Dischord – ‘The Wakes’.
Hard hitting, honest and outspoken Punk Rock from Blackpool, incorporating sounds from some of Punk’s most notorious bands since ’77.
Dischord are 3-piece (with the addition of a live drummer), Punk Rock band, who released the 12 track album, The Wakes, back in 2012, and have been extensively touring around the UK ever since. If you’ve ever walked into/past a venue and seen a long haired man jumping around and sounding really angry at just about everything then that was probably a Dischord gig.
I first saw the band play 3 Chords Festival in 2013. If you haven’t heard of the festival, it has just finished its second year, and is located in Penzance, Cornwall, on a very beautiful country estate. Yes, you read right. Not exactly what you would expect, but get this; when the council and the boys in blue turned up on the Saturday the owners of the estate responded with a firm, ‘no’, when asked to turn it down. It really is a great little festival, Punk, Pasties, Ale, Cider, Punk- what more could you need?
Once more, I digress. At the beginning of August I was at Rebellion Punk Rock Festival in Blackpool. Now, with the festival going on, both during and at either side of the four days, all sorts of pubs, venues and clubs were putting on a smattering of smaller-scale Punk events. I managed to catch up with Dischord, as well as watch them pull a crowd and blast out some noise. After introducing the band to MF, they asked if we would review the debut from 2012 as a build up to the new material they plan to unleash later this year.
It looks like we may have agreed… So here’s MF’s take on The Wakes:
1. Seaside Suicide – ‘Seaside Suicide’ is led by a chop and change of maniacal yelps and a Punk snarl, and has become one of the band’s better known songs. A track that with a room full of fans, certainly gives the band a few extra vocalists. In fact, its one of those songs that really gets the crowd going and encourages anyone to sing along, whether in a room rampant with Dischord fans or not. Lyrically, track one concerns the band’s feelings towards to their home town of Blackpool and as you will hear, they have their gripes;
‘Seaside suicide, take me to the beach and bury me alive. Seaside suicide, this coastal ghost town make me want to die. Roll up, roll up, try your luck. Roll up, roll up, try your luck…’
2. Recession – If you, or someone close to you or for that matter, was hit by the recession, then this song is for you. Slightly slower in tempo, but just as hard hitting, the vocal structure on ‘Recession’ reminds you of something you’d expect from Minor Threat or Fugazi, whilst musically, you get hints of a more old school ’77-like sound.
3. Second Hand Model – Another blast of the old school on track 3. Ever feel as if no matter how hard you try to get in with people or befriend them, you are simply being ignored? Well, track 3 deals with this issue, and the anger and disaffection that is almost always the result. Dischord has a message for those who make us feel like this; we’ll get over it – ‘I’ve meant nothing to a hundred others like you before’ – ‘ I’ll tear your fucking house down, and I’ll rip you to shreds’. A testament to the honest nature of the band and the sheer anger at what they see, live and breathe. ‘Second Hand Model’ easily casts the mind back to the anger of legends the Dead Kennedys.
4. I Came Here To Ruin Your Life – Once again, the interplay between the clean vocals, screamed vocals and the occasion gang-esque vocals lead the way right into the ‘stuck in your head’ area of the brain. It’s a fun memorable song that shows off the band’s knack at writing snappy hooks that match the hard edge of their music, all without losing any of the intensity.
5. Animals In The Palace – An anthem of disaffection, courtesy of Dischord. ‘I am alone, I am afraid, I am a freak and I’m unhappy’. Not deemed ‘worthy’ or ‘normal’ by society and your surroundings? Blast this song. After a hearty scream, track 5 is launched into what many will liken to the latter day Ramones, while still maintaining Dischord’s Hardcore Punk flirtation. ‘Take it it over, tear it down. We are the animals, this is our town’.
6. The End: Illuminate – Instrumental with sounds bites and effects that sound like something from the Blitz. Track 6 gives a little break from the fury. Before declaring, ‘And lets’ get back to what we all love, wholesome family entertainment’. Punk Rock in a nutshell…
7. Live A Lie – Clocking in at 0:56, ‘Live A Lie’ gives us a furious blast of Hardcore Punk. No more needs to be said.
8. Lights. Camera. Satisfaction. – As I mentioned earlier, on the whole, this album seems to draw in influences from far and wide in regard to the Punk spectrum. ‘Lights. Camera. Satisfaction.’ has once again got a real Ramones feel to it that is completely welcome, and it seems to work well following the previous track’s Hardcore fury. If anything, you could easily trick someone into believing it was the aforementioned legends.
9. Music Is Dead – ‘Music Is Dead’, quite a bold statement but not without its truth. We live in an age where people are obsessed and genuinely idolise TV shows such as The Only Way is Essex or Made In Chelsea. Recording artists such as Justin Bieber, who, despite being worth millions, have got there on almost no real merit and are generally some of the worst people alive. Yet, the subjugating nature of the mainstream keeps us down and the general mass of people enthralled. Look at Radio One in the UK for example. It’s got to stage that people only regard what they hear on MAINSTREAM radio as music; the only Music. Music has lost much of its honesty and reality; that is the message here. Anyone it seems can be a star… ‘Smile for the cameras and you’ll go far’.
10. The Wakes – ‘The Wakes’ combines both slower and faster rhythms, and the trademark Hardcore scream (which by now you’ve got to know so well), with the softer Jello Biafra/Dead Kennedys style vocals, in a chop and change that Dischord are so adept at achieving. A decent title track indeed.
11. Vote For No One – A song for the Anarchists and those who feel the political system has and is failing us. The album wouldn’t be complete with track 11. Almost 4 minutes of pure Punk Rock fury and disgust. Songs like this are paramount in today’s global political mess, particularly the UK. It can get to stage where you really do feel that, ‘Labour, Tory – same old story, same mother fuckers still running the country’. Another one of the bands staples on the set list, ‘Vote For No One’ not only gets the crowd singing along, but raises a sea of fists in the air.
12. The End: Blackout – Slow and heavy, track 12 plays us out with something that sounds more like a b-side from an unnamed Doom Metal side project that we are clearly unaware of. I’m exaggerating. The slow riffage and gloomy nature of the track reminds you of the latter day post-Danzig Misfits, and is certainly one way to end a cracking album. Why not?
The Wakes, a furious and real album by some honest rockers from Blackpool. A diverse yet solid discordant Punk Rock sound that reminds you of the greats and still creates its own place. 8/10.