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London Camden Monarch

Here, then, is the still-beating heart of punk: no longer expecting to change the world, but going down fighting...

Where now for the old-school revolutionaries? Hardcore's gone digital and Atari Teenage Riot and DJ Scud are the new sound of insurrection. Maybe guitars as weapons really are obsolete?



Scuzzy Surrey mallrats Jetpak arrive dressed in regulation skate gear, playing vicious sheet-metal guitar over steroid-pumped express-train rhythms, while two blokes desperately try to out-shout each other. Songs like 'Tightrope' strongly suggest they own everything by Bad Religion, Fugazi and Helmet, but they've got such a huge vat of excess energy to burn that you're soon caught up in the thrill of their righteous fury.



And then there's Southend's hardcore veterans Understand: skate gear, sheet-metal guitars, express-train rhythms and two blokes trying to out-shout each other. More of the same maybe, but harder and faster with songs about atom bombs ('Small Boy') and, in guitarist John Hannon, a man with the scariest voice since Dalek creator Davros. They've cast off their corporate shackles and their old Pearl Jam tendencies and tonight they're burning.



Here, then, is the still-beating heart of punk: no longer expecting to change the world, but going down fighting. On a skateboard, with a stick of Semtex, and making as much noise as possible.

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