Anyway, moving on to the reason for this post. In my interview with Gigi from UBR, he mentions a song by the band 'Dva Minuta Mržnje (Two Minutes of Hate) from Novi Sad, now part of Serbia. The song in question, 'Crni Mercedes' is about black Mercedes cars, which were at the time considered a status symbol for Yugoslav officials. Gigi said that more than anything, the level of hypocrisy and political opportunism associated with these figures was a popular topic amongst Yugoslav punk bands and songs like this help to explain where a lot of the political anger expressed through hardcore punk was coming from, and at who it was directed.
The song comes from the bands EP/demo 'Došao Je Kraj', which features 4 songs, recorded in 1984 at the Top Ten studio in Ljubljana, by Borut Činč, who was a member of Buldozer, a great prog/rock/pysch group formed in the mid 70s. 100 copies of the recording were pressed to a 7" in 1995 by 'No Time To Be Wasted Records' and it goes for silly money if discogs is anything to go by. From what I can see they also ended up featuring on a load of other compilations in the 80s, although the songs on most of these seem to just be from this recording. However, the Izgubljena Alternativa cassette from 1984, which also featured songs from UBR, QUOD MASSACRE, SOLUNSKI FRONT and DISTRESS, has three other songs. I don't know for sure when or where they were recorded, but they're in a similar vein to the 7" and I've included them to download at the bottom of this post as well. Here's the artwork from that tape...
If you can understand what is written in their section please let me know. My Slovene probably isn't good enough to attempt to understand, but I think it says that the recordings on the compilation are from their second demo?
The band resurfaced in 2008 and have released a couple of records since, of fairly typical, well produced plodding oi/rock with singalongs and solos and stuff... which is alright if you like that sort of thing but altogether less remarkable to me. I can sort of imagine those songs being used as a soundtrack for a video compilation of some ultras.
The 7" and their 80's tracks are all bangers though, really catchy oi influenced punk stompers with gruff vocals. This gruffness is only exaggerated by the sound of the language, which contrasts with the melodic elements of the songs really well. I think theres a load of chorus or something similar on the guitar, either way it sounds great. I probably don't know enough about the intricacies of Oi bands to really come up with a good comparison, but it reminds me a bit of NABAT from Italy or THE 4-SKINS at their most melodic. The production is really clean, which considering it is supposed to be a demo is pretty noticeable, especially when you compare it to other Yugoslav punk/hardcore recordings from the same time.
I love the artwork on this, especially the back of the 7" which features the demand/slogan 'Oi Power! Unite & Fight!' and what I assume is a picture of the singer, who is wearing both braces and a bullet belt. I know what people will say about anyone wearing both a belt and braces at the same time, but I think this is a genuine case where the sum is greater than the (already great) individual parts.
I also found this picture of them from the mid 80s. They're now my favourite band in the world. Not sure if anyone has ever looked cooler than that bass player does there.
Their current look isn't quite so good...
I think they're into Clockwork Orange. Makes a change eh.
Došao Je Kraj- Download
Izgubljena Alternativa Compilation Tracks- Download