Friday, July 22, 2011

Destroy Capitalism

Although Crude Society System were not highly appreciated in their home country of Sweden, it is true that they rated just behind Anti-Cimex and Mob 47 from an outsider’s perspective for quite some time. Their popularity abroad was in some part due to Uproar Records being aggressive in the distribution of their Who’ll Survive 7-inch, attracting Pushead’s attention when he included them on his classic Cleanse the Bacteria compilation. Their 100 Dead Cops demo from 1982 was also a permanent fixture on many a tape trade list back when people still did that sort of thing. I was personally introduced to Crude SS via their inclusion on Lost & Found’s In Crust We Trust sampler back in the mid ‘90s. “Blue Eyed Devils” and “Bullying a Nation” were great songs and Crude SS became the first band on that comp to really hold my interest.

The past decade saw an increased interest in Swedish hardcore, in which I heard very little to no mention of Crude SS at all. Instead, I saw the Shitlickers take their spot in the ranks when they should have replaced Mob 47 instead. Further exploration into more accurate Swedish hardcore history has seen other bands like Avskum and Moderat Likvidation rise closer to the forefront, while Crude SS fades evermore into the background. In fact, none of the younger punks I knew who got all obsessed with this stuff circa 2003 had any idea who they were. Sad but true.

Crude SS may not have had the same out-of-control urgency as Anti-Cimex or the Shitlickers did, but they did have a more solid, driving pace than either band. The guitar is so loud and heavy that you can hear the levels are maxed out at times. A couple songs do something I really wish more modern hardcore bands would try—they slow down. In fact, my favorite moments on this record are when Crude SS drag things to a relative crawl before building back up to a quicker pace. The title cut is the best example of this, nicely shifting back and forth between slow and fast for three and a half minutes.

Maybe it’s not the historically accurate thing to do, but we at The Evil Eye would like to do our part to put Crude SS and the classic Who’ll Survive EP back into their onetime place in the Scandi-obsessed American punk consciousness. Hopefully somebody like Havoc Records does a good 12-inch reissue of their discography to finally placate the vinyl snobs. Until then, you can be satisfied with this post.

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