Sunday, 31 January 2021

A Culture Of Killing - S/T


Labels: Self-Released/Voice From Inside Tapes/Detriti Records/Drunken Sailor Records

Formats: Digital/Tape/Vinyl

Release Date: 27 Dec 2017 (taken from A Culture Of Killing's bandcamp page)


Tracklist:


1. Walls

2. I Wonder Why

3. Take Me Away

4. Dancing

5. War

6. We Can Never Go Back

7. Mirror Breaks (The Mob cover)

8. Was It Worth It?


I was looking through some copies of MRR last night that I've kept in a cupboard (I'm a bit of a hoarder when it comes to music related stuff) and I can feel a proper deep dive into punk music coming on. I haven't been sharing enough lately, so that's gonna change. Also, I saw an e-mail pop up in my inbox from Drunken Sailor Records telling me about the newest release from Italian band A Culture Of Killing, so I thought I'd give their first album a spin before writing about that one.


There's not a great deal of information existing about A Culture Of Killing and aside from bandcamp, there's no social media presence as far as I can tell. They exist somewhere between post-punk, anarcho punk and no wave, and their self-titled album was released at the back end of 2017, before Ukrainian label Voice From Inside Tapes pressed it on tape in 2018. Following that, German label Detriti Records did a tape re-press a year later before UK label Drunken Sailor Records gave it it's first vinyl release in May 2020.


Last day of January and I want to blast through a few things today, so starting early is always good. I guess the post-punk/anarcho punk description in my intro paragraph above might have painted a bleaker picture than what you’re actually presented with on this album. First song ‘Walls’ is actually a lot more melodic and power-pop influenced, with minimal use of the kind of reverb you expect from the darker sides of punk. It’s fantastic so far and is the perfect antidote to the progressive, symphonic nature of Italian metal.


It’s very 80’s in approach and A Culture Of Killing doesn’t merely copy the sound. They make it their own while paying respect to those that helped influence them. ‘I Wonder Why’ has gloomier undertones but is still upbeat enough to stop you from moping. I’m really trying to hold back from mentioning the obvious comparison when hearing those low vocals. When they’re joined by the repeating guitar riffs on ‘Take Me Away’ it becomes almost hypnotic. The mid-paced percussion and bass are equally mesmerizing and in spite of the tempo, you stay hooked right to the end.


On hearing the opening riff on ‘Dancing’, I could’ve sworn I’d reviewed this album before but I haven’t. Anyway, this is the first of a couple of shorter songs and it keeps a steady pace with A Culture Of Killing never threatening to blow up in tempo or volume. I think this is what makes them so approachable, especially if you’re not a fan of more raucous punk. They are fun though and ‘War’ is a protest song wrapped up in a brief slab of goth pop with bright melody joining the party. 


By the time you get to ‘We Can Never Go Back’ (if you’re anything like me) you’ll be in a state of bizarre bliss, just enjoying what you’re hearing. That’s the hold music has over us, it helps us drown out the noise that’s bombarding us from all directions in life. This simple yet inspired punk is the ideal tonic and with that in mind, A Culture Of Killing turn their hands to a cover of The Mob’s ‘Mirror Breaks’ and it’s great. The addition of synths or brass (I think my ears are deceiving me here) is perfect. Actually now I think about it, I wonder if The Mob is where Tim Armstrong (Rancid) got inspiration from for side-band Transplants (random unrelated thought there!). 


With their final throw of the dice A Culture Of Killing asks ‘Was It Worth It?’ and the answer is most definitely yes. The band does it their way and if you didn’t know when this record was released, you wouldn’t say in the 2010’s that’s for sure. Punk blurs the lines between old and new so well and this album is a strong example of that. I’m going to look forward to hearing that new album now! 


You can stream the whole album and grab it as a name-your-price download below:-



Physical copies can be purchased (if still available) via the below links or via Discogs:-


Voice From Inside Tapes (Tape) - http://voice-tapes.blogspot.com/p/distro-shop.html

Detriti Records (Tape repress) - Sold Out

Drunken Sailor Records (Vinyl) - Sold Out


Voice Of Inside Tapes - https://www.facebook.com/voicefrominside666

Detriti Records - https://www.facebook.com/detritirecords

Drunken Sailor Records - https://www.facebook.com/DrunkenSailorRecords

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