Friday, July 15, 2011

We're the Garbage Rats

Holland has produced some of my favorite punk bands over the period of time I’ve been listening to this stuff. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve noticed that Dutch bands have a funny way of getting under my skin and staying there until I finally realize how much I love listening to them. Neuroot is well on their way to joining the ranks of BGK, Agent Orange, and Seein’ Red based on the strength of their vinyl debut, the Right is Might seven-inch from 1985. By the time they released this record, Neuroot had been honing their craft for four years. After two rough demos, these Dutch punkers were ready to issue a sonic statement resounding with anger and intensity.

There’s a fair amount of Discharge influence in these four songs, but please don’t get the wrong idea. Unlike the legions of Dis-clones, Neuroot actually had enough of their own musical personality to where Discharge was really more of a jumping-off point. That’s how it’s SUPPOSED to be, boys and girls. I don’t mean squalling white-noise guitars either. These are real songs with tempos that build to something else. Each one means something on its own. The songs are longer than average (that’s what SHE said), with the shortest clocking in at 2:45. Personally, I’m a sucker for overly distorted bass, which Neuroot brings in spades.

When I thumb through my old issues of MRR and Profane Existence, I wish I had been more adventurous when perusing the mailorder ads in the mid ‘90s. Neuroot was actually a name that jumped out at me in some of those ads, but I never put any money into an envelope for their record. I think rabid-mad followers of European hardcore actually pay a decent amount for this record now, but you were able to get it for standard punk seven-inch prices for close to fifteen years at one point. It’s funny how that happens.

Subsequent recordings never really captured the elements that made Right is Might so good, but you’re certainly welcome to track down those attempts to hear for yourself. But if you’re going to get infected with the Neuroot brand of Dutch courage, you should probably start here.