When My Authorities Fall / Argument 5.45
This is a great hardcore split cd shared by Latvian group When My Authorities Fall and Moscow-based Argument 5.45 (say piat’ sorok piat’). If you want to listen to nice screamo set out to follow political inclinations, I guess this cd is for you (lyrics are sang in Latvian and Russian but there are translations or explanations in English in the booklet).
Even if I grew up listening compulsively to Bad Religion, I usually tend to dislike bands that put a fundamental emphasis on politics in their music (without taking into account go-getters). Yes, I thrive on my contradictions; at least I try to cope with them as a human being… Anyway, I guess I’ve come to a time when I no longer need explanations, be they of utmost sincerity, about how bad capitalism, industry, stock market, nuclear weapons, and so on are. But here, there is an historic background which makes this cd especial. The members of these bands are part of the last generation which went to school under the Soviet regime, which had soviet heroes’ pictures on their classroom’s walls, which can still depict daily soviet oppressions (if their recollections are not vivid, their families’ ones are…) And these people became grown-ups when capitalism spread its uneven wings over the former Soviet bloc, that is during the chaotic years when Russia and its satellites technically waved farewell to pseudo-communist oppression and welcomed arms wide open modern western alienation.
‘Why do we have to live in a system for money (…) I don’t want to become a robot without dreams’. When My Authorities Fall scream their disgust in Latvian but you can understand from their translations that they have been extremely influenced by Situationist philosophy and especially by Debord’s La Société du spectacle. Excerpts: ‘This alienation in our society of Spectacle is accomplished by the images we accept for ourselves, by the images we buy. And this alienation is so big that these images we accept for ourselves are taken by us as the only thing we are. […] The role Spectacle plays is so big that we fear the damage to our images more than everything else.’ Refused and subsequently International Noise Conspiracy have got relatives…
Even if the band finds solace in the hope to break away from this society, the feeling of disgust and alienation remains stronger. The music echoes this feeling: When My Authorities Fall plays a powerful hardcore which could be compared to Poison the Well and as their muscovite friends Argument 5.45 they do not spit on metal-riffs to strengthen their songs.
Argument 5.45 is the Russian hardcore band you have to listen if you wanna be a cool kid. They are disillusioned, play frantic gigs and they are not here to joke considering they are named after a sort of Kalashnikov. I had seldom seen a full venue sing along to a hardcore song before. The insatiable mosh pit just stopped for a few seconds its brutal activities (looking like brawling if you’re not initiated) and the whole venue sang along to the vindictive ‘Ne Spi ne Karmi Varov’ (Don’t sleep, don’t feed the thieves’, thieves being not only pickpockets but newcomers taking advantage of new economic rules). My favourite song is ‘Nikto Nikagda’ (No one ever ever) which allies old-school screamo’s nastiness and disillusionment to punk rock hooks (think old-fashioned Die Toten Hösen, yes dude). Life is dust and spleen and ‘no one ever got out of this dream alive’ complains the singer before telling that there must be an emergency exit. There is still hope after all…
The complete disorder and confusion of Eltsine’s years is over and these bands now live in a society wedged between after-effects of the former social organisation and abuses of unregulated market economy (let’s not deal with the influence of Russia’s new government). Despondency will probably make them record other great albums…
-SEB ‘when I scream, my head aches’ WOOd.
PS: Dave Rebel, listen to this record !
/mar 15th 2005/