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 [a]Atari Teenage Riot[/a] and [a]DJ Scud[/a] 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.