Ten spins or so into this cult record I am waiting for a spark to ignite, teetering on a hunch that all will slide neatly into place in an eruption of adrenaline and excitement. It may never come but my enjoyment isn't hindered and comes with a great sense of appreciation and understanding to the significance of such a record. Ive heard this record referenced by many musicians, a "bands band" so to speak. Discharge are an English four piece Hardcore Punk band who put this debut album out in May of 1982 and it fits so sweetly into the linage of extreme music, providing a linking point between Punk music and the likes of Grindcore, Crust Punk and even Black Metal.
Pushing simplicity and minimalism to once new extremists, Discharge deploy a claustrophobic guitar distortion that bleeds itself into the crevasses around the pounding punk march of ruthless, determined drumming. The low fidelity fuzz creates a wall of sound, pushing hard with brief, one dimensional riffs consisting of short repetitions droning over and over again, ready to exhaust the listener of their appetite as the fast thrashing guitar pummel and pummel to no end. At twenty seven minutes between fourteen songs they average two minutes usually consisting of no more than one or two riffs drilled over and over with frequent guitar solos utilizing a similar tactic of minimalism as short bursts of notes repeated over and over erupt above the ferocious dissonance.
Singer Cal Morris manages to rise above the onslaught, shouting full throat with a rough, burly rawness that persists at a dogged, stubborn pace. Its more than reminiscent of Lemmy from Motorhead who released the iconic Ace Of Spades a couple years beforehand. With that exception everything else is so telling of whats to come. The guitar tone and intensity is an obvious precursor to Grindcore which would arrive a few years later with Napalm Death. The production, which in itself is rather impressive for a thirty five year old record, has its significance in utilizing the potential magic of low fidelity recordings. These ideas would be taken even further in the 90s thanks to Darkthrone.
Its lyrical themes delve into power structures, authority, the brutality of war, freedom and all range of social political points. It always comes from the humanitarian perspective, packaging large topics into short simplistic slogan alike lyrics shouted with fury and anger to stir much needed thought in the listener. Its very much my cup of tea but given my adoration of what it inspired leaves me feeling as its just behind the threshold of my goosebumps, a slightly muted emotional response however objectively its utterly fantastic and such a clearly influential record and sound. Very glad to have checked it out, it fits snugly into the musical evolution map.
Favorite Songs: Protect And Survive, Cries Of Help, The End