Sunday, May 12, 2013

J is for Justice

Sick of the durrrrrt, shoved in mah faaaaace

I was born in the U.S., spent my elementary school years (1992-1997) in the UK and then moved back, so I consider myself pretty rounded...but when it comes to Mother Russia, I admit my attitudes are (shamefully) Ameri-centric. Images of fur hats, Tetris music and James Bond villains abound, and despite the best humanitarian efforts of dorky thrash metal songs from my youth (Anthrax - "Russia/you really think they'll blow up the world/like they love their lives less?") I never looked too far into the country as a source of cool music or hardcore.

A lot of this changed with growing up. Back when I was doing my crappy zine in college, I got a demo in the mail by a Russian band in the mail called Hoods Up 495 (if any of those dudes stumble upon this, hit me up) that I really enjoyed. The demo was called "Droppin' Many Putins" and essentially sounded like Cypress Hill with a little bit of HC chug. The fact that someone from the opposite side of the world, in a country that I knew nothing about had created a band that fused some of the influences that I'd come up with (the first Cypress Hill record is a BANGER and completely inescapable by anyone who skated in the late 90s and early 2000s) wreaked my play-doh mind to tatters. Since then, I've kept an eye on the country. In a recent-ish interview with United Stance in Mosher's Delight, Spoiler makes note of some cool Russian (and Ukranian) bands and I'm gonna quote him here because I really can't say it any better myself.

The scene has been real active there [Russia] and the Ukraine and I think it rules. It makes a lot more sense to be into hardcore and straight edge when you're surrounded by Krokodil, armies of Nazi skinheads and streets you're not safe in before dawn. Check out Degenerative Behavior, Rearranged, The Pack (RIP) and Big City Bastards.

Good stuff. I had the good fortune of seeing Justice (the real Justice, not those electrofroot Spin mag impostors) a bunch of times in 2005-2006 and they were great at every show. I got literal Goosebumps when they "debuted" the Up and Down material at a show in Richmond and then closed the set with "Searchin' for the Light." Anyway, great to see that Russian hardcore fans are getting the same kind of opportunities I got, to see great hardcore.

Sorry for all the extraneous sap here. I just really think it's great to see bands of this caliber playing in places so remote to an appreciate audience (cue that embarrassing video of Have Heart playing to African pre teens). I'll get more bitter tomorrow.

Happy mothers day. Give your Mom's a call. 

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