I'll start my new year's post with something energetic, political and hopeful. In The Somnambulist Brain post I referred to Żegota, a hardcore punk band from Greensboro, North Carolina. who took their name from an illegal organization rescuing Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland. They were a very politically-driven band belonging to the roster of the anarchist then-record label and now publishing collective called CrimethInc., which was founded by Brian Dingledine, vocalist of the legendary Catharsis. Their second bassist Ard, played also in the dutch chaotic hardcore band Cathode, which I have posted very early in this blog. Their music ranged from hard-hitting and emotional metallic punk on their first album Movement in the Music slightly akin to early Refused, to a very improvisational approach on their second album Namaste, which included medleys of songs from Movement, long punk-jazz-African percussion jams, and a cover of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's "Ohio" appropriated for the Bush era. On their third album Reclaim they combined a rawer, and more dissonant punk feel which sounds to me like a blend of Crass and Black Flag on the first side, with hypnotic African and lullaby-like melodies on the second side. On what was to become unfortunately their last release, their self-titled 7" contained an anthemic punk cheerleader song and an indescribably beautiful and passionate cover of "Sinnerman" (hence the Nina Simone pic below) which definitely ranks among the best cover songs of all time, and which they actually played when I saw them live in 2006, which was to be one of their last gigs).
Movement In The Music download (1999 LP, CrimethInc.)
Zegota 7" download (2005 7", CrimethInc.)