (July 2019) of Wire magazine for prompting me to include this little piece.

There is absolutely no reason why I or anybody should be surprised at the fact that punk, and metal music are popular in Africa.

But it seems the case that I / we, are indeed surprised. In fairness, it’s more simply a case that we don’t often, if at all, have the opportunity to listen to those particular genres of music from that part of the world. It’s not promoted so much in the UK for instance, and indeed a Google search for ‘Afropunk’ or ‘Punk Africa’ etc doesn’t result in much other a few pages dedicated to the various annual festivals in USA and UK that do actively celebrate live music, film, fashion, and art produced by black artists.

This needs sorting right now! So, to add a little weight to the superb Wire article, and the short documentary made for German TV (see at the end of this piece) here’s what I can muster about Kenyan punk band, Crystal Axis.

The five-piece released their debut EP, ‘State of Uneasein 2012 when they were in their late teens. The music reflected the lads’ thoughts on the violence they witnesses during their country’s turbulent elections of 2007.

All went quiet on the band front for about five years as the the members graduated into further education.

However, they were to return mid 2017 with the release of the ‘Leopold’ a hard-hitting punk anthem, about King Leopold and the Belgian colonisation of the Congo. Although principally aimed at one person, the song is pertinent to all previous and subsequent colonisation.

This track shows how much the band matured in their time away. Guitarist Djae Aroni, who studied in the UK at Cantebury university, says the band are constantly gigging and recording with a view to releasing an album at some point in the near future.

Meantime, the band are to appear in the UK this summer. They will be performing in London, late June, at the brilliant sounding, Decolonise Fest.

Go check ’em out.

Here’s the short documentary on metal in Kenya. (It’s recorded in German but still an interesting watch even if you don’t speak the language..

ADRENALINE ANIMALS: ‘Spend All My Money.’

‘Screams From The Suburbs,’ is the brand new EP from Adrenaline Animals, a three piece Punk Rock band from London. They have supported the likes of Pretty Vicious, Hoosiers and Trampolene and have also played shows in Germany and France.

Their new five-track EP, ‘Screams From the Suburbs,’ was released this week, two of which are featured here. As you can see / hear, the lads are full of energy and their music is punchy and aggressive – just the way punk was always intended.

I may get shot down in flames, but I sense a feel of Oasis on steroids – the attitude, the occasional sneer and apparent ‘couldn’t give a toss,’ attitude.

Whatever, it’s mighty fine, and I’m sure the live shows will be even better.

THE MEMBRANES: ‘A Murmuration of Starlings on Blackpool Pier.’

OK – I’ve got to ‘fess up – for someone so into their music, especially any that is remotely ‘punk’ related, I am ashamed to say I know very little of The Membranes’ work. Perhaps this is due to a twenty-six year hiatus before the release in 2015 of their acclaimed ‘Dark Matter / Dark Energy‘ album.

No – that’s a feeble excuse, I know. However, in my slight defense, I am a fan of bass player John Robb, his releases with Goldblade (who I have seen play, honest) and his work as TV and Radio’s ‘go to’ guy for all comment on punk music in general.

And of course for his part in one of my favourite Christmas songs, ‘City of Christmas Ghosts,‘ released with the wonderful Poly Styrene.

Well, anyway – building on their continued success these past four years, The Membranes release a new album, ‘What Nature Gives … Nature Takes Away,’ on June 7th.

The advance release ‘A Murmuration of Starlings on Blackpool Pier,’ certainly bears out the billing of the album being ‘a dark and brooding double album of psychedelic post-punk soundscapes.’

Writing the LOUD HORIZON blog these past thirteen years, on and off, has opened up to me, so many more exciting and interesting musical options.

On this evidence, I know I will now be spending some considerable time checking out The Membranes’ back catalogue.

Oh – and, “sorry John!”