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The Disrupters ‘Generation Retard’

The Disrupters were one of the anarcho-punk bands from the 80s. ‘Generation Retard’ is the band’s first album in 25 years, having reformed in 2007 after initially disbanding in 1988, and the record sounds just like the anarcho-punk output of the 80s. Apart from an improved production quality, this angry quintet aren’t planning on breaking the mould – snarly vocals, mid-paced hardcore riffing and drumming, and pro-anarchism lyrics all remain.

Frontman Steve Bangkok and The Disrupters were major players in the initial anarcho-punk scene three decades ago, but what place is there for them in today’s punk-rock musical landscape? The music is generally appealing, especially for fans of melodic hardcore-punk bands such as Rise Against – the riffs and drum parts are technical and metal enough to excite modern day hardcore kids, yet simple enough to satisfy oldschool punk rockers. Musical highlight include the central, jagged riff of the opening title track, and the furious pace of ‘Torture Room.’ Fans of legendary bands such as Crass and Discharge – two key influences of The Disrupters – will lap this up.

But what sounds unquestionably outdated is the ‘message’ of ‘Generation Retard.’ For starters, the fact that it is called ‘Generation Retard’ is laughable (and not in a commendable way). Delivered through snarling vocals – influenced by the punk of the late 70s – Steve Bangkok bitches and moans about religion, corporate business and the government. There is little in the way of intelligent discussion in songs like ‘We Are The Taliban,’ ‘Torture Room’ and ‘Holy War.’ Instead, complaints and obscenities are shouted at you to a backdrop of angry, but polished, metal-tinged punk rock. For a DIY genre that, supposedly, is more focused on the ‘message’ than the music, it may surprise some anrcho-punks to hear an album where the music is accomplished and the lyrical delivery floundered.

The band have insisted that this there is no element of nostalgia in their reunion, and that they are simply picking up where they left off. However, despite some improved musicianship, this kind of punk-rock really does sound outdated. And nostalgic.

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~ by cliveparisrozario on June 6, 2011.

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