Sunday Old School: Anti Cimex
Heavy metal and punk have more or less always had an uneasy relationship. There's been taunts and violence from both sides, yet there's always been a level of mutual respect, perhaps moreso in recent years than when the two genres were at their commercial (some might say, cultural) zenith. Many metal bands have cited the likes of the Sex Pistols, Discharge and Bad Brains as an influence, while numerous bands from the punk and hardcore scenes such as Suicidal Tendencies, D.R.I. and The Exploited have channeled the metal sound into their own to create crossover thrash and in later cases, grindcore. This week, we'll be taking a look at another legendary punk band who struck a chord with fans of both styles, Anti Cimex.
Anti Cimex were formed in Gothenburg, Sweden's second largest city in 1981 and initially consisted of vocalist, Nils "Nillen" Andersson, Joakim "Joker" Pettersson on guitar, drummer Charlie Claeson and bassist, Tomas "Freke" Jonsson, the last of which had also been a member of another notable Swedish punk band, Shitlickers. This lineup would only record one EP together in December of that year entitled, "Anarkist Attack," which wasn't released until 1982. Shortly afterwards, Nillen was sacked from the group and Frecke took over the position of vocalist, with the band bringing in Christian "Cutting" to handle bass, before he was replaced by a bassist known simply as Conrad.
With their lineup secured, Anti Cimex returned to the studio to record the follow up to "Anarkist Attack," which was released in 1983 under the blunt but brutal title, "Raped Ass." Though the record clocked in at under eight and a half minutes (actually making it one of the band's longer EPs,) it received a great deal of praise from punk fans and has gone on to become one of the country's most popular and influential contributions to the genre. They followed "Raped Ass" a year later with the four song EP, "Victims of a Bomb Raid," which was also a favourite amongst listeners and would gain futrher attention in the new millennium when British grindcore innovators Napalm Death covered the title track and "Game of the Arseholes" for their covers album, "Leaders Not Followers Vol. 2."
In 1986, Anti Cimex released their first twelve inch record, a mini album entitled, "Criminal Trap." The fifteen minute release showcased a more metallic edge to the band, particularly on the opening track, "Prelude E Minor" and displayed a sound not unlike the booming thrash metal genre. Despite another excellent output on which he performed superbly, Pettersson began growing tired of the band and decided to leave. The group asked a friend of theirs, Cliff Lundberg to replace him, but he declined and subsequently, Anti Cimex called it a day.
A few years later, Lundberg had changed his mind about joining the band and inspired by his willingness, Anti Cimex was reformed in 1990 by Jonsson, Conrad and Claeson. That same year, they released their first full length album, "Absolut Country of Sweden." The album was well received by fans who had been waiting for both a return and an LP from the group for a long time, though it would be their last release to feature Conrad, who was soon replaced by Lundberg's frequent collaborator, Lefty.
Reinvigorated and with an album finally under their belts, Anti Cimex soon found themselves very busy, with no less than three releases dropping in 1993, including their first live album, "Made In Sweden," which contained very raw production. This was followed by the live single, "Fucked In Finland," before their sophomore full length, "Scandinavian Jawbreaker" hit the shelves. Though the album also received good feedback from fans and critics alike, Anti Cimex made the decision to disband soon after its release and to date, there have been no further attempts at any reunions. Though it seems unlikely now that we will ever see Anti Cimex on stage again, their legacy as one of Sweden's greatest punk bands in a country where the focus is shone more on metal remains undisputed and younger fans will have the joy of discovering them for years to come.
Anti Cimex - "Anarkist Attack" (Full EP)
Anti Cimex - "Warmachine"
Anti Cimex - "Victims of a Bomb Raid" (Full EP)
Anti Cimex - "Prelude E Minor/Criminal Trap"
Anti Cimex - "Going Down"
Anti Cimex - "Of Ice"
Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.
Please share this article if you found it interesting.