Discharge – “End Of Days” (Nuclear Blast Records)
F–k, it’s 1982 all over again……Now widely acknowledged in metal circles as being an influence on thrash metal, Discharge were already causing a stir musically and politically as being a part of the second generation of punk bands not content with gobbing and alternative fashions, but intent on direct action against capitalism, nuclear war and Margaret Thatcher’s government. Nihilistic, violent and grisly both musically and lyrically, Discharge were the lightning rod to a new generation of anarchic punks as well as metallers like Lars Ulrich and Max Cavalera looking to take it to the extreme. As the band themselves became influenced by thrash, the inevitable line up changes ensued ultimately spelling their demise during the grunge onslaught. At the turn of the century a loose re-grouping took place, but with more line up changes and stylistic conflicts, it would take another decade before any solidification could take shape. These days, Discharge are a five piece, but still with original members Rainy, Bones and Tezz, Dave ‘Proper’ Caution still on drums from 2006 – and new US vocalist JJ Janiak. You may be fooled into thinking that “End Of Days” is a reissue but it is in fact a new album that amazingly takes us back to the days of spiked mohicans, stormtrooper boots and clapped out, studded leather jackets! From their quintessential apocalyptic guitar sound, nowadays known as D-beat, to the OTT Motorhead meets Buzzcocks frantic rhythm, it’s all there over songs like ‘Raped And Pillaged’, ‘It Can’t Happen Here’ and ‘The Terror Alert’. Matching the sound holocaust come JJ’s aggro vocals – stylistically matching legendary hoarseman Cal – along with raucous spat out lyrics and anarchic shout outs. Now with a dual guitar attack in Tezz and Bones, Discharge’s new sound is even more meaner with scarcely a drop in pace as Mr Caution shows you why he’s aptly named! By all accounts, “End Of Days” is an outstanding achievement, considering the years and not in the least in preserving an original sound that is still true to this time as it was back in those raging days. If you thought the riot was over, think again.