Friday, June 25, 2010

Disorder vs. Mushroom Attack

It’s time for The Evil Eye to host our version of the World Cup or whatever all the international soccer fans have been watching lately. Not like we’ve been paying attention anyway, because this one is much more important in our household. Our version is called the World Bag and only consists of two teams—England (via Norway) vs. Holland—dueling over the right to call themselves the Masters of the Glueniverse. The winner of this important battle for glue-huffer supremacy will receive a lifetime supply of Evo-Stik. With that in mind, surely you will find yourself glued (no pun intended) to your stereo speakers to hear the final result. Let’s get a look at our contestants, shall we?

Armed with blown-out amps and gallons of homebrew cider, Disorder made quite the impression upon budding punk minds in their segment on the
UK/DK documentary. This record was nearly ten years removed from classic Disorder records like the Perdition 12-inch, and probably isn’t held in as high of regard. However, I’ve always enjoyed this one much more than, say, the split LP with Kafka Prosess. It sounds like it was recorded on a hot summer night. You can almost smell the stench of stale cider escaping from their pores and feel the sweat on their brows. “Good Luck” might not be the finest moment on this record, but it is a song that those of us in danger of losing our federal unemployment extensions could probably relate to. If you like Japanese chaos punk bands like Confuse and Gloom, there’s no way Disorder can be denied. Anyone who says otherwise has no idea what they’re talking about. Chances are those people either haven’t heard them, or they’re too snobby and uptight to associate themselves with legit punk rockers. After all, Disorder (along with fellow Bristol punkers Chaos UK) created the musical blueprint that the Japanese crasher crustys emulate to this day.

After two name changes, Mushroom Attack formed out of the ashes of Extreme Noise Error in 1989. These Dutch squatters have the distinction of being the band that pre-dated Fleas & Lice, who were a favorite of mine nearly fifteen years ago. Mushroom Attack is a bit tighter and more serious in their musical approach, but you can still hear plenty of seeds being planted for their next band. Some of you might chuckle at lyrics like “we don’t want your fascist system,” but that’s not just mere hyperbole. When Euro bands write lyrics about political resistance, squatting, fighting Nazis, or blowing up cop cars, they do so from a perspective of reality. There’s a very good chance that they REALLY do all of those things. Most American punk bands simply examine the fantasy scenario of such lyrical topics, since so few of them actually live that kind of life legitimately. Not that there’s anything wrong with fantasizing, but there is something to be said for putting your beliefs on the line in ways that could result in a lengthy prison sentence or death.

So, who wins the coveted title of Masters of the Glueniverse and the all-important lifetime supply of Evo-Stik? Frankly, we at The Evil Eye are not entirely sure. I’d like to say Disorder, since they’ve been a longtime favorite of mine since my days as a cider-swilling teenage punker. But Mushroom Attack doses the listener with a most potent potpourri of drug-addled anarcho punk that manages to keep itself together a bit better than Disorder does. Clearly, our two combatants have battled to a stalemate. It is now up to you, the judges, to make a difficult decision as to who the true winner really is. Click here and cast your vote.

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