Fresh from broadcasting the revolution via a webchat on nme.com (it won’t be televised but you’ll be able to catch it on the net at www.digitalhardcore.com/ – [a]Atari Teenage Riot[/a] are here on the last night of the European tour to spread the WORD. REVOLUTION, ACTION and SHOUTING. Alec Empire is fiercely intelligent; screams the slogans and looks magnificent – again and again he freezes statuesque as the white lights wash over him. Imagine a grossly egotistical Richey Manic brimming with anger and with a penchant for more than faded Guns ‘N’ Roses riffs and you’re about a fifth of the way there.
Alec Empire apologises for the absense of Carl Crack and explains that he’s suffering from marijuana psychosis which led him to attack a stewardess and policeman when they were flying out of Germany.
[a]Atari Teenage Riot[/a] throw out the barbed gems from ’60 Second Wipeout’ building the tension and attacking the senses with Nic Endo‘s abrasive beats, scorched samples and the high tensile preaching/shouting. London responds in the only way it knows how with an arms folded ‘fucking entertain me’ attitude. Alec Empire and Hanin Elias throw down their mics in disgust on two occasions after Alec Empire assails the crowd for crimes of pathetic nationalism and the parlous state of British music. He’s wrong about the latter – there’s Mogwai, Asian Dub Foundation, Campag Velocet and Death In Vegas – but the meatheads who thought they were at a gabba gig or some Oi! testosterone re-run hate it which makes the whole thing more delicious.
Alec Empire goes looking for reaction verbally beating up the audience to get a reaction and throwing himself selflessly into the crowd again and again being carried wherever and however the crowd feel: violently, carelessly and occasionally in awe. At the shows peak he thrusts his way through the crowd to the back and stands atop a mixing booth cruifix-shaped for five minutes as houselights erupt around him before some skinheaded fuckwit climbs up and pushes him off. Alec disappears after moving directionless through the crowd. This ain’t a riot but it will be.
[a]Atari Teenage Riot[/a] in the LA2 are Public Enemy in 1986, Nirvana in 1991. This is music before it gets watered down and coalesced into the mainstream. And like Nirvana and Public Enemy once were they’re being disparaged by chin-strokers with big stereos and alphabetised record collections for being nothing but noise and like the aforementioned they’re up front, confrontation with – whisper it – tunes. Hail Atari Teenage Riot, the anti Fatboy Slim and cast aside false tedious idols.