Friday, January 15, 2010

Dual Holocaust

Few bands are more appropriately named than Extreme Noise Terror. They first came into my life the same day as Discharge and to put it mildly; I needed more time to absorb the aftershock of the Dis-tunes first. After a few months, I was ready to get Extreme with A Holocaust in Your Head. Getting into ENT, Discharge, and other bands like them at the time, I wasn’t really concerned (or that aware, really) of genre labels or political statements. It was just some crazy, pissed off-sounding hardcore shit, some of which hit me as hard as hearing Black Flag or MDC for the first time. Meaning that sometimes I’d feel like my door was going to be kicked in by the police for listening to these bands. And I LOVED getting that feeling from music, which is exactly how punk rock ought to feel when you’re first getting into it. Extreme Noise Terror was a musical whirlwind of chaos, destruction, and shredded larynxes. For grindcore or extreme hardcore, A Holocaust in Your Head would rank as my all-time favorite if not for Napalm Death’s Peel sessions.
Anyone remember bootleg tape distros like Poison Planet? ‘Cause I sure do. A few years after first getting Extreme, I was flipping through one of those Poison Planet catalogs when I came across a listing for not one, but TWO versions of A Holocaust in Your Head on tape. But by the time I was in a situation to where I could have ordered it from them, Poison Planet was already done for. Damn! But I’m not usually one to get too bent out of shape over missing out on certain records—I always figure I’m going to eventually hear it, one way or another.

Years later, I’m looking at Sean’s Damaging Noise blog because the blogosphere is where I go to get new tunes in my life these days. And somewhere in the middle of a long list of links, he’s got the other version of A Holocaust in Your Head that I’ve wanted to hear all this time. It’s even possible that there are more versions out there—exactly how many times do you have to re-record one record? Geez. Anyway, this particular cranial holocaust finds ENT sounding even looser than they did on their earlier split LP with Chaos UK. Sloppier in execution, more punk in overall style. It’s interesting to hear songs like “Bullshit Propaganda” without lightning-speed drumming and in more of a Disorder vein. But I can see why they re-recorded it—there were similar bands at the time like Ripcord and Heresy playing this style of hardcore better than ENT did. The later version retains a much longer-lasting impact.

But as a fan of noisy hardcore punk, I’d like to invite you to make the comparison yourself between these two versions of A Holocaust in Your Head. But keep in mind that The Evil Eye assumes no responsibility for any holocaust that does ensue in one’s head after listening to this.

Get Extreme here.

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