Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review #217: Napalm Death - Hatred Surge Demo (1985)


Year: 1985
Hardcore Punk
Length: 24 Minutes
My Rating:

Napalm Death is notable for being one of the definitive grindcore bands and they are well-respected as a death metal band as well. However, when they first started out in 1981, they were a punk rock group whose members were only 13 years old! Actually, none of the original members were in the band after the recording of their first "real" album called "Scum" (only half of it), but alas, here these fuckheads are, ready to rock and roll. They weren't playing grindcore yet, but they were still pretty aggressive. The style here is U.K. type hardcore with a slight metal influence (typical of U.K. hardcore) and also a big "post-punk" influence. The members of the band at this point were Justin Broadrick (guitar), Nik Napalm (bass/vocals), and Mick Harris (drums).

1. What Man Can Do
The intro is kind of ominous sounding. Slow, with just a wispy, spooky guitar sound and a thumping bass drum. Then a more aggressive beat kicks off (snares n' all). The guitar sounds really cool. Then the bass riff changes. The angry-as-fuck vocals also set the attitude for this song. I like how two people sing, not just one. The lyrics are about how humans seem to do nothing but destroy and kill everything they get their hands on. The ending section has a real scary type of beat.

2. Instinct of Survival
Definitely the best song on this tape. The intro is kinda cool, but one of the best parts is that second riff that plays. It sounds SO awesome. I swear that directly influenced the Melvins when they wrote the intro part for their song "#2 Pencil". The lyrics are fucking awesome, they're sung fucking awesome, it's just such an awesome song, the riffs all fucking rock! It's so angry and energtic! The lyrics are about corporations which abuse the people of 3rd-world nations and even people from their own countries and suck away resources and money and people like vampires latching onto the world with their undetachable fangs. The "multinational corporations" part at the end also FUCKING ROCKS. This song later appeared on the "Scum" LP.

3. Abbatoir
Really wispy intro. The guitar sounds wispy, in the very beginning you're just hearing these feedback and humming noises floating around the room like LITTLE GHOSTIES. Then a solid riff and beat gets set off. Totally different feel from the previous song. I love the drum beat. After this part, the guitar riff changes to something a little angrier. The song's about about how much life has been has been wasted by social conformity and people who try to succeed and be "normal" in the system, while it's pretty much a lie and people encourage others to follow this path and seldom question it.

4. Control
A fast song. The riff is cool, the singing sounds grate (like what you do to cheese), and the lyrics are about how behind every useless social system we follow, there's a fascist behind the curtain. I like this song too.

5. Sacrificed
Another really awesome song. Starts off with a feedback sound loud and long enough to deafen one for life. This song's even faster than the song before it. The chorus riff is so awesome, especially how they're just singing "SACRIFICED!!" in unison alongside the fast drum beat. Total aggression... by the way, doesn't "Total Aggression" sound like it would be a name for a hardcore band? After the chorus, the song stops for a few moments with just a bunch of guitar noise being made, and then the chorus is played one more time and then the song's over. I think it's about animal testing for cosmetics (this band loves bunny rabbits and hates make-up and hair products) and how "spiky hair makes rabbits cry" -- actually, yeah, you'll see pictures of bunnies with green crap coming out of their eyes. The "real beauty is denied" part stands out to me as well because we live in a society where artificial beauty is worshiped and all of the things that actually are beautiful about humans are ignored. But yeah, this iz another one of my favorites. Doesn't get old! This song also later appears on "Scum" in a 100x faster form.

6. So Sad
I like the beat. The guitar riff has kind of a sad-feeling to it. I can't find the lyrics to this song. The drumming is extremely good on this tune.

7. Caught in a Dream
The beat in the beginning is awesome. The riff, also. Then the song gets a little faster. The song's about how people are attracted to entertainment and constantly use fantasy and television and other things of that type to ignore reality. Hell, I'm using a computer right now, I guess I'm kind of doing the same time. I mean, fuck, this NAPALM DEATH music is pretty entertaining to me, I guess that makes me Satan! At least I recognize that I deserve to die unlike most people. Hah, look at me, I'm trying to justify my fucking shortcomings by saying something shocking, isn't that so cute? The chorus sections are really fast n' thrashy. Later appeared on "Scum".

8. Private Death
Really fast! The lyrics are about people who are dying a "private death" by being slaves to the system and try to escape "but they're nailed to a cross" -- I really liked that lyric. The mid-section is only half as fast. THEN IT GETS ALL FAST AGAIN AND SHIT. EVERYONE'S GONNA DIE, KIDDIEZ!!

9. Cheswick Green
This one's taken from a live recording. The sound quality is really poor on this tune. Not THAT poor, but you can't make out riffs or lyrics or anything. It's just kind of a normal punk song from what I'm hearing. It has a guitar solo in the middle, also. Then a bunch of chaps in the audience clap for the band. YAEY!!!!

Contrary to what I originally believed, this was NOT the band's first demo tape -- they had been making demos since 1982. This was their third demo or so. They made another demo after this in '86 and then they released Scum after that. What surprised me even more is that the members of the band were even younger than me when they recorded this -- they're really fucking talented, that's for sure. Even if you don't like grindcore or death metal (I'm not a big death metal guy), this record doesn't sound like those and it's just some really good, creative, angry punk rock! So yeah, check out this record because I really like it.

Top 3 Favorites:
1. Instinct of Survival

3. Control

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