Rock Against Communism (RAC) / Rechtsrock - The Good, The Bad and The Scuzzy

RichardMongler

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As an aside from the Edgiest Shit Ever thread, there's a huge niche of highly subversive Rock'n'Roll commonly known as Rock Against Communism (RAC) in the Anglosphere. Krauts tend to call it Rechtsrock, but anyway...

The term was first coined in the late '70s by Young National Front (YNF) organizers in Leeds, UK, hoping to counter the successful efforts of left-wing organizers who launched Rock Against Racism (RAR), with the goal of co-opting Punk to energize the youth. YNF operated a short-lived club called Punk Front, which featured several live-only bands that quietly broke up towards the end of the '70s. The idea for RAC lay moribund, but then came the Skinheads.

Street violence between Skinheads, both black and white, and Indians/Pakistanis was frequent to a point where "Paki bashing" entered colloquial use. With the increasing racial tensions, the National Front found a perfect opportunity to recruit from the nascent Skinhead scene.

Contrary to popular belief, Skrewdriver wasn't the first skinhead RAC band to exist since Ian Stuart wasn't involved in far-right politics until the beginning of the '80s. That title would go The Ovaltinees whose first release "British Justice" which features a neat little ditty called "Argentina", celebrating Britain's victory in the Falklands.


The band failed to gain much traction and quietly disbanded.

Then Skrewdriver came on the scene, rising out the ashes with a new line-up to produce "Hail the New Dawn". Thanks to Ian, the scene exploded and suddenly white power Oi! was an identifiable genre of music.

There's much more to cover, but since I'm keeping things as brief as possible, I'll defer you to The White Nationalist Skinhead Movement by Robert Forbes and Eddie Stampton, a book that delves into the finer details about dozens of bands the world's never heard of.

Since Ian Stuart's death, RAC has undergone several shifts in style and is generally used as an umbrella for any far-right, Third Position or Nationalist Skinhead music. Originally, the style was a mix of Hard Rock and Punk/Hardcore/Oi!. Older bands tend to be Hard Rock or Oi!/Punk whereas newer bands tend to be more oriented towards Hardcore or Metal. The music tends to be upbeat, frequently anthemic, rock with a hard edge - there are usually gruff vocals mixed with chanted/sung choruses. There are often prominent melodies which can be folky and/or triumphant. The songs generally have a focus on a triumphant sound, manifested through ballads, chanted choruses, and the folky melodies.

As you would surmise, RAC is distinctly anti-liberal and especially anti-left. Many bands are against Communism not only for economic reasons, but also from the humanism and liberal aspects of socialism. The irrelevance of race and/or nation in socialism is the salient point they're against in all their anti-left rhetoric. Consequently, most bands are explicitly White Nationalist despite the scene having spanned the entire globe with musicians hailing from the Anglosphere, the Americas and Europe.

Early on, RAC was strictly about British Nationalism. There's more than a fair number of '80s RAC bands that weren't necessarily Nazi and some never were in the course of their careers. As time went on, bands became much more openly Nazi, especially with Skrewdriver's later albums becoming more obvious in their references to the Third Reich and Norse Neopaganism.

Today, RAC is as much synonymous with Neo-Nazism as it is with White Nationalism.

Without further ado, I bring to you the Good, the Bad and the Scuzzy.

THE GOOD

Anyone with even a cursory knowledge already knows about Skrewdriver...

Nationalist Post-Punk? You better believe it! Before forming Sol Invictus and dropping out of politics altogether, Tony Wakeford formed a band called Above the Ruins which released "Songs of the Wolf", the band's sole full-length musical recording inspired by his time in Death in June. Apart from Wakeford, the line-up was never revealed due to their open political deployment. Rumors about their identities proliferated, but none were ever confirmed.

Dabbling in 2 Tone Ska seems somewhat confusing (although less so if you consider Skinhead subculture's origins), but the French Skinheads didn't mind it at all. In fact, Evil Skins openly embraced it in their sound. The fact the band was fronted by a wheelchair-bound Iranian immigrant on vocals and a guitarist who later became a Hare Krisha makes this even more baffling.

I sadly know nothing about these blokes or their history, but I do know "Dreckig, Kahl & Hundsgemein" from Störkraft kicks major ass.

As you might've predicted, scenes like these tend to be rather insular in their influences. Consequently, good bands were beset by a sea of horrendous bands. I don't want to torture either of us, but here are some abjectly terrible bands.

I'll start off with "legendary" one-man novelty band Lightning Rod. It's hard to describe this man's music, but if you can imagine David Tanny anally impregnating Gary Numan who then, after giving birth, sent his child to Segregationist parents for adoption, you'd be much closer. David Custer's one-man project Lightning Rod is pretty much the peak of outsider music, but given his white nationalist politics he's an outsider even to the outsiders. A Nazi Wesley Willis, if you will.

For most of you, his music will be an endurance test, but for others, you'll find plenty of unintentional hilarity.


And an interview with the man in flesh here at the 27 minute mark:

To the surprise of perhaps nobody, RAC attracted few women to the scene. One of the few female-fronted bands in Britain to form was Lionheart, whose first single was panned by the zine scene with one reviewer remarking, "The singer sounds like Colin Jordan being sodomized at the Nuremburg rally!"


THE SCUZZY

Horrendously scuzzy, lo-fi shitrock. Living up to the Australian stereotype in every way possible, Open Season's "Front Line Fighters" features a deluge of racial slurs, snarling croaks and fuzzy guitars. These pissbeer-swilling "Aryan" degenerates fight for the great New Australian Reich...yeah.

 
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RichardMongler

Causing much mayhem, dropping drama
kiwifarms.net
FIRST WAVE RAC

It would be rather redundant to post Skrewdriver and The Ovaltinees again, so I will focus instead on other First Wave RAC bands, some better known than others. I'll try to keep things in chronological order by release date. You will notice that the explicit references to Nazism were relatively uncommon for this timeframe as RAC was chiefly British.

I'll start off with Peter & the Wolf, who had released a demotape as early as 1982. The tape lay moribund until it was discovered and issued on CD by a Bulgarian RAC label in 2000. According to the insert, the band recorded the instruments in studio while the vocalist recorded in the kitchen of a bandmate's mother. Consequently, the lyrics are largely unintelligible, but the rock has a distinctly raw edge.

Absolutely nothing is known about Final Offensive other than that this demo was purportedly released in 1982, which means it could've predated "White Power" by Skrewdriver and "British Justice" by The Ovaltinees. Either way, this demo has a distinctly makes references to Aryan unity, making it perhaps the earliest known RAC release to explicitly mention Nazism.

Next up is London Branch who put out a demo in 1983. The band frequently played the 100 Club in London. After a series of setbacks, the band called it quits. British Nationalism abound.

The Die-Hards released one demo and later appeared on the National Front sponsored compilation "This Is White Noise" EP and later "No Surrender" released by Rock-O-Rama Records. Apart from breaking up and reforming (before breaking up again presumably), little else is known about the band.

And, finally, we have Brutal Attack, the only band whose frontman Ken McLellan continues to make music today. Special note goes to "As the Drum Beats" whose main chord is eerily similar to "Whole Lotta Rosie" from AC/DC.
 
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RichardMongler

Causing much mayhem, dropping drama
kiwifarms.net
FIRST WAVE RAC (part II)

In case it wasn't screamingly obvious, the RAC band Public Enemy from Kent are completely unrelated to the rap group of the same name, though I'd imagine (later) lead singer Paul Burnley would find a few things to agree on if he ever met Professor Griff. These blokes went on a hiatus shortly after releasing "England's Glory", but not before recruiting Paul Burnley on vocals after some line-up changes. "England's Glory" epitomizes everything the uninitiated would think about RAC with shouty yob Darren "Dal" Mumford yelling to bring back capital punishment to lynch your local rapist all over a steady burst of power chords, tinny drums and cymbal crashes.

Just as the American Hip-Hop legends started shaking up the underground, Paul Burnley resurrected Public Enemy with guitarist Martin Cross to release an album "There Is Only One..." flipping the bird towards the Long Island rappers. Notice the distinct difference between the older and newer incarnations of Public Enemy with the former favoring a straightforward, aggressive style of Oi! like their First Wave brethren while the latter slows down the tempo to a footstomping Hard Rock beat in the vein of the Second Wave.


Picking a purposely funny yet identifiable name, Indecent Exposure entered the scene as The Hemel Boot Boys before changing their name after a few line-up changes. "Reveal All" is aggressive, passionate and surprisingly catchy.

About as well-known as Skrewdriver and at times even better, Newcastle-based Skullhead were among the few true northerners of RAC's most well-known bands. Also distinct of the band was their staunch Odinist faith and Third Position political stance, where they were as critical of capitalism as they were of communism. Fittingly, the Oi! here sounds as it were conceived in the dingy, dank alleyways of the city centre. "White Warrior" is borne out of social frustration, sorrow, pain and anger, having been inspired by the brutal murder of a close friend Peter Mathewson. Subsequent albums would drift towards a Hard Rock sound that are just as compelling, but their debut just has the right elements for a memorable debut.

 
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RichardMongler

Causing much mayhem, dropping drama
kiwifarms.net
SECOND WAVE RAC

1987 was a turning point for Rock Against Communism. After a protracted dispute between National Front and several prominent bands, Ian Stuart broke away from the White Noise Club and founded Blood & Honour, a organization whose name was a direct translation of the Hitler Youth's motto "Blut und Ehre". Blood & Honour earned a strong support, taking away several former White Noise Club bands and even earning new followers with only a nary few bands staying behind. By this point, Skrewdriver had already identified as a National Socialist band, and many others followed suit. Most significant is the gradual transition from skinhead Oi!/Punk toward footstomping, anthemic Hard Rock with the occasional ballad or two. Most of those ballads tend to be dreadful since your average RAC frontman's voice was built for aggression than crooning, but some have an odd charm to them. "White Rider" embodied this transition in everything from the music down to the artwork, featuring a painfully obvious homage to D.W. Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation" only this time the whole background's ablaze. The trend would continue on subsequent albums until Ian Stuart's untimely death in 1993.

Roughly as influential and twice as nasty as Skrewdriver, No Remorse and their charismatic frontman Paul Burnley would spearhead the Second Wave with "This Time the World". While Brutal Attack and Skrewdriver would sing the glories of England and cast the Third Reich as tragic heroes, they rarely made it racial with one notable exception from the early years. Apart from perhaps Prime Suspects with some choice lyrics from the song "White Anglo Saxon Patriots", only Buzzard Bait's demo was bold enough to feature a searingly racist song titled "Burn a Paki" and even with them the lyric "What will you say to your kids when your country's being run by queers and Yids" from their contribution to No Surrender was censored.

Fast forward three years later and we have "This Time the World", an album with music that tells you in the bluntest terms possible what they thought about Pakistanis, Jews, Blacks and whoever else stood in their way. Named after George Lincoln Rockwell's book, "This Time the World" remorselessly embodies the principle of evil made musical. Not only was this the ugliest slabs of music ever cut to wax for its time, but it was the premiere British band on French RAC label Rebelles Européens. Unlike Rock-O-Rama where Germany's legal proscriptions on overt Nazism would get the authorities on their ass, Rebelles Européens proudly featured records with emblazoned with Swastikas, Reichsadlers and more.

No Remorse may not be as thunderous as Brutal Attack or Indecent Exposure, but their lyrics are vicious, degenerate, violent and just vile. The band revels in their slur-laced poetry and, all things considered, the music is as memorable as they come, for the worst and best reasons. Has to be heard to be believed. Special mention goes to "The Best of No Remorse" for re-recordings of their best material which all sounds even more fierce given the upgrade in production values.

Hailing from Croydon, Sudden Impact enjoyed a rough reputation as one of Britain's more directly racist RAC bands. The band would publish nasty numbers like "White Slag" under the pseudonym The Croydon Criminals. Their close connection to Ian Stuart and company eventually earned them a deal with Rock-O-Rama Records, debuting with an appropriately named, rough shod Oi! album "Storm." Their music was fittingly spirited if a pinch awkward due to the clunky lyrics.

Sudden Impact would hit the studio again to release a sophomore album "Rock & Roll Rebels." Eddie Stampton published a scathing review in "The White Nationalist Skinhead Movement," lambasting everything from the album cover to the music itself. While the songwriting here is cringeworthy with some sour notes to boot, a skinhead band trying their hands at ballad-driven Hard Rock has that inimitable charm characteristic of passion-driven amateurs which lasts long after the first listen.

First thing's first, the cover doesn't do the record any favors. Apart from everyone posing awkwardly around a motorcycle, they brought in a featureless, disheveled, "sexy" woman with either a terrible wig or the worst possible dyejob. I don't know if this is supposed to be titillating, but stirring my libido, she isn't.

The release of "White Rider" set a precedent for many to emulate, and if the interviews with Sudden Impact are any indication, Hard Rock was a natural framework for their music. They grew up on a steady diet of AC/DC, Black Sabbath and Motörhead, so it's hardly a surprise they'd incorporate these ideas in the development of their sound. Other skinhead bands would later turn to that sound to a much greater degree than these gents had.

"Hail the Warriors" stands out as the album's highlight. Full of simple, but energetic riffs to keep your blood pumping and keyboards to deepen the impact, the song achieves everything it sets forth. The first real ballad is "God of Thunder," which opens with a soft acoustic before our vocalist proudly hails Thor, hopeful he will return to earth to deliver Europe from the red menace. The song electrifies midway for the refrain before returning to the acoustics. The rest of the album more or less veers between Hard Rock and Skinhead Oi!, but even with a few duff tunes, the music succeeds on its own merits and those curious about RAC's transition from Oi! to Hard Rock will find this listen rewarding.

And now, for something different...

Vengeance entered the world with a rather ordinary Oi! demo that would eventually make its way onto wax two years later, but with a new line-up, the band would release the album "Forward Into War" that radically changed in style. The music here sounds like the bastard child of Motörhead and Skrewdriver. Vocalist Vernon practically sounds like a frothing British Bulldog, relentlessly growling jingoist rhetoric over thunderously hard riffs. Nothing but pure, unabashed English Nationalism.

 
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RichardMongler

Causing much mayhem, dropping drama
kiwifarms.net
SECOND WAVE RAC (part II)

Unlike other British skinhead bands who gradually discovered Der Führer, Squadron proudly declared themselves National Socialists from the start. After going through several line-up changes which included the leave of the original songwriter, the band stabilized for the release of "Our Time Will Come" and "Take the Sword". Fusing the footstomping beat of old school Oi!/Punk with the aggression of Hardcore Punk and later Thrash Metal. By the mid '90s, Squadron would officially crossover to a Metal band with "Combat, Battle and Burn" which features the mighty "Death Before Dishonour". The band would rerecord their choice songs for Resistance Records in a compilation called "Decade of Defiance: 1985-1995". Sadly, the album is a mixed bag as some sound better and others sound worse, notably the rerecording of "Death Before Dishonour" recorded at a slower pace than the original.

Skrewdriver isn't the only band who met a grim end in an automotive accident. Welsh legends Violent Storm were rising stars in the underground having just finished recording their first full-length album before heading out to promote its release in Spain. The fateful day was Saturday, March 14, 1992. On route to the airport, the band suddenly lost control of the vehicle during a sudden gale, causing it to crash against a bridge and consequently killing all members but lead vocalist Nigel "Billy" Bartlett who miraculously survived after first being ejected several yards from the wreckage and then hospitalized. Bartlett formed Celtic Warrior with former members of Violent Storm and Blackout to continue the legacy of his former bandmates. The music here is straight up Oi!/Hardcore Punk with absolutely no influences of Metal or Hard Rock.

Like Violent Storm, English Rose can safely be considered a throwback to the Oi! of yore rather than the mix of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal that would soon follow in the years to come. Formed out of the ashes of Guttersnipe Army and White Aggression, English Rose would continue their legacy years later as Tattooed Mother Fuckers.

After several prominent Nationalist skinhead bands started leaving London for Northern England, Martin Cross became concerned it would impact the local scene, so after leaving Brutal Attack, he recruited some other musicians on drums, bass and vocals to form the thematically appropriately named Empire. Vocalist Wayne Wakeford sings with an amusingly nasal tone that's certainly a love it/hate it affair, but even so, the gritty barrage of Hard Rock riffs over Anglo-Saxon mythology and Nationalist propaganda grows on you. There are times you will begin to feel the album's length as each track makes a point of wearing out its welcome, but if Z-Grade Hard Rock from the late '80s/early '90s appeals to you, then you're in luck.

 
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RichardMongler

Causing much mayhem, dropping drama
kiwifarms.net
SECOND WAVE RAC (part III)

The Second Wave of RAC lasted long enough that all subsequent waves summarily imitate this era. The watershed moment in Skrewdriver's demise can be seen in that the scene devolved from a vibrant following with an active consciousness to a cult of personality that continues to wheeze along. Perhaps the greatest difference between RAC now versus then is the discovery of Heavy Metal and not much more.

Grade One's "Hail the New Land" would be the last British RAC single released by Rebelles Européens. A shame their discography is so limited, because if these two songs are any indication, they could've packed quite a punch if they had a full-length.

Battle Zone manage to sound better than most of their contemporaries, especially considering they came much later to the game. Sadly, "Nowhere to Hide" languishes in relative obscurity. Years later, lead singer Alex Ellui later renounced his former views, but that still doesn't stop the music from being as fierce as before.

The opening title track pummels you with thunderously hard riffs coupled with Alex’s gravelly bark at the forefront all serving to prepare you to fuck shit up in the pit. The rest of the album continues the same way, but special mention goes to the anti-drug song "Way of Death" for featuring some awesome saxophones that accompany the heavy riffs well.


Razors Edge earns the distinction as being perhaps the single most repetitive band, but they still manage to be compelling from the sheer strength of their ferocity. First link is a fun little interview from 1996 with Andy Nolan, the madman behind the band.

Warlord, project of ex-Skrewdriver guitarist Steve "Stigger" Calladine, started as an ordinary Hard Rock/Oi! oriented RAC band before finally switching over to Heavy Metal on "Ascension" 15 years after the initial release. The style of that album is refreshingly reminiscent of the NWOBHM. Kudos to them for having the guts to write the Muslim-baiting "Jihad Joe".

 
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RichardMongler

Causing much mayhem, dropping drama
kiwifarms.net
FRANCE

I'm quite the Francophile when it comes to RAC, searching for zines from the glory days to better contextualize and profile each band with their respective contributions. The little I've uncovered goes a long way. Nary have I discovered any French skinhead band that disappointed or was lacking, and the few that didn't leave a strong impression grew on me over time. Instant excitement rose to a fever pitch upon listening to Chauves Pourris. From the infectiously groovy guitars to the joviality, this album took me for quite the ride from start to finish. This two-disc compilation presents virtually all known studio recordings released by these fine Frenchmen.

While all the French skinheads stirred up trouble in Paris and France's major northern locales, Pau-based Chauves Pourris were chilling away from all the action down south. Lead vocalist Jean-Louis "Sham" and his girlfriend (wife?) Valérie formed the band along with two friends who'd later leave the band shortly after their first demo. Presumably, the demo later drew the attention of Gaël Bodilis who later signed them on Rebelles Européens. After recruiting Serge on drums some time later, the now steady line-up's first studio session saw the light of day as a 7" single and part of "Debout, Vol.4". The band would then hit the studio again to record their debut LP "Jusqu'à la mort..." and go on tour in May of 1991. Serge would leave the band some time after to become a tattoo artist, leaving Sham and Val to record their final album "Vaterland" with a drum machine. The better known and better financed Rock-O-Rama Records handled the distribution. In 1993, the couple moved away Toulouse and then presumably went on with their lives.

Unlike most Oi! bands from the '80s, Chauves Pourris has a distinctly "Old School" vibe to their music. While most of their contemporaries were absconding previously established conventions, these fellas were plugging away at a style that could almost be described as vintage even from the time of its creation. This could believably have been inspired by the '70s UK Punk scene along with those Rock'n'Roll influences, notably the 12-bar-blues driven melodies on "Rock'n'Roll batte de base-ball". Frankly, this puts some of their Anglo RAC brethren to shame.

As previously mentioned, this album is relentlessly fun, a quality I rarely ascribe to any RAC band, much less their French brethren. Songs range anywhere from midtempo to uptempo. Although simple and effective, all the songs keep you engaged be you stomping your feet or clapping your hands and shouting along with the chorus.

The production sounds righteously raw and gritty on the first disc since these were recorded with Rebelles Européens, lacking the polished sound of Rock-O-Rama's roster. As to be expected, their sophomore "Vaterland" sounds slicker and even a tad heavier since the upgraded production values imbue the guitar tone with more vigor. Sham's froggy tone is either a love-it-or-hate-it affair, but the rest of the crew do a wonderful job on their respective instruments. While the music isn't particularly varied, they manage to have a little 2-Tone fun on "Contratraca". All tracks run appropriate lengths that never overstay their welcome.

 
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RichardMongler

Causing much mayhem, dropping drama
kiwifarms.net
FRANCE

In the short time of Légion 88's existence, the band would produce some raw, unrestrained, furious and scuzzy music France's underground had ever laid ears on, but with such passion comes great tragedy.

Formed in Essonne sometime around 1984 by Dominique Laffont on guitar and his brother under the name Combat 88, the band would later be joined by Alain Pérez as lead vocalist and become properly known as Légion 88. Key to their history would be scene veteran Jean-Christophe "Géno" Mâm, the madman behind Totenkopf, but perhaps best known as the vocalist of L' Infanterie sauvage. Sharing bandmates with Totenkopf, Légion 88 rehearsed in the basement of Géno's mother's home which frequently led to makeshift concerts after sufficient attendance from friends. When they weren't playing music, the band squatted around various places in Draveil. Tragedy would strike the following year when Géno drowned following a drunken swim while wearing combat boots, which some speculate was a suicide. With the demise of Totenkopf, Vico and Jean joined Légion 88. The band dedicated their only LP "Thulé" to their fallen comrade. In 1987, Légion 88 would share a stage with Skrewdriver to play the National Front-sponsored St. George's Day concert in Suffolk at the home of Edgar Griffin. After Dominique left when he moved away, Légion 88 would later be joined by squatmate Bruno of Nouvelle Croisade to record their swansong.

If you want to hear Oi! and Hardcore done just a little bit differently, then "Légion 88: 1984-1987" is the definitive CD for you, compiling virtually everything these Odin-runed skinheads ever put to record, including some tracks from the scuzzy, chaotic live album and the primitive demo. Hell, there's even a bit of Blitz-style Post-Punk in there too, especially in the occasional 'atmospheric' guitar lines and militaristic heavy beats topped off with the addition of harsh and vicious vocals. Nothing more than a raw, roughshod but confident Punk Rock LP that strides boldly and fiercely in its own direction. Some of this stuff is straight-up creepy-crawly 80s Goth with a shaven head--listen to "Violence Nocturne" and tell me that riff doesn't sound like it could come from some prime Deathrock. In the same way that there's some kind of spiritual parallel between Landser and Absurd, I'd bet anything Peste Noire took some cues from all these old French RAC bands. That baroque sense of melody, the silly hooligan ethos, the dungeon atmosphere and fetishism for all things Medieval and rustic in general, etc.

 
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RichardMongler

Causing much mayhem, dropping drama
kiwifarms.net
FRANCE

Unlike their skinhead contemporaries, Kontingent 88 stood out from the pack as an Oi!-inspired RAC band channeling Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, transitioning from their demo days as a brutish Nazi Punk band to something rather promethean. Metal was still foreign to the far-right music scene in 1989 even with the release of Kahlkopf’s “Soldat” that same year, so the transition from Oi!/Punk to Metal could very well have started here. Also unlike many of their contemporaries, the boys themselves didn’t look like your typical Aryan übermenschen. In fact, take off the white power t-shirts and they'd fit right in at your high school's D&D club. Their musical prowess certainly compensated for their unassuming appearances.

As with other Rebelles Européens releases, the hollow, tinny lo-fi production befits a Black Metal album far better than what the band aimed for. While lending a palpable crunch to the guitar tone, the stripped down intensity leaves the listener with an underpowered RAC album aspiring towards greatness. Even so, they make do with their limitations and upping the tempo brings out their best.

Perhaps the album’s single most identifiable facet is our lead singer's performance. His thick accent sounds exactly like a cartoon Frenchman complete with a slightly nasally, croaky voice punctuated by the occasional “hon hon.” How he managed to sound more human on the sophomore is anyone’s guess, but depending on how you feel, its charm will either carry you through or immediately turn you off after the first few minutes.

The album opens with “Guillaume le Conquérant”, a song propelled by its mighty galloping riffs charging from start to finish before topping it off with its unforgettable chorus. Even with the production, the song is thoroughly engaging. Were this song covered by a band with better production values, you’d be hard-pressed not to tap your foot, pound your first and bang your head.

Following the mighty opener is the somber “1789”, which, as the title suggests, focuses on the French Revolution. A down tempo and plodding Hard Rock song, the band laments the nation’s birth of democracy during that tumultuous, bloody era. Francophones will probably respond much more strongly to this tune, but to me, the song’s monotonous riffs and repetitive chords do little to project any sort of identity despite the lyrical content.

We’re then treated to “Le mythe”, an uptempo song that thunders along with its thrashy riffs and glorious tremolos, climaxing with non-stop energy before fading out. Succeeding on account of its dynamic progression, it only takes a couple moments to catch its breath before pummeling you again with its riffage.

Two proceeding midtempo Hard Rock tracks include populistic rabblerousers “Halte!” and “Un Matin la Révolution”, the former barking anti-communist sentiments while the latter beseeches the presumably proletarian listener to break from the communist rhetoric and take up the mantle as defenders of the West. “Halte” follows the punky Oi!/Hard Rock convention established by their skinhead compatriots until it reaches its rather metallic solo and then promptly resumes with the formula.; a solid track, but far from outstanding. Despite what the lyrical description would lead you to believe, “Un Matin la Révolution” follows some rather plodding chords which carry the song until the very end where it changes for the solo. By then, it’s too late and out of place considering the rest of the song.

Then comes the album’s one of their two nastiest songs “Les fleurs du mal”. Uncompromising and full of spite, the band calls for the heads of all drug pushers for their presumed part in the western world’s decline. Full of broody, gloomy riffs and progression coming to a climax at the solo, the song highlights their penchant for dynamics.

But enough meandering in the midtempo. Back on our horses for “Unité Blanche”. Bringing back the metallic riffage established in “Guillaume le Conquérant” and “Le mythe”, the song gallops forward, pleading for all nationalists to unite under the same banner and fight. Not as strong as the other uptempo songs, the riffs engage you enough to keep you interested. Curiously, no live recording of this song has ever surfaced, and presuming they never performed it live, this would be rather unusual considering the straightforward, banging riffs would work as a crowd pleaser.

Dedicated to executed Fascist writer Robert Brasillach, “Notre Après Guerre” mourns the decadent culture of modern Europe. The riffage is reminiscent of “Halte”, with Oi!-inspired progressions but achieves much more dynamic on account of its mood-shifting, metallic soloing and galloping riffs towards the end. Even so, the song still feels unfinished, and after hearing the last section, you’re left yearning for more. Unfortunately, you won’t be getting it.

Hard Rock goosestepper “Germania” celebrates the Third Reich with its groovy riffs and footstomping beat. The song accelerates halfway through, letting the bass take over before soloing out. Despite the song’s attempt at anthem, it feels rushed and a bit dull, and you’ll lose interest quickly.

The album then closes with Muslim-baiting “Mohamed”. Standard Oi!/RAC riffs carry the song to the end as the lyrics threaten Muslims dependent on France’s generous dole with murder. “Mohamed” is what everyone who has never heard an RAC album expects from such a band; full of bald-faced bigotry, simple chords and outright nastiness. You’d be inclined to call this daring considering a song like this could never legally surface in today’s Europe without attracting attention from authorities. Regardless, the song isn’t even half of what these guys are capable of.

For whatever reason, the band saw fit to edit out whole sections of the songs on the compilation “Integraal 2007”, which explains why some songs transition awkwardly and feel stilted or incomplete. The compilation did breathe some life into the sophomore's songs, but completely butchered the debut.
 
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RichardMongler

Causing much mayhem, dropping drama
kiwifarms.net
FRANCE

Prior to the shared dominance of Neofolk, Martial Industrial and Folk Metal within the far-right music scene, evocative and melodically harmonious music rarely found itself manifested in Rock Against Communism. For over three decades, RAC, lyrically and musically, sounded primitive and thuggish; even the ballads of Ian Stuart and his contemporaries channel their working class frustration with a gruff timbre. Kontingent’s Générations futures proves an outstanding exception. Graduating from primordial Oi! origins, their sophomore’s minor key riffs played in unison with acoustics and quality Hard Rock a la The Cult all culminate in producing France’s finest RAC offerings. Only one of two records released on Rebelles Européens’s ill-fated imprint White Metal Records, Générations futures saw Kontingent’s last studio release before breaking up some time afterward, remembered by true believers and weirdoes like me.

A cleaner production marks the first improvement on Générations futures. Although a bit thin, the music here is much more listenable than on the predecessors. The metallic Hard Rock still recurs here, but it’s executed with much better precision and songwriting. The tracks run decent lengths which never overstay their welcome, and the enjoyable soloing breaks up the monotony as well as highlight the guitarist’s flourishes. Also highlighting the album is P'tit Four's performance as a vocalist. Abandoning the croaky grunts, he sings with a soothing timbre which only occasionally stumbles over some sour notes. He’s no Bruce Dickinson, but he conveys the albums themes with conviction that's worthier than the vast majority of his contemporaries, including the goat-voiced Saga. His singing certainly redeems his other role on bass; serviceable, but completely pedestrian.

Civil war and revolution recur as themes alongside historical reflections and, of course, sardonic, baldfaced bigotry. I don’t possess even a working knowledge of French, but if modern translators are of any help, the lyrics seem contemplative, even upbeat and hopeful. Unlike Rahowa’s maudlin motifs plaguing their magnum opus (even on the songs I like), Kontingent's lyrical concepts, covering historical and then-current events, serve as effective vehicles for the band's message which consequently imbue the songs with identifiable personas. “Afrikaner” stands as a heartfelt tribute to the Boer and Afrikaner Nationalism. Other songs like “Le sexe t’habite” and “Différences” underscore the band’s respective indictment of homosexuals and non-whites; unforgiving as they are mean-spirited.

As with the production, the guitars highlight the album’s songwriting. Brooding minor key riffs comprise the entire album’s length. The guitar tone is thick, heavy and a bit fuzzy, but not overbearingly so. The album’s Hard Rock reminisces of The Cult, but “Victoire” channels NWOBHM-inspired Heavy Metal with unhindered prowess. Also adding to the album’s aesthete are acoustic guitars played in unison with the riffage on two separate occasions. You'd assume the two would clash unpleasantly and compete with each other for dominance in the mix, but they mesh together in a balanced, evocative harmony.

 
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RichardMongler

Causing much mayhem, dropping drama
kiwifarms.net
SPAIN
In 1991, Valencian legends División 250 stood alongside Estirpe Imperial as Spain's premiere RAC bands. Recognizing the talent dying to be unleashed upon the world, Rebelles Européens picked them up and issued the mighty LP "Sangre de Conquistadores" in 1994. Tragically, that LP would serve as the label's swansong. Equally of intrigue was División 250's ties to the early '90s NS organization Acción Radical, whose logo bore the Strasserist crest of the hammer and sword. This association earned frontman Manuel Canduela Serrano considerable trouble following being tried for the murder Guillem Agulló. Although acquitted, Canduela's allegiance to Acción Radical landed him in a two month prison sentence.

First thing's first, I absolutely love the illustration for this LP. Unlike crude photographs or amateurish scribblings decking the covers of most RAC records, "Sangre de Conquistadores" lives up to its title, featuring the Death Knights of Krynn cleverly edited with our heroes bearing arms while riding horseback upon demon-eyed stallions. The back's graphic design isn't shabby either, and the band certainly looks quite menacing. Unlike the brittle production values of their compatriots north of the Pyrenees, everything here sounds perfect. The guitar's fierce tone drives much of the album, and bass plays more than an auxiliary role. Nothing on the drum kit is too loud or too soft. Most charming is our vocalist, who brings a surly, whiskey timbre that wouldn't sound a world away from what I imagine a Spanish Lemmy would possibly sound like.

The songs here are consistently midpaced rockers with lyrics covering history to modern western cultural issues. Much like other RAC bands, División 250 includes a couple of acoustic ballads, including the closing track dedicated to the unit which the band derived their name; curiously, they decided to put that track first on the CD reissue. Paying tribute to James I of Aragon in Catalan, "Mai deixarem que tornen" features the bass playing a very prominent role, giving the song a distinct groove guiding the song from start to finish.

 
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RichardMongler

Causing much mayhem, dropping drama
kiwifarms.net
CANADA

Cross stands among the greatest things to come out of Canada apart from Razor, Voivod and Thor. Certainly one of the peppiest RAC records I've laid ears on.
 
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RichardMongler

Causing much mayhem, dropping drama
kiwifarms.net
FRANCE
Formed out the ashes of Spartiates, Ultime Assaut would release a couple demos before hitting the studios to record their only LP. Members would later go onto form Rock Identitaire Français firebrand Vae Victis who performed even a Celtic Rock version of "Les Cosaques".

Decking the cover is an illustration of Arno Breker's "Der Rufer" with classical architecture in the foreground while a massive blaze rises to the sky in the background. Equally of intrigue is the palpably Post-Punk style of Oi! reminiscent of their contemporaries Légion 88 or Bunker 84. Still, Ultime Assaut had their feet in France's RAC skinhead scene, and the lyrics to "La bête immonde" (recorded on the demo as "Cauchemard") would probably make Julius Streicher proud.

Characteristic of most releases from Rebelles Européens, gritty guitar rhythms with a bit of reverb drive much of the music. The A-Side is mostly midtempo, but the music becomes much more interesting when the album delves deeper into Post-Punk on the B-Side. The closer "L.V.F." has some neat downstrokes while "Chômeur 80" bursts forward with Hardcore energy.

Highlights: "Guerriers païens," "Mon Ami," "Chômeur 80," "Segneur Barbare," "Les Cosaques," "L.V.F."

La bête immonde said:
Il surgit soudain le soir
D'un égout de la rue des Rosiers
C'est un goût de cauchemar
Qui la nuit hante ce quartier

Le contrôle sur "Salomé",
Je ferais campagne pour le "Rosenstein"
Découper cette maladie
Evoluant petit à petit

Un: Les cheveux crépus
Deux: le nez crochu
Trois: les doigts fourchus
Quatre: les lèvres lippues

Argent ! C'est le cri du Youp-garou
Argent ! C'est le cri du Youp-garou

Si un soir tu as le malheur
De rencontrer cette horreur
Ne brandis pas un crucifix
Mais une bourse bien remplie

Tu n'auras qu'à le poursuivre
Parce que cet affreux vampire
Le temps qu'il nous a donné
Désormais tu le connais

Un: Les cheveux crépu
Deux: le nez crochue
Trois: les doigts fourchue
Quatre: les lèvres lippues

Argent ! C'est le cri du Youp-garou
Argent ! C'est le cri du Youp-garou

Jerusalem, Ville maudite
Où l'on chante la Sionie
Jerusalem, cité interdite
Où l'on chante la Sionie

Youp-garou is a Portmanteau of the slur "Youpin" and "Loup-garou". "Youpin" is an extremely offensive term for Jews in French equivalent to Kike or Yid whereas "Loup-garou" means werewolf. Literally translated, Youp-garou would mean WereJew.

He suddenly appears at night
From a sewer of the rue des Rosiers
It's a nightmare taste
That night haunts this neighborhood

The control on "Salome",
I would campaign for the "Rosenstein"
Cut out this disease
Evolving little by little

One: the frizzy hair
Two: crooked nose
Three: forked fingers
Four: lipped lips

Money ! It's the cry of the WereJew
Money ! It's the cry of the WereJew

If one night you have the misfortune
To meet this horror
Do not brandish a crucifix
But a busy purse

You will only have to chase him
Because this ugly vampire
The time he gave us
From now on you know him

One: the frizzy hair
Two: the crooked nose
Three: forked fingers
Four: lipped lips

Money ! It's the cry of the WereJew
Money ! It's the cry of the WereJew

Jerusalem, Cursed City
Where they sing Zion
Jerusalem, forbidden city
Where they sing Zion

 
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RichardMongler

Causing much mayhem, dropping drama
kiwifarms.net
JAPAN
Now here's something you don't see everyday. Japanese Skinheads.

Samurai Spirit Skinheads (SSS) are Japanese skinheads who have deep ties of their native nationalist movements. The Werewolfen compilation from 1995 first brought their scene and movement a lot of exposure around the world. Perhaps the most famous of the SSS bands is Sledge Hammer (鐵槌), whose name struck a chord with wider audiences as being very similar to Skrewdriver. Much like Skrewdriver, Sledge Hammer would get progressively heavier as time went on, which went over well with the RAC skinhead scene accustomed to beefier sounds.

Japanese skinheads were influenced by the Nazi imagery and nationalist / right-wing politics coming from the British, European, and American RAC scenes. They felt it was logical to identify and be “allied with” white right-wing skinheads from around the world - just as Hitler’s Germany allied with Japan in World War II. A lot of the early SSS bands were fiercely nationalist, some even describing themselves as “Nazi skinheads”!

The SSS bands’ lyrics certainly deal with patriotic, nationalist, and even somewhat xenophobic subjects. There is little, if any, outright racism evidenced in SSS like their Western brethren. Due to that, and the rather serious language barrier, these bands have gotten a lot of notice from traditional non-political skinheads around the world. The varying right-wing skinhead factions accepted them to greater and lesser extents, too.

Without further ado...

鐵槌 (Sledge Hammer):

Bull the Buffalos:

Growl Strike:
 
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RichardMongler

Causing much mayhem, dropping drama
kiwifarms.net
CANADA

Bridging revolutionary appeal with reactionary principles, George Burdi played an instrumental role continuing the far-right's counterculture with Resistance Records. Although pining for revolution, white nationalism's influential elders remained stolidly skeptical of Rock 'n' Roll's role for its youth. Those reservations were further compounded when skinhead thuggery courted damning press and legal scrutiny. To them, such music served no other purpose than to further misguide youthful energy towards self-destruction, and their concerns were far from unfounded. From the 1980s to the early 1990s, the angry white young'un's music of choice closely correlated with skinhead subculture; rocking against communism meant playing skinhead Oi or Hardcore Punk. Some even tinkered with Ska music in connection to skinhead subculture. RaHoWa entered the scene much like their peers, playing Rock 'n' Roll-inspired Oi, engaging in streetfights with their avowed enemies and facing assault convictions. They were crude, loutish and hardly different from the hoodrats they despised.

Nearly two years later, Burdi reinvented his band's image from muscled-headed übermenschen to soft-spoken, introspective intellectuals foretelling grim prospects for their race. Tempering their racially-charged aggression, they now composed music solemnly contemplating their cause, its trials, tribulations and existential crises. In two separate interviews, Burdi lamented the debut's inconsistency, citing that it suffered from a lack of cohesive songwriting, so he felt it imperative to evolve lest they face stagnation. The band was fully aware they might alienate core members of the scene, but feeling the milieu of Oi!, Hard Rock and Hardcore Punk within RAC played themselves out, their effort to gain respectability from a broader audience culminated in a magnum opus still championed by that very scene to this day.

Having listened to a breadth of white power's musical output from its inception to the present, I think it's obvious why the scene hail this as a masterpiece, although I initially had a hell of a time making anything of it. Overtime, I came to appreciate it for its merits, because no shopworn superlative encapsulates the album's memorability and unique spirit. I'm certain you've heard friends enthusiastically describe some band experimenting with different instrumentation or themes as “unique” that ultimately sounds contrived, listless or haphazard, but no one else within this political fringe has since taken Cult of the Holy War's mantle as the angry white man's answer to Type O Negative. The funereal melodies, gloomy keyboards, gritty riffs and foreboding lyrics altogether craft a palpably tense and pervasively chilling atmosphere unhindered by Burdi's quivering mumble and hackneyed songwriting. Apparently taking cues from Poledouris, some tracks serve as preludes reminiscent of a high fantasy epic which competently set ominous moods.

By Burdi's own admission, Type O Negative and Moonspell inspired much of their songs, but despite the obvious derivation, the compositions still manage to sound fresh. Much of RaHoWa's talent stems from their abilities to write strong anthems, and “Man Against Time” is an outstanding example of their craft. The song is full of powerful, catchy mid-tempo riffs, compelling progressions and an unmistakable gang chorus which leaves a lasting impression well after the album is over. “Hall of the Heroes” continues what the opener established at a slower tempo and introduces some great harmonies quite reminiscent of the album Bloody Kisses. “The Last Battalion” rumbles along before enveloping you in its haunting Gregorian chant chorus. The chord progression here is much simpler yet just as engaging. And then comes “God Is Dead”, channeling the spirit of Ragnar Redbeard (Nietzsche, my ass, George) with its marching beat percussion and haunting synths. The song succeeds on account of its hooks and quotable lyrics, both which redeem Burdi hitting sour notes and the cheesy harpsichord after the third verse.

In spite of Burdi's trouble staying on key, he's still capable of delivering an evocative performance as a singer. “In the Fires of 1945” highlights his ability to channel his deep, profound sorrow through his melancholic lyrics. The song is particularly poignant because Burdi sounds the most natural. Even when he's a bit shaky, he never loses you. At times, you're left wondering how well the album could've turned out if he abandoned the Peter Steele impersonation. The cover of “The Snow Fell” similarly feels from the heart, aided and abetted by the tasteful musical arrangement.

Make no mistake. The band's strengths are easily beset by some significant flaws. As with the aphorism “Too many cooks spoil the brew,” RaHoWa introduced far too many ideas for their own good, and they seem to confuse mastery with throwing as many themes in as possible. Because of the loosely incorporated breadth of ideas, some songs were noticeably given greater priority than others. “RaHoWa” is particularly frustrating, because the mid section of the song is great. After some acoustic meandering for a little more than a minute and a half, the electric guitars thunderously enter with that signature crunch. Picking up the tempo, the band treats us to some infectious soloing with time-tested riffage guaranteed to provoke headbanging. After that burst of energy comes the anticlimactic conclusion, where the band reverts to that meandering acoustic section heard in the first two minutes. It's like they ran out of ideas and played it safe.

In other places, the low production values critically hinder the impact of any given song. What should've been a fitting tribute to Ragnar Redbeard's masterpiece feels like a haphazard mess. The mood-setting progressions on “Might Is Right” bolds to a thrashy climax beset by clumsy percussion, poor mixing and a horrid mess of a guitar tone no thanks to the production; hard to appreciate the musicianship when the drums and vocals drown out the guitar.

RaHoWa was no stranger to sentimental, emotionally charged ballads, but pathos becomes bathos on “When America Goes Down”. The blame rests on Burdi's quivering performance, maudlin lyrics, gimpy acoustics and palpably artificial synths further compounded by misplaced backing vocals and terrible straining to sound intense. Often considered the band's signature song attested to by nationalist pop star Saga's cover, “Ode to a Dying People” hardly surpasses its most dreadful number. The lyrics here are tolerably sappy and the hooks are admittedly catchy, but like its drippy cousin, gimpy acoustics and melodrama drag it down in its exercise in self-pity.

With the stirring anthems, inspiration and vision, “Cult of the Holy War” forged a path which no other band from their niche has since taken up the mantle. So in spite of all this, why such a low rating? While it succeeds where the debut failed, its advantage is its atmosphere, and although unique, the songs simply cannot compare to their idols. The musicians' collective talents only had so much mileage. The production certainly didn't help, and more often than can reasonably be considered acceptable, several songs fell flat on their ass. It's still a fine album, but not one you'd want to keep revisiting.

 
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