The 20 most essential hardcore releases in the Nordic countries


Artwork by Joel Abramhamsson, 2013

blah, blah, blah – take me to the records.

   We’ve compiled a list of what we consider the best and the most essential hardcore records before 1986 from the five Northern European countries; Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland. A lot of punks will no doubt criticise our list on the basis that it is against punk ethos to categorise records like this. As the Nordic proverb has it: “When the devil gets old he becomes religious”.

However this list is not an attempt to idolise bands or records, rather in doing this we’re paying respect to twenty early Nordic hardcore bands that we believe have acted as spearheads for the Nordic hardcore scene. We think that these bands have influenced our way of thinking by setting the musical, political and cultural footprints, and in no small part helped to ensure that the hardcore scene carried on for more than three decades.

Despite the geographical proximities between Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland, “Nordic Hardcore” was never a coherent scene. Five different countries with five different languages, there were five different and largely separate hardcore scenes. While Nordic hardcore bands were primarily influenced by punk and hardcore from the UK and USA, local and regional influences were just as important.
At a regional level, the five Nordic countries shared a broadly homogenous culture, with similar politics and value systems. The established norm was the collective and patriarchal society. Hardcore punk with its grounded, perceptive and individualistic ethos was on a collision course with Nordic society, which had failed to embrace individual thinking and had failed to address world problems.

It’s hard to pick 20 records in a just and fair way to represent the early years of Nordic Hardcore before 1986. We could have easily picked another 20 records that are just as awesome and important. There were so many bands and so many records in the first period of Nordic hardcore. In short, the scene had a lot to offer. But here are 20 bands, 20 records and 20 writers, sharing their thoughts on what some of these records meant to them.

Sundsvall, Sweden October 2013, the Editor

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Purrkur Pillnikk

No Time To Think

Gramm ‎– gramm 9 – 1982 – 7″

Surprise


Iceland did not have the largest hardcore scene in the yearly 80′s, but the Sleeping Chess players had one or two hardcore burners on plastics.

Shintur kaldur elder, a burning cold fire. Christians tried to convince the hedonist on Iceland to convert, threatening with Hell. The hedonist thought it sounded like a great place compared to the cold climate on Iceland. Well, to suffer frostbite is to get a taste of a burning cold fire… a slight sidestep, I know. Svart Hvítur Draumur was the first Icelandic punk band I came in contact with in the early 1980s through comp tapes and comp LPs. The few songs I heard I liked a lot, but it seemed impossible to get hold of any of their vinyl. Looking at Discogs today I can see why, as their first release was only as late as 1985 while for many years before that the band had been on a number of comps. The band KUKL, with Einar from Purrkur Pillnikk as well as Björk, had released an LP on Crass Records but I had already dropped out of my Crass period and was way into my USHC period so I never picked it up. Fast forward to the 2000s and the wonderful days of the internet, finally I managed to get hold of some Icelandic punk! Notably the second 7″ EP by Purrkur Pillnikk“No Time To Think”. It is a wonderful EP that blends the more pretentious side of Icelandic punk. Yes, I LOVE arty and pretentious punk such as “Excuse Me” and “Googooplex”, and the punk rock in “Surprise” and the pure hardcore in “For Viewing”. This is why I always return to the old stuff: the blend of tempo, ideas and a grain of magic.

Peter Swedenhammar / Raped Teenagers, Pusrad, KBD Records


To this day there are no re-issues available.

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Bannlyst

La Dem Ikke Lure Deg

X-Port Plater ‎– X-002 – 1984 – 7″

40.000 døde barn


Norway had possible the most solid and coherent hardcore scene in the world. Here’s a record we all like!

In the ongoing canonisation of early eighties hardcore from the Nordic countries, many great Norwegian bands seem to be repeatedly overlooked. One might argue that this is also true in the case of this list. Bearing in mind the tendency to ignore Norwegian hardcore records, it is a great pleasure to realise that Bannlyst’s 1985 EP “La dem ikke lure deg” is now starting to become recognised, rightfully, as a true Scandinavian classic. Bannlyst’s first and only vinyl EP, was the second release on Gunnar Nuven and Ote Kippersruds legendary label X-port Plater. The original pressing was a thousand copies, but the record has since been bootlegged a few times. The songs from the EP also got a well-deserved re-release with the Bannlyst discography LP from 2008 on Norwegian Leather.
One of the things that make “La dem ikke lure deg” a unique record musically, is that while it´s obviously heavily influenced by Discharge-style hardcore, there is also notable traces of early American hardcore, and even classic rock like Jimi Hendrix, which was the now late guitarist Børre Løviks greatest musical idol. This fusion of influences contributes to giving the record a sound that is simultaneously timeless and cutting edge. In many ways, Bannlyst are perhaps more musically akin to their American contemporaries in Crucifix than the more noise oriented outputs of many of their Nordic peers. Their main ambition seems to be to produce great songs and riffs, not sound as raw or blown out as possible. The musicianship on the record is really quite impressive. While often quite melodic and sometimes outright catchy, the songs are never lacking in urgency or power.
Lyrically, Bannlyst delivers simple but effective political outbursts. War, power abuse and a flawed system is described in a realistic but never cynical manner. Their perhaps most well-known song, “40.000 døde barn” (40.000 dead children) deals with global famine, but it is stripped of the wide eyed naivety that was prevalent in the Live Aid-era. Somewhat dystopian sentiments are also expressed in the chaotic and crass artwork of the record sleeves, making the EP a cohesive and capturing release, both musically and aesthetically.
In a historical and musical sense, “La dem ikke lure deg” is a particularly interesting record, because it represents the culmination of the extremely prolific Molde-scene, which produced some of the best Norwegian punk and hardcore bands of the eighties. Many of them can be found on the great compilation tape “Then the Molde punks come marching out”, which documents the peak of local scene of the city on the west coast of Norway. Simultaneously, Bannlyst laid the foundation for what could be labelled as “the Norwegian sound”, together with Betong Hysteria and Svart Framtid. This distinct sonic style would dominate the Norwegian scene in the mid-eighties, and solidify the status of Norwegian hardcore in the international punk sphere. Many central figures of the Molde-scene, including the members of Bannlyst, switched coasts, and started seminal bands such as So Much Hate, Kafka Prosess and Stengte Dører in Oslo (on the east coast of Norway). These bands, and most of the other acts associated with the Blitz squat, carried on and further developed the fusion of melodic and hard hitting elements which Bannlyst masterfully showcases on “La dem ikke lure deg”. It is a true classic, that has been highly influential both on Norwegian punk as a whole, and as a reference point for me personally, when attempting to make relevant hardcore in 2013.

Håvard Krokedal / Urbanoia, zine editor


To this day there are no re-issues. At least one bootleg can be found in circulation.

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Ernst And The Edsholm Rebels aka E.A.T.E.R.

Doomsday Troops – 5-Spårs E.P

Ernst Records ‎– ERNST 001 – 1983 – 7″

Anxiety Attack

Official website: www.eater.se


Despite only one, but awesome, release E.A.T.E.R. managed to create a name for themselves both in Sweden and internationally.

In the summer of 1983 Ernst and the Edsholm Rebels went to Kloakens Alternativa Antistudio where during two hot days they recorded what would become the classic EP “Doomsday troops”, a seven-inch by a band that deserves to be remembered among Mob 47, Missbrukarna and Anti-Cimex. The galloping hardcore insanity that the Rebels recorded at Micke Blomqvist’s studio (perhaps better known internationally from his band Asta Kask) are today just as acute and urgent today as in 1982. Sadly, the lyrics are perhaps still relevant today. The band was influenced by Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Crass, Discharge, UK Subs and bands released on the English No Future label. But the Ernst sound was their own–unpolished, chipped, desperate, crazy–just listen to the psychotic song “Anxiety Attack”! Disordered in a really fucking cool way! Or what about the completely disturbed breakout in the chorus of “Doomsday Troops” that proclaims that “We’re all gonna die”??
Ernst came from the small town Grums, far away from larger towns and cities, and began playing in 1982. The band was on V/a Really Fast Vol 1 LP including the song “Krigets Vansinne”, which impressed ROIR, the classic New York cassette label, to invite Ernst & The Edsholm Rebels to feature on their forthcoming international hardcore compilation. “World class punk” came out in 1984 and Ernst impressed many people including Pushead and Jello Biafra. During a three year period, the punks from Grums were on fire, recording two more 7” EPs that only got released in recent years and the band played live across Sweden. During these short years the band did however manage to put their mark on the Swedish as well as the international punk scene and that’s why we thirty years later still return to the classic songs recorded during a few hours on that summer day in 1983.
Finally, when I interviewed Ernst for MRR a few years ago of course I had to ask “Who is Ernst and who were the Edsholm Rebels? This is how Hasse answered: “Ernst was an older man who lived in Segmon (a village closer to Grums) back in the day. I used to work during the summer school breaks as a residential caretaker. I thought this old man was always really fucking grumpy and whiny, had a few proper tussles with him. But then one day he moved away to a nursing home in Edsholm close to Slottsbron and no one was a s happy as I was! This was at the same time as I started to hang out with Gröten and the boys, and the rest is history as we say…” Isn’t that so?!! Änärky, pis än fridöm!
Footnote: A few years ago Ernst and the Edsholm Rebels got back together, a new record was released called “If nothing is right, go left” (2011) and the band has amongst other things toured the USA. In the autumn of 2013, E.A.T.E.R. is off on a tour of Japan.

Mikael Sörling / label director at Turist i Tillvaron, journalist and blog and zine editor.


The 1983 comes with a booklet. Re-issued (and re-mastered) on Hardcore survives and Loud Punk Records in 2013.

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War Of Destruction

De Dødes Hvisken

Spån Records ‎– Nr. 25 – 1985 – 12″

Hovedet Mod Muren

Official website: www.warofdestruction.dk


War of Destruction was formed in 1981 by Donny and Key, who had both been in the band Crap, with Steen from the Zero Point and Hans from Normals. In other words, all members of the band had already been active in bands that had formed in 1979-1980 in the second wave of Danish Punk. However from day one the musical vision of W.OF.D. was to play Hardcore with a capital HC, and so they did–with a vengeance! From Key’s thundering, rolling bass to Donny’s screeching guitar sounding like a giant sewing machine about to melt down, from the psychotic vocals of Hans to Steen’s punk as fuck drum style!
Their first cassette album came in 1981, but more recordings followed. But on “De dødes hvisken“, their first 12“ EP they really let loose—not that they could’ve done anything wrong in our eyes. W.OF.D. were fiercely DIY, highly political and made up of four totally individual characters. And they never changed their style—if they felt the need to do something a little different, they did so via other musical outlets.
Steen left the band in 1986, and was replaced by Dimse. In 1989, W.OF.D. decided to call it a day; but they reformed in 2004 and have been playing and recording ever since.
In the early to mid-1980s W.OF.D. meant the world to me. After 1987, our lives went in different directions. But in 2002, I met Steen in London and our friendship picked up right where we had left off 16 years before. I met the rest of the guys again in 2007 at a big squatter’s benefit that the band was playing in Copenhagen. They were exactly the same as they’d always been. Maybe a little worn around the edges–but aren’t we all? I’m glad they are still out there doing it. To many of Danish hardcore punks, War of Destruction were the first REAL Hardcore band to emerge from Denmark.

Kent Nielsen / L.U.L.L. / Vikingwreckchords


To this day, the LP has only been pressed once. It should come with a lyric insert; some copies also had an extra insert with the lyrics translated into English.

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Appendix

Ei Raha Oo Mun Valuuttaa

Propaganda Records ‎– PRO-008 – 1982 – LP

Ei Raha Oo Mun Valuuttaa


Not the hardest band out of Finland, but for sure one of the most influential.

Appendix hailed from Pori, a small town in the western coast of Finland, and although they were not as raw, fast or chaotic as most of the other Finnish hardcore bands at the time, they undoubtedly deserve their place in the Finnish 1980’s hardcore punk history.
The band was formed in the winter of 1981–1982 by Vesku, Olli, and Juha. This line-up made a demo from which all four songs were released in 1982: two each on the “Pultti” comp EP and on the legendary “Russia Bombs Finland” comp LP. Of these early songs, Appendix still sounds very melodic, balancing between punk rock and hardcore. Singer Olli was a talented songwriter, and actually Juha and he had already played together in the band Yö, which was taking a break because their guitarist was doing his military service.
Mikki, who had been a background singer on one of the demo songs, took over lead vocals and soon after this Olli and Juha left the band to concentrate on , which had gotten a record deal. soon after became a Finnish pop super group, rocketing to fame and attracting hordes of screaming teen girls to their gigs.
A new guitarist Jaska and a new bassist Tomi (who actually had never played bass before) stepped in. The band was planning to release a one sided LP, but they were not satisfied with the tape they made so they decided to give it a new try and entered the studio again, this time with more songs in their pockets. The result of this session (recorded and mixed in late 1982, in 12 hours) was released on February 1983 by Propaganda Records as “Ei raha oo mun valuuttaa” LP. With the debut album came a new sound: more precise, more straightforward, more hardcore. The record is full of great guitar licks and catchy songs. The title track—a re-recording of one of their old songs which had appeared on the “Pultti” comp. EP—is one of the biggest “hits” of early Finnish hardcore. The song topics on the LP are a bit different from the usual hardcore punk lyrics about war, and there is always a hint of melody in the songs while they still stay on the hardcore side of the fence (the only exception being perhaps the cover of Jose Feliciano’s “Rain”).
Only a few months after the first LP, in the spring of 1983, Appendix released a S/t 7” EP a.k.a. “Huora”, containing some of their best songs. The lyrically-stupid title song is not one of them, but especially “Eliittipiiri” and “Tää on mun oma sota” are both terrific songs, and on this 7” Appendix sounded more hardcore than ever before. The fourth song, “Painajainen”, would later also be used on the “Finnish Spunk Hard Beat” comp LP in 1984.
On the second LP “Top Of The Pops” (1984) the band mixed catchy punk with hardcore, and the result was an overall fine album. Faster hardcore songs alternate with slower songs and there are even some post punk influences to be heard. The LP was released by German Rock-O-Rama Records and it did not seem to get as much attention among Finnish punks as the first album.
Appendix also recorded a third LP, this time adopting a clearer, post punk / new wave pop sound with synth and all, and even experimenting with electronic drums. However, the LP was never released because the band was not satisfied with how they sounded, even though the songs were not completely bad. Instead, they changed their name to Aktion and under that name they released an embarrassingly terrible synth pop 7” single in 1985.
Appendix definitely had a sound of their own compared to other Finnish bands. In Finland, at least, everybody instantly knows what’s meant a band is said to be “Appendix influenced”. Appendix might not have been as extreme, angry, or in-your-face as for example Kaaos, Terveet Kädet, Riistetyt, etc., but they are still very much liked among punks worldwide and will undoubtedly continue to find new listeners with new generations of punks in times to come.
More recently, Appendix has reformed, doing their best to spoil their legacy on a series of new releases, all of which are mostly watered-down crap, but in their heyday Appendix surely put out some world top class hardcore punk.

Arto Hietikko / Toinen Vaihtoehto magazine


First press has a yellow / green sleeve. The vinyl is very dark green, close to black. Re-pressed on black vinyl with a black and while sleeve, as well as red vinyl with yellow sleeve. Both these versions are considered to be the same release. Later re-issued on Rock-O-Rama Records and Höhnie Records.

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Asta Kask

För Kung & Fosterland

Pang Records ‎– PSI 050 – 1982 – 7″

Ringhals Brinner

Official website: www.astakask.com

Few Swedish punk bands was as iconic as Töreboda’s Asta Kask. During an intense period this 4-beat punk band was transformed under the steward of Micke Blomqvist into a hardcore band in 1982…[more]

It is evident that Asta Kask is kind of the modern equivalent to what critical Americans feel about for example NOFX or Bad Religion (although I’m unaware of any “bro-punk”, corporate sponsors, extreme sports connotations to punk/HC in Sweden). Asta played Chaos in Texas Festival and completed a respectable DIY tour in the USA. I fuckin’ stage dived. Don’t think I’ll ever go near that new record Asta Kask just did, but the prior LP contains elements of their old formula, albeit a bit more gruff in the vocals (old age).
I will have to finalize this wind bag rant and define them as: punk with the tendency to wear mustache!

Dale Johnson / zine editor “Bacon In The Beans Fanzine”

Once upon a time Asta Kask was a punk band just like so many others. They fuelled up on booze, played full-throttle “two beat” and hit the three-chord wall.
Inspired by Ebba Grön and KSMB, Asta Kask had a talent to play melodic hardcore as no-one else. The band started in 1979 but their defining moment was the “För Kung and Fosterland” EP that was recorded in 1981, but released in May 1982. However, due to severe boozing the band collapsed.
Luckily, Micke Blomqvist quickly requited new members and kick-started the band. From there, the band would go on to play in every Swedish city, town and every possible backwoods. Micke was true to the Do It Yourself (DIY) ethos and booked all the gigs himself. He hardly ever got paid, yet still managed at the same time stay the most possibly supportive person I have been in contact with. I remembered the phone calls with Micke when my band Cellskräck planned to record an EP. He gave a lot advice to us despite being fully busy with Asta. He is one of the most supportive persons I’ve ever come across. Micke was also handling the Kloakens Alternativa Anti-Studio, an oasis for a lot of punk bands who made their first recording there.
Before breaking up in 1986, Asta Kask made two more classic EPs and a LP. At that time, they had made 300 gigs and sold 10,000 of records–a massive achievement for a Swedish hardcore band. I have understood that later on, Asta Kask have been challenged by purist hardcore fans, who finding them too popular, too melodic or too wimpy. In response to that I would say that few bands have made so much for our hardcore scene as Asta Kask and Micke Blomqvist, leaving an endless number of descendant bands all around Sweden.

Henrik Wising / zine editor “Terrorpop”


Pressed in 500 copies. With a foldout sleeve with lyrics printed on the inside. Copies exist in pink (the most common), green, and yellow labels. Re-issued on Rosa Honung in 1984.

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Mellakka

Ei…

Ei Ei Levyt ‎– 001 – 1984 – 7″

Ei…

Official website: www.mellakka.com


During a brief period in the early to mid 1980s, Mellakka put out two awesome EPs and a demo.

I think I picked this Mellakka“Ei… ”EP at The Rock Shop on Hollywood Blvd in 1986 for 50 cents. At first glance I thought it was another band called Metallica but from another country. I never cared for Metallica. On second glance it appeared to be protest punk with young dudes in painted leathers screaming about what’s wrong with the world. Turns out the band name means ‘riot.’
Mellakka was from the westerly coastal town of Rauma, a quiet maritime village. Finnish HC is often described as language upfront, long desperate holds on vowel with what’s more commonly associated with straight edge HC, namely gangland choruses. That Mellakka also came from a region of Finland known for a unique dialect also makes the record stand out over other Finnish HC releases. The fret board dips & surges followed by nimble bass lines that are almost percussive held together by tight start & stop crashes from drums.
I think the band upon release were a bit disappointed “Ei…” wasn’t more like ‘Hear Nothing, See Nothing’ but I’m certain years later having Sotatila pay homage on Propaganda Is Hippies LP may’ve pleased the former members of Mellakka.
You may find several different sleeve variations, most which are on slightly oversized yellow paper. I’ve seen one on abbreviated blue sleeve too. While wider known bands were doing their discs on Propaganda Records, ‘Ei’ was self-released. They shared a member of another Rauma band Pohjasakka.

Dale Johnson / zine editor “Bacon In The Beans Fanzine”


There are two early pressings. The first press have an image on the top-right corner of the backside of the sleeve. The second has two images of the band on the back. Both presses have white labels on the record.

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Betong Hysteria

Spontan Abort

Mind Expanding Records ‎– MES 04 – 1982 – 7″

Snuten kommer


The first solid Norwegian hardcore release, great and really influential for the international hardcore scene.

”Spontan Abort” (“Spontaneous Miscarriage”) was the first and only release by Betong Hysteria while still active as a band. It is also the first Norwegian release that is a true hardcore punk record. Before Betong Hysteria, there were a number of more-or-less 1977-style punk rock releases in Norway. But in the year 1982, HC finally came to Norway. It is strange but this EP is not the record that people would say opened HC to Norwegian audiences. It took a few years until this raw style of punk became the leading style in Norwegian punk. Betong Hysteria started before the first wave of 1977-style punk had fully died out and as such before the audience was ready for raw punk. Some will say that Wannskrækk 7” EP was the first HC release in Norway, but I don´t think so. It was too ‘77 in its composition.
Betong Hysteria started in Oslo by people who came from towns like Arendal, Hamar and Trondheim. Guitarist Audun Lorentzen came from Arendal where he had played in Forsiktig (“Gently”, who had a few tracks on a few compilations). The drummer Bulle and bass player Arne Brathagen were from the town Hamar where they had played in Kaare & partiet (“Kaare & the Party, which released a classic EP that is the first Norwegian DIY punk release from outside of Oslo, the capital). The bands’ vocalist Geir Olav Burok (a.k.a. “Moron”) came from Trondheim, where he gave out two issues of a fanzine called The Moron.
During 1981, the band began rehearsing, playing old classics like “Louie Louie” as well as own material. In that year, Ulf Knudsen on guitar joined the band. He was also from Hamar and had also played in Kaare & Partiet. Some say this later line-up did Betong Hysterias first concert, but others denied this. Who knows? When Lorentzen went home to Arendal, the rest played a few gigs, but eventually Carl O.S. Platou joined the band on guitar and vocals. He was from Oslo and had played in a duo called Lik (“Corpse”, playing industrial music, released an EP). This line-up last almost a year. In this time the band played several gigs and they recorded the debut EP.
In October 1981, the band went into a “studio” in Oslo in a house called Villa Casba. With the help of Greek-Norwegian jazz & new wave musician Thanasis Zlatanos as producer, they recorded five tracks that was hardcore to the bone. Raw energy without any compromise in the lyrics or in the music.
During spring 1982 the EP hit the shops, but it was not a commercial success. Why? Who knows, but Norway was not ready for something as raw as this. It would take several years before either HC or black metal became well-known genres in music papers and among music fans. The EP was also released on a small DIY label, Mind Expanding Records, with limited distribution. The band neither toured nor play many concerts to support the record. All in all, not the best way to promote and sell a new record!
Knutsen was cited in a fanzine interview in the spring of 1982, stating that the band would probably disband that year, “as it should”. The band duly split-up in late summer/early autumn 1982. In the same interview, they were also talking about plans for a studio LP and a live cassette. Neither of those was ever released.
In 1983 , however, the band reunited with a new line up. Brathagen and Burok was still in the band, but they got Marius Berg from Oslo on drums and Nils Petter Aune from Trondheim on guitar (later in Kafka Prosess, Raga Rockers etc). The 1983 line-up played a few gigs, one of which was filmed by Norwegian state broadcaster NRK, with a small part of the concert shown on TV during the autumn of 1983. The same line-up also did a studio recording session, from which the track “Tredje Rike” (“Third Reich”) ended up on a compilation called “Framtiden Er Nå” (The Future Is Now). The rest of the recording session was not released until 2011, as the “Vi vil ikke ha” EP (“We do not want”). Sometime during the autumn of 1983, the band finally broke up for good. Rumours had it that Aune and Burok tried to reform Betong Hysteria and that the reformed band lasted for about two months, but there are no recordings from this line-up and the band did not play any gigs. However, the members have remained active in the hardcore scene, a few of them continued to play in several bands and solo projects.
In 2002, there was a white-label bootleg release of the Betong Hysteria EP, replicating the original release. It “only” took six more years before an official re-issue came out in the shops. This time including “Tredje Rike” as a bonus track. The re-issue came out in two pressings, the first has a white and black cover while the second has a light yellow and black cover. Both included lyrics.
In August and October 2008, Betong Hysteria went into a studio to record “Banging & Shouting” a cover song for the Patrik Fitzgerald benefit compilation album “All Sewn Up – A Tribute To Patrik Fitzgerald”, which was released in 2009. The band line-up on this song was Aune (guitar), Brathagen (bass), Brurok (vocals) and Knutsen (guitar). On drums they had an old mate from Kaare & Partiet, and later in Russian AmCar Club, Schweinhund etc, namely Svein Solberg. This is the first and only recording by Betong Hysteria after their break up in 1983. The cover song is hardly a HC, but it is a part of the history of Betong Hysteria anyhow.
In 2011, the last unreleased studio recordings from the third line-up was released as the EP “Vi vil ikke ha” and this is the last thing Betong Hysteria has released. There have been several plans for further reunion gigs but so far none have ever come through. The chances for a reunion seem to be close to zero. Now there is only one hope left, and that is for a decent live tape to emerge, so that the live album that was planned in 1982 will be finally be realised.

Tore Stemland / Journalist etc, his “CV” is to long to fit here!


Re-issued on Hit Me! Records in 2010. There is a bootleg in circulation as well

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Mob 47

EP

Röj Records ‎– RÖJ-1 – 1984 – 7″

Kärnvapen Attack


As a band, Mob 47 fully represent everything us Swedes mean when we use the word Mangel… [more]

Mob 47 was very important for the Swedish hardcore scene. First of all, they were more or less the sole band playing “Mangel” in Stockholm in the early 1980s and were therefore spearheading the Stockholm scene. Secondly, and more importantly, Mob 47 were known internationally. Mob 47 was both on the P.E.A.C.E compilation and on the Cleanse the Bacteria compilation and as such helped to make Swedish hardcore popular abroad. Frankly, I don’t think half as many in the US would discover Anti-Cimex unless it was for Mob 47 relentlessly leading the Swedish “mangel” on compilations such as this. Aside from the band, Åke of Mob 47 had a recording studio in his parents bowling alley in Täby. So if anyone wonders why he was called “bowling-Åke”, it’s the combination of working and playing at the bowling alley –playing loud hardcore as the bowling pins flied around!
Several classic records were recorded at the alley, such as the Discard EP and the Protes Bengt EP. The latter was a combination of Mob 47 and Filthy Christians. The Protes Bengt EP pioneering political lyrics covered topics like eggs, submarines and combing your hair with a water drenched comb. Åke’s guitar sound was legendary, aggressive distortion with a hissing tremble.
I would also like to point out they were very important for me. I was already into Anti-Cimex but Åke who lived just 15 minutes from me, embraced me with open arms. Åke collected records and gladly shared his favourites with us younger kids. I would never have heard some of the many great bands he played had I not spent time at “Bowling-Åke’s” house. Some bands I learned about by just checking out Åke’s studded leather jacket. As a band, Mob 47 lead the way in hardcore, if you don’t believe it – check out the genealogical tree on the “Stockholm Mangel – LP”.

Peter Hirseland / Svart Snö / Sunday Morning Einsteins / Skottkärrans ande


Pocket Sleeve. Two pressings made in 1984. Both look the same, except that the first pressing of 466 copies includes a sticker (size 3 x 6 cm). The second pressing was 1200 copies and had no sticker. Both presses have a lyric insert.

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Image from discogs


Riistetyt

Skitsofrenia

Propaganda ‎– PRO-018 – 1983 – 12″

Mieletöntä Väkivaltaa

Official website: www.riistetyt.com

Starting out as Cadgers, Riistetyt created their signature sound on this release.

This is one of my all-time favorite records from the Nordic region. When I was a teenager in the early 1980’s Tom Lyle from Government Issue had a radio show on the local college station WMUC, just outside Washington DC. Tom was really up on hardcore from around the world and used to play a lot of Finnish and Brazilian hardcore that was very little known and hard to find. In those days most record stores stocked stuff like Black Flag, Circle Jerks and Dead Kennedys, but to find a record by a band like Kaaos, or Riistetyt in a shop was extremely rare and these bands were only repped by a small elite of collectors and MRR subscribers. When Tom dropped the needle on Riistetyt’s “Mieleonta Vakivaalta” I was spellbound. That rumbling bass, the raw jagged guitar, the barking harsh vocals, the spastic drums all sounded so fresh new and exciting to me. I taped that radio show then listened to it over and over. That was the first time I heard bands like Riistetyt, Appendix and Kaaos. I carefully scanned each issue of MRR for Finnish releases and scene reports and flipped over every strange looking record at the record store to see if it might be Finnish. This song, and that radio show started my lifelong fascination with the Finnish hardcore scene. “Skitsofrenia” was not Riistetyt’s first or last recording, but I think it is their masterpiece and is a total top 5 release for me. Riistetyt clearly drew on the influence of UK bands like Discharge, Chaos UK and Disorder, as well as earlier Finnish bands like Lama and Unicef but their delivery took everything up a notch. There is a certain energy and intensity to this record that so many records lack. You can’t look at the cover and listen to it without thinking of a bygone day of beer, leather, studs and chaos. Riistetyt had great guitar and bass tone, and tons of catchy, raw and searing riffs that burn themselves on your memory. There are some outstanding simplistic “chicken scratch” guitar leads on this record as well as some flanged out guitar wails that perfectly accentuate the raw and driving rhythm section. The short fast ragers are balanced out by a few slow burners which help keep the record from getting trapped in a monotone groove. Finnish is probably the best language for hardcore vocals because it has so many hard consonants and exaggerated long vowels. A Finnish hardcore band can be singing about flowers and puppies and still sound super hard and desperate just by singing in the native tongue. There is also an abundance on non-verbal growls, howls, moans and screams on this record “yaaarrggh, aarrrgh, raaaar” and the like. The lyrics deal with alienation from society from the perspective of the punk, the rebel, the outsider. One of the things that used to bother me about US hardcore bands, is that a lot of them just looked like skaters or jocks. Riistetyt had the true hardcore punk spirit and the look matched the sound. The cover photo shows sneering punks with big mohawks, charged hair, studded leathers and bullet belts, real punks! This record has been re-pressed several times and I was much honored to do a limited re press on my own label for the bands US tour some years ago. If you can’t track down an original vinyl copy, it should be very easy to find on spotify or a download blog. Truly an essential release and one of the best of the genre.

Felix von Havoc / Havoc Records / Code 13


There was only one pressing on Johanna. Later re-pressed on both Höhnie records and Havoc records.

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Missbrukarna

Krigets Gentlemän

Forsa Studio – FOLK 19 – 1983 – Cassette

Var är all sex?


Missbrukarna was the first fully developed hardcore band from Sweden. This tape is more an album than a demo. We all love it.

One of Sweden’s first and best hardcore punk bands was Missbrukarna and formed already in 1980, but members had been playing punk since 1976. Three years after the split EP with Panik (1980), Missbrukarna released the hardcore masterpiece “Krigets Gentlemän”, a cassette album of 17 songs, most of them under one minute.
From start to finish, “Krigets Gentlemän” is all hits, no fillers. About half the songs on the tape are urgently modern in sound (=hardcore) while the rest sound more like standard punk rock songs, only twice as fast. “Överlevarna” (The Survivors), the first song of the tape, is a punk song with a standard punk riff that sounds almost dated for 1983, but if anyone had any doubts on the second song “Skydd mot de fattiga” (Protection Against The Poor), a song that’s less than thirty seconds in length, Missbrukarna blasts off at a breakneck speed with ultra-fast vocals, crazed guitars and heart-attack drums. The rest of the cassette follows this pattern, with a fast punk song followed by an ultra-fast hardcore song. “Äcklet” (The Creep) is a hardcore song a la MDC that sounds faster than it actually is; by comparison, fast punk song “Vredens Dagar” (Days of Vengeance) is almost a radio hit. Brinnande Kors is a 20 second anti-religious blast-off akin to Dead Kennedy’s Nazi Punks Fuck Off but possible even faster and anyway much rawer (and therefore better). “Kristen Resning” (Christian Uprising) is perhaps best described as “proto-Totalitär” (indeed that band would later cover this song on their second EP). Land-speed record contender “Stela Små Barn” (Dead Small Children) is proto-grindcore with a menacing riff and a furious drum beat, all of it over in just 38 seconds. The second to last song “Slö, Slapp & Likgiltig” (Lazy, Loose and Indifferent) recalls Huvudtvätt with some comical special effects on the chorus. The tape closes with a straight forward not-very fast anti-war punk song.
The song I have chosen is perhaps not the most obvious one, such as for example “Kristen Resning” (perhaps the most well-known Missbrukarna song). Instead, I have opted for the 59 second hardcore killer “Var är all sex?” (Where is all the sex?). It’s a very fast and very short song with noisy guitars and vocal lines that are too fast to keep up with. Lyrically, the song is ambiguous, and quite fun. Is it serious? Is he really asking where and how he can get laid? Or is it some sort of in-joke? Who knows?? At any rate, this song, about teenagers looking for / longing for sex, is more innocent than sleazy. But that it is then followed by an even weirder and more obscure song called “Sexteknik” (Sexual technology), which is about robots fucking, is nothing short of genius!
Krigets Gentlemän would be the last Missbrukarna release, even though the band did not officially split up until five years later. At their final show in 1988, Missbrukarna played new hardcore songs that later got picked up by a new local hardcore band from Hudiksvall called Totalitär (nee Anti-System). The origin of Missbrukarna is in the first wave of Swedish punk and the band was one of the most important bands in the second wave (hardcore). That Missbrukarna was also a crucial influence in shaping one of the most important Swedish hardcore bands in the 1990s, namely Totalitär, ensures Missbrukarna’s place at the top of the list of the most essential Nordic hardcore bands of all times.

Tony Gunnarsson / More Noize Fanzine


The sleeve comes on different coloured paper. Lyric sheet included. All songs available on the Zooma In En Zombie discography from Skrammel records (2012).

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LAMA

ST

Johanna ‎– JHN 2069 – 1982 – LP

Tänään Kotona


A band that started out as a punk rock band in 1978 but hit hardcore with their 1982 LP. With a cult status with record collectors abroad, Lama is however perhaps more recognized in Finland than internationally.

It was in the beginning of the 1980s when HC started to really take off and with it came something that may be among the greatest things that ever happened to punk. The new punk called hardcore was so international that all of the sudden you started hearing punk from all over the world. Some names of the bands and song titles were hard to write, read and pronounce. But that wasn’t very important – that which came from the speakers was the important part. They sang in their own language and suddenly it was a language everyone could understand.
Pretty soon it became clear to me that there was something special just about Finnish HC bands. Other Scandi bands had a sound close to English punk, which made them easy to like and all the wonderful screaming Italian HC bands is also something you don’t want to miss. But Finnish bands had something very unique. It’s something about their language, which is both raw and melodic. Even if the sound of Finnish bands is powerful, for me it was this desperate, angry way of expression that stayed with me the most. Their way of singing was very relatable. We listened to a lot of HC band the first years we almost exclusively listened to thrash-core. The Finnish HC bands along with Swedish bands like MOB 47 and Anti Cimex were high up on our lists. At that time I didn’t really listen much to Lama, but they were always there in the background and were one of the bands that were easiest to always go back to.
Lama became the band that I as I grew older started listening to more and more. I would say Lama is one of the Nordic hardcore bands that I have listened most to over the years. I don’t really like making lists and naming favourites but I have to admit that it was never particularly hard to say that Lama was my favourite. Their mix of raw UK punk and the up-and-coming HC sound was completely kick-ass. As early as their debut EP with the song Totuus Löytyy Kaurapuurosta and the insane intro, it was clear that punk hell had been opened. It would devour all with its irresistible energy and its melodic Finnish refrains. That they choose to sing in Finnish made everything even more unique.
Lama never slowed down and they gave us hits with every new 7”, even if to my ears the first one was the best. Everything culminated with their LP that is just completely phenomenal. It’s bursting with punk hits and should be in everyone’s homes. Lama became big, and maybe the most famous Finnish punk band. There is no doubt that they made a great impact on the punk scene, and they made the Finnish punk bigger without it becoming commercial. That makes them an even more significant band. Their singles and LP weigh heavily and it wouldn’t surprise me if Lama one day ends up among the top bands in Finnish history.

Habi / NE! Records & Ženevski Dekret


Comes with printed inner sleeve. Re-issued on Svart records in 2011

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Electric Deads

Mind Bomb

Electro Static Records ‎– 3 DEADS – 1983 – 7″

Fish In A Pool


The third EP by possible the most recognized Danish hardcore band… [more]

There were very few hardcore records released in Denmark, even though there were quite a few cassette tape releases, in the period discussed; but out of the records released the three Electric Deads EPs are top notch.
In contrast to most other Danish bands, who were inspired by English hardcore, they were inspired by American hardcore, which appealed to me. When Kevin and I began to talk about my possible involvement in the band in time for the third EP, I did not have to think twice about it.
“Mind Bomb” is the perfect swan song for the band, in a way you could sense it listening to the record that they had reached a point where they could not continue any further and that therefore they might as well call it quits. That HC fans value the records very highly today is a tribute to Electric Deads who gave it their all to the end.

Johnny Concrete/ Dream Police, editor of No Aarhus zine

Art is not timeless; and of all art forms, music probably is the least so, which has to do with both, the progression in music and the listeners changing personality, taste, knowledge – call it musical education. With the internet, everybody has access to more or less the same music. This makes things more comparable and often, formerly „mystic“, or at least much obscured bands lose a bit of their magic when dragged out in the plain light of the thousands of computer screens all over the world. The Electric Deads were a band that outside of Denmark, little was known about. Their records were not easy to track down, there was a time in the 90s when they fetched ridiculously high prices. Of course, as with any other old underground band, you can talk about them in terms of how „classic“, „great“, or „timeless“ they are – but let‘s face it, that kind of approach totally lacks comprehension of the bands individual qualities. Qualities that seem to change over the years, in the listeners’ perception. With the Electric Deads, it was the female voice combined with the fast paced music that was the main attraction. Lyrics like those of the title song of their previous EP, “Anti-Sex”, that seemed to transpire some sort of „depth“ – and that now just seem naive and very prudent. So what is it that makes “Time Bomb” the best Electric Deads record and one of the memorable records of northern European hardcore punk?
The five songs on Electric Dead’s third and final release sure have come of age. The already mentioned fast paced music and the female vocals, very prominently set in the foreground, still manage to send out the feeling of certain freshness – but who could deny that in the meantime, the songs also sound a bit dated? “Crossroads”, is the fast and short opener, with the two voices (Holland‘s Funeral Oration made that their trademark) that sing a tune that could be a children‘s song, which is very much accentuated by the quirky guitar. The slightly longer, slightly punkier “Screwball” keeps things a bit more well-tempered, but flip the platter over and off goes “Mind Bomb”. Again two voices, but this time the playfulness vanishes under rather melancholic, maybe a bit dramatic sounding harmonies – only to be followed by another youthful sing along number, “La la la”. The final track is the band‘s most popular song: “Fish in a Pool” which, in a re-recorded version, appeared on MRR‘s „Welcome to 1984“ compilation album. Fast, a bit chaotic, earnest and very memorable and almost too short.
In 2013, there is something almost a bit eccentric about this kind of music, with its shoebox production and the mosquito guitars, like an echo from a time that is just as „historic“ now as every other period that is fit for history books, ready to be examined, debated and analyzed. And herein lies, that‘s how I see it, the quality of these records: They have become little oddities, sometimes with great personal value. “Time Bomb” is 30 years old and it shows. I cannot wait to see what in another 30 years people will make of this kind of music.

Erich Keller / Fear of God, editor of Good Bad Music, label director and zine editor


With lyric sheet, some copies contain promo material. Re-issued on Noise And Distortion Records in 2010.

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Skitslickers (aka Shitlickers)

GBG 1982

Not On Label ‎– SL – 8206 – 1982 – 7″

Warsystem


Possible the rawest release out of the Nordic countries. A shorted lived band – ahead of time… [more]

Skitlickers EP was so brutal and extreme, sounded like Finnish style of hardcore – therefore it was very, very good!!!”

Läjä / Terveet Kädet

If you are looking for the purest form of brutal Swedish hardcore, you should look no further, as Skitslickers (aka The Shitlickers) is as raw and dirty as it gets. The band started out in Gothenburg (GBG) in early 1981, playing one single gig as an opening act of The Exploited. At this point, Skitslickers were neither brutal nor original, but their style would change drastically after some line-up changes. Once Tomas Jonsson (bass) from Anti Cimex joined Lars “Skit-Lasse” Andrén (vocals), Jimmy Wedin (guitar) and Bob Stacey (drums), Swedish hardcore was about to change forever.
In the spring of 1982, this motley crew entered Studio Lane to record the first genuine Swedish crust punk EP, the unrelenting “GBG 1982” (known abroad as “Cracked Cop Skulls”). This EP is just amazing, pushing everything to the very verge of chaos. Its four short songs of intense speed, super-distorted instruments (due to a membrane pierced with a syringe!) and screamed vocals, made even the mighty Discharge sound outdated and controlled. Together with Anti Cimex, Skitslickers spawned a very new bastard of hardcore that eventually would be synonymous with Sweden due to countless imitators. They also set a standard for other bands with the band photo on the EP, in which they looked really fierce with their leather jackets, studs and spiked hair.
The band collapsed prematurely though, and would never experience the popularity the style would eventually gain. A second recording was shelved, and the band dissolved as Jonsson decided to focus on Anti Cimex. So, with less than four minutes of released material, Skitslickers was no more by the end of 1982. Their legacy continues to this day though, and their EP hasn’t lost any of its impact over the decades. “GBG 1982” remains a timeless genre-altering classic – more a miracle than a record!

Daniel Ekeroth / Musician and author of Swedish Death Metal


The first press was GBG 1982 (300 copies). Later re-pressed as The Shitlickers EP (white or red sleeve) on Malign Massacre record. There are at least 5 bootlegs of this record as well. Original press has matrix SL – 8206.

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Svart Framtid

1984

X-port Plater ‎– X-001 – 1984 – 7″

Religiøs Terror


Betong Hysteria might have started hardcore in Norway, Svart Framtid made Norwegian hardcore known abroad.

One of my favourite records. Solid – filled with “hits”, every song is good!.

Per Olof “Poffen” Frimodig / Totalitär

In 1984, some guys went into a studio and recorded what later would became one of Norway’s most legendary HC records. The band was Svart Framtid and the record the “1984 EP”, the first release on the singer Gunnar Nuven and his girlfriend Ote Kippersund later equally as legendary X-port Plater. The band consisted of Gunnar Nuven on vocals formerly of the band Feber, Nilz Petter Aune formerly of Hastverk, Fritjof Benneche on bass and Harald Tredal on drums with Anders Eide on guitar (formerly Anfall). The member’s came from all over Norway but met in Oslo. Ote had some previous experience as one of the two who put out the “Ingenting for Norge” compilation LP.
The record itself consisted of six pure hard-hitting but very melodic tracks, and came in an oversized “Crass-style” poster sleeve with its iconic use of the two kiddie angels. It was pressed in what became the latest pressing plant in Norway, Hønepress, in an edition of between 1400 to 1600 copies. After the record was released, the band set on touring Europe by train. There they encountered and played with many other classic 1980s European bands which they traded records with and built-up a network for gigging and trading. X-port Plater also got a government grant for youth businesses that made the label able to release more classic records, and thus became one of the first distros for punk/HC records from all over the world in Norway.
Svart Framtid recorded a few more tracks that got released on a few compilation tapes from around the world. They also had an appearance on a TV play “Du har ikke en sjans –ta’n” (You have not a chance – Grab him!) that told the story of Skippergata, a squat that preceded the more famous Blitz in Oslo. Several members had small roles in the play and Svart Framtid performed “Snuteterror” with guest vocalist Geir “Moron” Brurok from Betong Hysteria. The band split-up after releasing the EP and a live tape. Members wound up in other well-known bands like Stengte Dører, Kafka Prosess and So Much Hate amongst others.
My first encounter with the record was through a review in Gateavisa, an anarchistic magazine from Oslo. They released a tape issue, where the Svart Framtid 7” was the only vinyl record which got reviewed in this issue. The record was 15 Norwegian crowns plus postage and in return I got this fab 7” but not only that, it also included a list of other fab stuff that opened my eyes to the foreign punk scenes outside of UK/US. I still got most of the records, tapes and zines I bought from them. However, seldom do I get the goose bumps that I got after putting the record on my turntable the first time and for that reason, this is maybe my favourite records of all time.

Kjell Arne Sandvik / Norwegian punk & hardcore blog


Poster sleeve. Export versions came with an English lyric sheet. First press is easiest identified with a circular die-cut to make a large centre hole. The second press got a triangular shape of the die cut for making a large centre hole. Re-pressed on Voltage Records in 2011.

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Headcleaners

Disinfection

Malign Massacre Records ‎– MMS 001 – 1981 – 7″

Dying In A Maze


Rätt och Slätt – Huvudtvätt…[more]

I played with Brülbåjz when the first Swedish hardcore bands surfaced. Even if my music was not inspired by hardcore I have to say that bands like Huvudtvätt and Missbrukarna were really important pioneers.

Chips Kiesbye / Brülbåjz / Sator

The first time I met Mats Nilsson was at a punk show in the summer 1980. I was 16 years old and he had just moved to Linköping to study at the university. My friends and I loved Massmedia so it was great getting to know one of the guys in the band. We continued to bump into each other at punk shows and used to chat. This was in the very early days of hardcore. Living in the middle of nowhere I couldn’t just go to a nearby record store to find any of the hardcore records that were coming out, but Mats had some contacts around the world and managed to get stuff we had never heard of. So I was thrilled when he told me about this new project he had going with his brother, Torulf, and Patrik Tanner from Massmedia.
When the Huvudtvätt/Picnic Boys split EP was finally released I was totally blown away! Fast, short and intense, but the songs had hooks. I loved it! Shortly after the split was released Malign Massacre put out the “export versions” of the songs sung in English by the Headcleaners. The production on this record was raw and even more intense. Peter of Nasty Boys and I managed to get some copies of it right on time for a punk show in Boxholm on December 12 1981. I think we sold all the copies straight away!
Huvudtvätt/Headcleaners made a huge impact on the early Swedish hardcore scene, at least in our part of the country. The “Disinfection” EP also made people outside Sweden aware of what was going on here. Personally I consider them the most important Swedish hardcore band ever, but I’m sure others will disagree.

Patrick Jonsson / Really Fast Records


The first press had a red sleeve. Lyric sheet included. White label record. There are two re-presses on Malign Massacre records (green followed by a black sleeve) and two re-presses on 1000 db.

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Rattus

Rajoitettu Ydinsota

Poko Rekords ‎– RAT 097 – 1982 – 7

Rajoitettu Ydinsota

Official website: www.rattus.fi

One of the tightest and most recognised Finnish hardcore band that issued a bunch of killer slabs in the early 1980s.

Named after a Stranglers album, the name Rattus was easier to remember and pronounce compared to some of the other weird sounding Suomi-bands like Kansanturvamusiikkikomissio, Pohjasakka or Kumikristus. Formed in small city of Vilppula 1978 the band was originally influenced by 1970s UK punk which is evident on their two first 7-inches; “Khomeini Rock” (1980) and “Fucking Disco” (1981). With this discography the band played mainly locally, but also supported Ratsia in Seinäjoki (were Provinssirock also take place).
With an hour’s car-drive from Tampere, Epe Helenius had a record store and a record label and reluctantly picked up Rattus and released in 1981 the 12” “Rattus on Rautaa” (Rattus rules). A weak punk record, it should have been called “Rattus sucks”. The band needed a fresh injection or they would have likely folded. A couple of gigs with UK’s The Exploited followed, but more importantly a meeting with Voitto “Vote” Vasko who ran P.Tuotanto was exactly what the band needed.
Flooded with imported hardcore records and international touring experience, the band was fit for fight, armed with their own blend of hardcore. The “Rajoitettu Ydinsota EP” was their next release–lession learned– it’s a real hardcore burner –a throat-tearing thrash EP–one of the finest out of Finland! It got right away national and international attention. Fast, heavy, trashy– it will knock you out!
I, being too young to hear it back in 1982, was compensated at the drunk and disorderly parties I attended starting around 1984. I found Rattus much heavier and thrashier compared to their Swedish peers. Having no idea about what they were singing about did not matter, it was just brutal shit – so we sung along in our own-invented Finnish language.
Rattus was a band that went from clarity to clarity. The brothers Jake / Tomppa and Vellu on drums quickly put out the LP’s “WC Räjähtää” and “Uskonto On Vaara” and continued to tour internationally building a reputation and a well-deserved name. The band made an international hardcore breakthrough with the “Ratcage LP” in 1984, which contained new recordings of their earlier art. All these LP’s are all super-tight, furious and brutal slabs.
Writing this article is quite fascinating listening to this stuff and to realize how contemporary they still are. In 1988, after a metal cross-over exodus, the band burst and it was time for another generation to continue. Luckily Rattus had provided the blueprints for kick-ass hardcore.

the Editor / Swedishpunkfanzines


Re-issued on Brazilian label Punk Rock Discos in 1983, Neg Fx in 1986 and Höhnie in 2011. The most recent re-issue is on Queer Pills (2012).

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Kaaos

Totaalinen Kaaos

Propaganda Records ‎– PRO-009 – 1982 – 7″

Mellakka


Claimed to be the trademark Finnish 80s hardcore sound, fast buzzsaw thrash riffs, reverby vocals, all over the place drumming, and plodding bass.

I saw KAAOS play live in their practice space in the basement of Jakke’s parents house in Tampere in the summer of 1980 as well as in our (Idiootti) rehearsal studio. KAAOS were the toughest band around. They covered Trams from Sweden’s “Alla Snutar är Nazister” (All Cops are Nazis) which ended up on their split with Cadgers, called Kytät On Natsisikoja. Awesome song!!!

Jukka Veli-Matti Säteri / Alternativeaction / Unborn-SF

As a band Wretched was much inspired, both politically and musically by Discharge. Real anger that comes from inside… The first time I heard Northern European bands was a Finnish hardcore tape at a Norwegian friends place in London in the early 1980s. I remembered that I liked KAAOS the most, because they seems to be most angry. Never surrender!!!

Fabietto / Wretched

While most classic early-to-mid 1980s Swedish hardcore releases were EPs, Finland churned out a lot of seminal full-length releases that still hold up really well – Rattus, Riistetyt, Appendix, Lama, Destrucktions, or Kansan Uutiset just to name a few. However, Tampere’s own KAAOS’ arguably best release is of the 7 inch variety. Released a year or so after a split 7″ with Cadgers (pre-Riistetyt), “Totaalinen Kaaos” is a 9 song affair on Propaganda Records.
Nine songs, now that should give an indication of how short, fast and loud KAAOS were in 1982. A short, sharp, shock indeed. Super aggressive vocals with lots of “aaaarghs” and a raw fast thrash punk assault with songs catchy and memorable enough not to become a blur of noise. There is also enough tempo variation to keep you interested and focused — “Sekasortoa” is an amazing intense slower number with palm muted riffs and tom-heavy tribal drumming that gets stuck in my head every time I hear it. KAAOS mellowed out a little bit on their subsequent releases, but “Totaalinen Kaaos” remains an international thrash classic.
The band has reunited and released a couple of remarkable records in the early 2000s, but vocalist (and former guitarist) Jakke passed away in 2007 of alcohol-related causes at the age of 42, followed by bassist Nappi a couple of years later. This record was reissued in its original format recently by Svart Records, complete with the elusive original booklet, so make sure you grab a copy if you don’t own one because this is one of the absolute mandatory Nordic hardcore records— still raging hard more than 30 years after its initial release.

Luc Ardilouze / Kängnäve blog, Ratbone Records, Gasmask Terrör


The first press had a black / white sleeve, blue vinyl. Some copies also had a booklet. The re-press from the same year has the same sleeve but the vinyl in black. The 3rd press from 1983 came in a yellow sleeve with black print, black vinyl. Re-issued in 2013 on Svart records.

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Anti-Cimex

Raped Ass

A Records – 001 – 1983 – 7″

Raped Ass


For many Anti-Cimex defines Swedish hardcore. The influences are echoed around the globe still today. Raped Ass being their defining EP followed by the killer EP Victim of a Bombraid.

Anti-Cimex “Warmachine”, pretty much sums this masterpiece up for me. Because that’s what it is: a fucking warmachine… The raw, primitive sound and the voice of the best vocalist ever makes this record the most intense piece in my record collection, and I doubt any of todays bands would be able to come close to it. Anti-Cimex had to create their own sound because they didn’t have billions of bands to copy, nor did they have fancy equipment and studios. True pioneers kicking everyone’s ass in 1982 as well as 2013!

Mats “Masken” Sjögren / Anti-Cimex collector / Sub Alert / Fight back records / Blog as fuck [more]

There were a few ”råpunk” bands in Sweden around 1982 and 1983 but most recordings were quite shit. All that changed with Anti-Cimex. The ”Raped Ass” EP from 1983 was a bloody kick in the balls for all of us. Jocke, Charlie, Jonsson and Conrad made a defining EP. Raped Ass and the following EP, Victims of a Bombraid, are frankly outstanding. The band’s breakthrough was when they played with Discharge at Sprängkullen in Göteborg in 1983. Both Discharge and Anti-Cimex were awesome. Many Swedish bands tried to copy the Cimex sound, few were successful.

Mikael ”Gröten” Karlsson / E.A.T.E.R.

Anti-Cimex were very early and had a signature sound. I really prefer Victim of Bombraid over this but both are just awesome. None of us, including Cimex were very recognized at the time. We played with them at their last gig at Birkagården in 1985. Disarm and Agoni played as well. It was 70 people in the audience.

Åke Henriksson / Mob 47

Anti-Cimex were important to us. Not as role models, more because they were one of my favourite bands. We saw them in Linköping, Sweden (1982/1983?). Also I think they were important for Swedish punk, which for years spread around the world, and for other Swedish bands. That was rawer than anything we did!

Mats Nilsson / Huvudtvätt aka Headcleaners

The kings of chaos from Sweden! I did a short interview with Jonsson for Brutal Chaos No.4 fanzine aiming to have it ready to publish for the two day sold-out Anti.Cimex and Discharge shows in Göteborg in April 1983. The instructions were razor-clear from Jonsson, as always: firstly, to quit from the Shitlickers and secondly, to begin to sing in English with Anti-Cimex.
I was played a few new tracks on a tape which revealed the new sound of Anti-Cimex. However, when the band entered the studio in February 1983, I would never have imagined that the speed would be more or less twice as fast, the vocals so raw and over-the-top, with screeching guitars and ultra-fast solos, the war machine drums which basically kicked my ass over the floor and back! Anti-Cimex deliver ferocious speed thrash attack on this EP, taking off where Discharge left us with WHY? but with even more speed.
Jeff Bale’s review in MRR summed it up pretty well: ”…an exceptional ultra-thrash attack can be found on Anticimex´s second EP. Production is much better, and the band is more cohesive this time around, these songs rank right up there with those of the Shit Lickers and Head Cleaners in the Swedish “shred” sweepstakes, A Must! (JB)
The record itself managed to show up at the Sprängkullen gig just on time. Conrad did the oversized cardboard printing at the Syndicalist Centre in Göteborg. The intention was to have a printed lyric insert inside, however more than half of the print was sold in those 2 days! But the lyric sheet was eventually included on the first edition of the Hardcore Horror Records version (1,000 copies).
The label A-records was a short-lived distro project by Swempa, connected to Crass Records and selling their entire catalogue, but that also released the Anti-Cimex EP mostly because Jonsson used to live and sleep outside the Anarchist Centre in his Volvo Amazon.
Lyricwise the EP mainly deals with anti–war, anti–society and the refusal to conform, issues that followed the band during their whole existence. No-one thought that Jonsson would ever survive the age of 21 ! BUT he is still living as a non-conformist, outlaw vagabond still hanging on the edge of society with more than one foot in the grave, and he has survived many…!
Now, 30 years has passed and honestly no other band or record from Scandinavia comes close to this monster piece that set out the standards for the later-on worldwide crust scene. It is the holy grail, the only record which could make it into a top 10 hardcore singles worldwide from Scandinavia along with Terveet Kädet!
Anti-Cimex and Terveet Kädet were best in the class, and this gem still pulverise everything else.

Mats Bodenmalm / Distortion Records


There are several re-presses of this record. The first one is on A-records with printed labels. Re-pressed on Really Fast Records in 1984 (three sleeve versions) and Hardcore Horror in 1986 (transparent vinyl) including a promo sleeve version with band images. Further official and partly official sleeve version exist. Re-issued on Nada Nada discos in 2013. There are no bootlegs.

Click to expand the image.


Terveet Kädet

Ääretön Joulu

Poko Rekords – Kädet 105 – 1982 – 7″

Pissaa Ja Paska

Official website: www.terveetkadet.com


Making this list, the mother of Suomi hardcore Terveet Kädet takes position one. A band that was great back in 1980 and is still great today. This is their third EP … [more]

Around 1983 someone sent me an EP that really shook me up. We were Anti-Cimex; the hardest, toughest, largest and best hardcore band around. And I found a Finnish band that was more brutal, musically way over our heads and with a sleeve artwork that made me quite confused. And what an EP–perfect sound, perfect lengths of the songs–absolutely brutal stuff. These guys were professionals. And the vocals –wow– the guttural screaming from an asylum–surreal!
There was no internet in these days so we could not Google to find out any more about these madmen. I asked around – few in Sweden knew anything. I learned that the band name meant “Healthy Hands”. Anyhow it’s was not that goddamn important if you knew so much about the band or not – the main thing was that they kicked ass. The best song was “Pissaa Ja Paskaa!”. A Finnish buddy in Sweden told me he meaning – funny. It’s one of those songs that got stuck in my heads all these years. After this I bought most of the Terveet Kädet records but “Ääretön Joulu” is the best they have ever done, possible the best EP out of Finland – I listened to it a few days ago – it still kicks ass!!!

Charlie / Anti-Cimex

A naked man is hanging upside down, wearing only leather gloves; a lit candle is poked in his arsehole. At the time, surely only Skitslickers’ GBG 1982 EP, with the soldider carving out flesh from a civilian, comes anywhere close to the graphical brutality. Of course, Discharge’s Why? 12” LP (1981) with its civilian casualties on the cover must have pushed both TK and Skitslickers in the right direction.
“Ääretön Joulu” translates as “eternal Christmas”, however whether this title has any relevance to the imagery on the cover is not entirely certain. But the record as a whole is characterised with themes from piss and shit to the smell of knickers.
To describe the music played is perhaps to extinguish the pleasure you will receive from listening to the record, but as the top record in this top 20 list there is perhaps no need to describe why this is one of the worlds’ most famous hardcore punk record (if you ask those in the know). We’re by no means unique in classing it, the best.

Tony Gunnarsson / More Noize Fanzine

This is the shit, a mix of Discharge and early US hardcore. It influenced our sound. Around 1983-84 I basically “locked in” Chrille, our drummer, in the rehearsal studio with a tape recording of this EP, to make sure he really mastered D-Beat drumming.

Åke Hendriksson / Mob 47

When we formed Olho Seco in 1980 we wanted to sound tougher and rawer than other Sao Paulo bands like Colera and Inocentes. We listened to bands from the UK and that was great stuff. However, in 1982 Vote Vasko sent us a box of Finnish tapes and records. We played the tapes and not only got the Sao Paulo hardcore sound influenced by Finland but the whole Brazilian scene. I was very impressed by Rattus. Kaaos was, let say real chaos, pure mayhem. Lama had the unmistakable back-up voice. Riistetyt sounded uppercut. More interesting–the Finns sung in Finnish– which taught us that you did not have sing in English. From there we all decided to sing in Portuguese. I understand that later the European hardcore bands used the local language, like Sweden, Holland and Italy. However–one band stood out of the others– Teervet Kädet. It was ultra-fast, super-tight and with an amazing screaming voice. We were blown away!
I opened my record shop in Sao Paulo in 1979 and just a few years later I could, thanks to Vote, introduce hardcore from the entire world. They really opened my eyes – olho aberto!!!

Fabio / Olho Seco – Brazil


There is a re-issue on Hiljaiset Levyt in 1989 and on Svart Records in 2012.

Epilogue:

It’s very, very difficult to make a list of the 20 most essential hardcore releases in the Nordic countries before 1986 in a fair and just way while at the same time not falling into the trap of nostalgia. There were so many great bands out there and back then. The authors of this article would also like to recognise the following artists, which did not make the final list, but which were very close seconds, among with several other great Nordic hardcore bands: Siste Dagers Helevete (Norway), Moderat Likvidation, Asocial, Crude SS, Avskum, Rövsvett and Krunch (all Sweden), Varaus, Bastards, Pohjasakka, Unicef, Sekunda (all Finland), just to mention a few.

We would also take the opportunity to thank all the writers but also Vote Vasko, Stuart Schrader, Patrick Toole and Markku Hirvelä for valuable input. Tony Gunnarsson deserves a lot of credit for all proofreading. Finally I, the editor, would like to thank Florian Helmchensson who on regular basis ensured that we were not sitting comfortable upon any high horses.

All rips and images are from the Editor’s collection, expect where other sources are mentioned.


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Artwork by Joel Abramhamsson, 2013

15 comments

  1. Rolf Revålt

    Ha!Thank you ! Me ,myself and I was to lazy to contribute to this when asked,but I would have gone for the minilp made by danish band Sods.Their “Minutes to go” record from 1979 is a blast and really have it´s moments of early hardcore vibes. And by that I mean fast,raging,short tunes. Add to that some desolate urban wasteland sounding songs and you have a very original record.They also show taste by covering Suicides “Ghost rider”. And their take on reggae must be heard! Their first proper lp was called” Sort sol” and it´s a postpunk/goth sounding artefact.Quite good if you like that style.Soon they changed their name to Sort Sol and became quite “famous”.
    So! – early h/c vibes,desperate cold Copenhagen punk noise, that for me as a young punkdigger really stood out, especially compared to the swedish stuff released at that time.
    Not everyone´s gonna clap me on the shoulder for this one…”Waddaya mean hardcore??!!…”
    Here´s to openmindness!Salut!//Rolf Revålt of Missbrukarna.

  2. Per

    Where is the Absurd 7″???

  3. Agge

    I think Svart Parad and Crude ss should be in this list aswell

  4. As it can be seen in the recent Svart repress of “Ääretön Joulu”, the guy on the cover is not wearing gloves. His hands have a more intense pink colour, probably ‘coz they are tied.

  5. MJB

    Correct me if I’m wrong but the guy on the cover is Läjä Äijälä, the singer.

  6. citizen

    I’m pretty sure the dude in the cover of ääretön joulu is the singer himself, Läjä Äijälä, he is into BDSM and that kind of territory.

  7. Bill

    We can say that there’s lots of records left out, but all it is, it’s an opinion
    We can have different opinions, we can have different top 20 lists
    But in the end all that matters is, these are the editors picks.

    • the editor

      That’s the right way to see it. This is the opionion of the 20 writers. The hardest was to balance how influent the release was (i.e. Essential) and being awesome. Some bands had a large influence the local scene (like on PP on Iceland) but not really outside of it. Others – like Shitlickers was a much an unknown phonomena at the time but just get larger by the years with fans in Lima, Sao Paulo, Barcelona or Jarkarta. Furthermore – we limited the list to one record per band and excluded compilation. You will have your own views, but hopefully this list can help someone to find one or two new bands and others will find more info on bands they like. – thanx for reading.

  8. nepa

    cant really argue with the top 2. rest of it is debatable

  9. I am looking for this: Shitlickers gbg 1982 7″ photo sleeve version.
    Only in a clean excellent condition. I rather trade, if thats an option.
    You can contact me at: exitstence@luukku.com
    PS. Anyone got an extra copy of the Anti Cimex box set?
    I need one for my collection..

  10. Thomas

    Quite interesting site. But I’m a bit confused: My copy of the the Appendix 12″ is on dark red wax w/ yellow/green sleeve. So what’s that for a pressing?

    • the editor

      It’s the third press! Still very rare ftom back in the days!!

  11. altse alatalo

    Appendix lp was also pressed on a dark green wax,
    and other colour was also pressed. Not quite sure
    what was that. I have the red wax and still looking
    for the green one.

  12. the editor

    The dark green (very very dark) can be seen comparing with a black record. It’s the first press

  13. leo

    luckily i have some of these, and even more luckily, i’ve got them for cheap from “old” punx from my area, like Gianluca (bass player of eu’s arse, who told me he was in touch w/ the swedish punx at the time!) and the guitar player of FPE aka FOTTUTISSIMA PELLICCERIA ELSA! thanks for ever guys! fuck yeah! : )

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