Remember when Clash asked Evan from Canadian punks Fist City to review the singles? Course you do. He was really good at it. So when we heard that Frank Turner was fronting a punk project again, namely Mongol Horde, and they had an album out right now, we thought: who could possibly review this beast for us?
Yeah, we asked Evan. He didn’t like it much, though…
- - -
Fist City, ‘Boring Kids’
- - -
Mongol Horde, ‘Make Way’
- - -
Mongol Horde is a band fronted by Frank Turner with a member of his old band, Million Dead (not to be confused with MDC, duh). There are three members. They are technically very proficient at their instruments and Turner screams loudly and aggressively. The record is self-titled and there are 13 songs on the album. It is a hardcore album, with “blistering, angular guitar riffs”. There are some humorous titles ‘Winky Face: The Mark Of A Moron’, and ‘Tapeworm Uprising’ – a song about Natalie Portman's tapeworm. Some fans are probably happy about Turner returning to his ‘punk roots’. HOW'S THAT FOR A GOD DAMN MUSIC REVIEW?
Subjectively speaking, I do not like this record – but that's because I don't like this style of ‘punk’. Where I'm from (Southern Alberta, Canada), people who listen to this kind of hardcore are not very fun (a swift generalisation, I know). But really, they show up to gigs in their crooked hats and basketball jerseys, in giant land-raping trucks, call people fags, and do this crazy violent punch dancing where they would just run around like troglodytes swinging their fists at each other’s faces and kicking their legs in the air like some kind of angry urban donkeys. Also, I know I could give Frank Turner heaps of shit for his supposed right-wing politics and/or his privileged upbringing – but that's too easy, and probably really played out.
I will, however, call them out for their historically insensitive name and image. An image that dredges up some of the most violent and war-laden moments in human history in which (literally) millions upon millions of people were slaughtered and killed. But who knows, maybe in another 700 years there will be a band we all know and love called “NAZI GERMANY WAS SO EFFIN PUNK, LET’S GO TO THE MALL”.
The real reason I take issue with stuff like this is because I know for a FACT that a portion of this album's (younger and aging) audience accepts this music as a be-all-end-all definition of punk. This is a PROBLEM. The solution of which is obvious – I dunno, read a book or something? I'm not about to go on some self-involved, old-balls rant about what punk is. I'm just saying - reach beyond HMV and iTunes. Go to a record store. This ain’t it, lil’ spuds! If you really wanna scare your mama, listen to ‘Obey’ by the Brainbombs. Why do I bring up Brainbombs, you ask? Because Mongol Horde definitely borrowed the ironic (and iconic) 30 second jazz intro from ‘Obey’ (a seminal noise-rock record released in 1995). Do some homework for me and listen to the first 50 seconds of both records – then write a single-spaced, one-sided, one-page essay... bluah. Nevermind.
Mongol Horde just isn't doing it for me. This kind of T-shirt ready macho-man-money-making-mall-punk is not my thing at all. I'm gonna go hang with these guys.
- - -