Discharge Continues The Revolution In Swindon
Without a doubt, Discharge was one of the most important bands in the history of British punk rock music. The band, along with The Exploited and (Charged) G.B.H. ushered in a new era in the scene, spouting pacifist beliefs, calling for the disarmament of nuclear weapons and criticizing the evils of capitalism. Discharge also was able to mix metal with punk in an excellent fashion and has been an influence on many metal bands including Metallica, Celtic Frost, and Onslaught. So with this in mind, the discovery that Discharge would be performing in Swindon seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up.
Discharge was joined by two supporting acts on the evening, the first being Bastard! Rats!, who was able to entertain the small audience with a catchy brand of punk rock, utilized in a similar fashion to The Clash with a hint of the pop punk bands of the 90's such as Green Day, though with a much more aggressive tone than the latter. A set of around thirty minutes seemed just about right for the group, who, while not being able to garner a massive response from the few in the audience, certainly did well enough to win over a few converts.
Next up was Diablo 13. A slightly larger number of people were able to witness the locals, who perform a perfect mixture of hardcore punk with a country music influence, though the country stylings seemed to be showing less on the evening, the band instead opting to perform their more jagged material. Frontman Marky C is truly a sight to behold, as he absorbs himself so much in the group's music that he appears to be lost in a world of his own, allowing him to be one of the most expressive frontmen in the local scene. He clearly believes in the music, as do the rest of the band, who perform with a tight fashion but are clearly having fun while they play. It took a little while but eventually they were able to get a few old punks away from the bar and on to the dance floor, where the energy of the set was being met well.
Finally came the turn of the headlining legends Discharge. Despite the sparse crowd, the band was able to unleash an astonishingly ferocious set, providing an excellent mix of old punk material with the act's more recent crossover thrash metal catalogue. Newer songs such as "Hell Is War" and "The Beginning Of The End" are set upon the audience like the violent sonic onslaught they were designed to be and performed with the energy of young speed freaks, let alone a band which has been going for more than thirty years. Lead vocalist Ant Cimex has only been in the group for around a year but he fits in brilliantly, sporting a perfect mohawk and barking out Discharge classics old and new like a rabid dog. Likewise, the rest of the band are on top form too, with bass being handled in a precise manner, while the distorted guitar sounds are able to create a chaotic but fine crafted sound. All in all, it was a magnificent display from one of British punk and crossover's most seminal bands, and with the current British political climate being what it is, their music is becoming more and more relevant to the youth of today with every passing week. It's good to know that some bands never sell out or pigeon hole themselves and Discharge certainly show no signs of these changes, or compromise of any kind, in the near future.
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.
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