For those that think Slayer is for bitches, there is Florida’s Libyan Hit Squad. Yes, that is they’re real name. If you’re a fan of punk, there’s a good chance you’ll go out and buy the record solely based on that name. Alternatively, if you’re Tipper Gore, you’ll probably try and ban these guys from everywher for upholding the values of Satanism through messages that will reveal themselves on the record when played backwards. For anyone in between (I’m assuming the vast majority of people) you’re probably wondering why the fuck you should care about some random punk band from Florida(is that where old people and one of those Law and Order spin offs come from????). HERE’S THREE REASONS WHY:
1. These guys are fucking mental. Absolutely fucking mental. They will shred your face off with their blistering music. It’s real punk rock goddamit! ‘Rubber Shoes’ is contains the same amount of personal shock power as an atom bomb go off in your anus, ‘Faulty Bridge’ is the punk rock equivalent of attaching a firework to the works of Black Flag and watching them explode in anarchistic glory.
2. Speaking of Black Flag, Greg ‘I founded hardcore’ Ginn, the sole member to remain in Black Flag throughout its entire 1980’s existence, is a massive fucking fan of these guys. In fact, he’s such a fan, that he plays guitar in the title track, which is coincidentally a blitzing track that is 90% guaranteed to make you throw up in passion. So yeah, Libyan Hit Squad have got the respect of one of the most iconic figures in punk music…what the fuck have you done lately?
3. Finally, their half ‘Full Circle’ is a really, really great album. Libyan Hit Squad never lets up. From start to finish, the punishing sound quality of the band is right there, in your face. However, unlike a lot of hardcore punk out there, it’s not aggressive in a way that alienates the audience. Your not going to get fucking PTSD after listening to the record. It’s not going to make you shit yourself in shock, but it will make you shit yourself with awesomeness. Libyan Hit Squad’s side of ‘Full Circle’ is just a really cool, kinda classic punk record, and that’s more that can be said for the majority of shit out there (pop-punk, I’m looking at you…have you heard of a band called The Summer Set? It’s like listening to a castrated One Direction).
On the other side of ‘Full Circle’ is a band called Round Eye. This band also features Chachy, the bassist from Libyan Hit Squad, on guitar/vocals, so it was bound to be a badass set as well. That it is, although to a lesser degree than the A-Side. Replacing the hardcore punk with sax-ladden rock, Round Eye remain largely instrumental in their music, offering few lyrics. However, don’t think of Round Eye as some sort of shitty ska band, as the unhinged element is most definitely there. A listen to the opener ‘Round Eye’, which features deranged guitar, whirlwind drumming, and haunted sax coming out to play, will assure the listener of the slaughterhouse sound that Round Eye is capable of. ‘Got Her Runnin’ is another example of something Round Eye have concocted to blow up your misconceptions of horns in rock.
It would be fair to say that ‘Full Circle’ offers incredibly good favours to two spectrums of the punk audience. For the ska lovers, there’s Round Eye, and for the one’s who prefer the harder stuff (me) there’s the amazeballs Libyan Hit Squad. I can’t really speak for Round Eye, which sounds good but isn’t the preferential side of the record, but Libyan Hit Squad are one of the finest tastes of blood-sweat-and-shit-stained punk for a while, and a single listen to this band should be enough to make you want to book a one-way trip to Shanghai.
If you’re interested in buying this record, you can grab it from Genjing Records, right here. If you’re keen on checking out some more Beijing and Shanghai punk, check out the rest of their catalogue, like the wonderfully amazing Dear Eloise. Another great band from China, who have never released anything shit, is Pairs (so much fucking love for Pairs). So check that shit out, and come back when you’ve adopted a full appreciation for Eastern punk.