First thing you need to know is that what you’re reading is being written in mid-April. Don’t ask why, unless you come out to the Fear Factory/Hate Eternal tour, MDF or Chaos in Tejas; then you can ask me why. Anyhoo, if all goes the way I’ve planned, I will still be coming off the high of finally seeing one of my favourite bands in the history of forever live and in the flesh after almost 30 years of waiting, hoping, dreaming…I speak of the mighty Italian hardcore band, Raw Power. I’ve been a fan since before I can remember being a fan and crystal balls being operational, stars aligning and whatnot, you’re reading this a few days after my seeing them last weekend.
It would appear that old-school hardcore is making a comeback of sorts – but what genre of music isn’t? Hell, there are more nu-metal bands kicking around at this point than any time outside of the 90s. The usual suspects are alive and kicking; some never went away and some are back doing reunion shows and tours, if you don’t like Satanic Threat you’re not my friend and new bands like Haraball and AC4 are kicking the living shit out of those four and five chord riffs.
AC4 hail from Umea and feature members of Refused, the Vectors and Straight Forward. Their latest album Burn the World (which, as you may have figured out, has been out almost two months) is an awesome slice of old-school harcore with a slightly modern touch and a boundless energy that can’t hide which Raw Power, Minor Threat and Uniform Choice they’re *ahem* borrowing. So, for the next three Thursday afternoons, this space will feature the old members of AC4 spilling their old guts about old music.
The first question we posed to guitarist Karl Backman and bassist Christoffer “138” Jonsson was:
DISCUSS THE RAW POWER DISCOGRAPHY FROM BEST TO STILL AWESOME BUT NOT-SO-BEST
Karl: The first 12″ You Are The Victim and the Raw Power cassette from 1983 are my favorite albums. The bass on “Fuck Authority” always blows me away. I’m not a big fan of 80’s metal guitar solos but I like the Wop Hour 7″ because they still sound very raw. The version of “Army” on the v/a album Raptus vol.2 Negazione & Superamento is their best song. Some songs on Reptile House are really good too. It wasn’t released on vinyl, was it? I’m not gonna pretend I’ve heard everything they ever recorded, but my least favourite LP is Mine To Kill. I also think the rerecordings of some songs on the Screams From The Gutter album lacked the original punch. Raw Power rules, ok?
Christoffer 138: #1: You are the Victim (1983) and Screams from the Gutter (1984). #2: all their other releases. And yes, I do own them all. They are not all that great, but it’s still Raw fucking Power. Indeed: it’s a tie for the #1 spot. I worship the total harsh lack of production of the debut, and I live and die by the frenzied hacking of the high-heeled guitar solos of the second lp. Raw, uncompromising, to the death speedy hardcore. Eternal! So – I can’t decide. I consider Raw Power to be the utter most epitome of European hardcorepunk. The best of the best. A band that pens the line ”Don’t listen Donna Summer/We go for D.O.A.” deserves your respect. C’mon son!