Conflict

Anarchy in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
*special introductory paragraph!
*It's Time To See Who's Who
*Increase The Pressure
*It's Time To See Who's Who Now
*The Ungovernable Force
*Turning Rebellion Into Money
*The Final Conflict
*Against All Odds
*Conclusion
*There Must Be Another Way-The Singles
*There's No Power Without Control

Led by vocalist Colin Jerwood and drummer Paco Carreno, South London's Conflict is one of the most influential and highly regarded anarcho-punk bands in history, perhaps second only to Crass. But that's not the cool thing! The cool thing is that while most anarcho-punks apparently used 'pacifism' as an excuse to turn a blind eye as Oi! Hooligans beat up anybody they wanted, Conflict fought back, going so far as to jump off the stage with fists a-blazing to let the hooligans know what time it is. Granted, Colin's gigantic brass scrotum resulted in some guy gouging his eye out with a broken bottle, but hey that's why God gave us two eyes.

Specifically so we could gouge one out with a broken bottle.


It's Time To See Who's Who - Corpus Christi 1983
Rating = 6

As the world's most gigantic punk rock fan (hence the nice suit pants I'm wearing today), it troubles me deeply that I'm unable to enjoy Conflict's debut LP as much as the rest of the world seems to. "As far as songs go, this is Conflict's best record," they say. "The release is excellent," they continue. "This is one of the best products Conflict has put out," they conclude. "Conflict debut is very great and definitly worth having," they pop their heads back into the room to add. But I don't hear it that way. In fact, you know what? I don't hear it that way at all.

This record is extremely hit-or-miss, with great angry riffs constantly being replaced by simplistic, emotionless nothing-chords. Furthermore, the aggressive and powerful Conflict sound (revealed on later records) is completely castrated here in an attempt to fit the band into the trebly, noisy Crass mold. There's some wonderful lead guitarwork too, but it's mixed so quietly that it's almost impossible to differentiate from the accompanying chords.

At its best, the record sounds manic, with pissed-off British shout-vocals, expert fuzzy guitar, busy bass and frenetic military-influenced drumming. At its worst, it sounds like poorly-arranged songs with too many non-descript passages.

I'll even give examples. That's the kind of guy I am.

1. "Young Parasites" - Crass opened their debut album with a feedback-drenched anti-Christian poem so controversial and incendiary that the record pressing plant refused to include it on the initial pressing. Similarly, Conflict chose to open their debut with a '50s-style rock and roll instrumental -- half of it played out of tune.

2. "Kings & Punks" - Crass followed up their damning condemnation "Jesus died for his own sins - not mine!" with "Do They Owe Us A Living?," a track so immediately catchy and quotable that even today it is remembered as their signature song. Similarly, Conflict followed up their goodtime nostalgia instrumental with a throwaway pile of crap.

3. "Meat Means Murder" - Conflict presents a haunting argument against the murder of animals for food, amplified by a dual-guitar mixture of foreboding arpeggio descension and echoed distorted ringing. Then they speed up and it gets messy and shitty and they ruin it.

5. "Great What?" - Great speedy punk rock! Then the song stops dead. Then it starts back up with a completely different chord sequence that isn't any good at all.

6. "The Guilt And The Glory" - Terrific midtempo punk rock filled with rage and feeling! Then halfway through, a couple women come in and recite unintelligible nonsense for nine hours.

8. "One Nation Under The Bomb" - (a) rumbling, (b) female vocals and a suspenseful, familiar note lick, (c) variation on "Hit The Road Jack," (d) tuneless chords running up the scale, (f) me jamming the record into the garbage disposal

Still, as my 6-rating suggests, it's not all bad - and in fact features some astonishingly powerful moments. For example, confused emotions and helpless rage are all over the excellent high-speed thrashers "No Island Of Dreams," "1824 Overture" and "Blind Attack." Elsewhere, chords of careful ringing uncertainty bemoan The Exploited's Top of the Pops appearance in "Exploitation"; the rock'n'rolly "Crazy Governments" tightly and wittily succeeds where "Young Parasites" so pointlessly flounders; and "Blood Morons" trashes Nazi skinheads against a screwy, smart piece of guitar/bass interplay that is unlike anything else on the record. These moments impress, and impress TALL. But they also make the lesser tracks sound even more scattershot than they already are.

This is exciting - last night my wife and I watched both Wall-E and Ichi The Killer. My hope is that as the years drift away like sand from a broken hourglass, the two films will merge together in our minds into a single Ichi The Wall-E super-movie. If all goes well, our future dialogue will include such homilies as:

"You remember that movie, hon? My favorite bit was when Wall-E gave Eve a boot with a flower in it, then sliced her nipples off onto a table."

"Oh yes, it was adorable! I especially loved how Wall-E's best friend was a cute little cockroach. And when he ripped that guy's arm off with his bare hands."

"No no, that wasn't the cockroach. The cockroach was the guy who kept masturbating while watching women get beat up, before slitting their throats with the blade on his shoe."

"Oh, that's right. I was thinking of that little robot that kept cleaning up Wall-E's dirt trail. It was so cute when his face got sliced off and slid slowly down the wall."

"I'm old."

"Me too. However, I still have a gigantic penis that gets rock hard on command!!!!!"

"Dammit woman! Put that diddlio away."

Reader Comments

arp@slab.org (Ashley Mark Pomeroy)
I'm writing about the review of "It's Time to See Who's Who" by Conflict, specifically the dialogue at the end. That dialogue is one of the reasons why I admire Mark Prindle's writing. It works on two levels, whereas most humour works on only one. Firstly, it is funny because of the juxtaposition of extreme ultraviolence (from Ichi the Killer) and cute robots (from Wall-E). For most writers that would be funny enough. But Mark caps if off with a touch of genius in the last two lines; I had assumed that Mark was responding to his wife, but in fact it was the other way round all along. And "dildo" is spelled in a funny way. Also, there is the self-deprecating assumption that Future Mark will have trouble in the trouser department, but that's okay because he will be old. It takes confidence and moral courage to joke about the shared inevitability of impending, unavoidable physical decline.

All of this comes at the end of a review of Conflict's debut album, that only a few thousand people will ever see. And most of those people will skip past it. Some of the people who bother to read it won't get the joke, and others won't find it to their taste.

I spellchecked this, because I know it will be on the internet forever.

Add your thoughts?


Increase The Pressure - Mortarhate 1984
Rating = 8

Oh drat. You know what I forgot to mention? The lyrics! Conflict songs have lyrics.

Stuck between a rock and an irresistible force (starvation), Conflict had to get a new product on the market quickly but didn't have enough songs or money to record a full album. Luckily, what they did have was a handful of terrific new compositions and a solid live tape. The result? The Moody Blues' Caught Live + 5! When Justin Hayward decided to rip "Gypsy" a new asshole for the pr

Increase The Pressure, Conflict's first LP for their own Mortarhate label, is comprised of seven new studio recordings and eleven live tracks from a 1983 Brixton show (6 songs from Who's Who, 4 from recent EPs, and 1 new non-music recital). The new studio songs are mixed much more forcefully than the thin Who's Who recordings, and are chiefly high-speed hardcore punkers with tons of guitar feedback, martial drumming, angry chord changes and extremely intense and passionate vocals. Unlike the sketchy compositions of the previous LP, these songs are well-arranged, hook-riffic and kickarse!

"Never mind the bullshit - Here's the facts!" Colin shouts to kick off the release, shaking his angry fist at the Sex Pistols for selling out their punk ideals. 'Rat-a-tat! Rat-a-tat!' drums Paco in a two-fingered salute to "Law And Order." 'Bweeeee! Bweee Bweee,' strums Bassy Bill or whatever his name is in the most memorable bass-chorder in hardcore history, "From Protest To Resistance." 'Doo doo doo dee,' sadly arpeggiates Guitar George (?) in the pro-animal rights "Tough Shit Mickey" for, as "Meat Is Murder" pointed out on Who's Who, nothing says 'dead animal' like a sad arpeggio. "I CAN'T MOVE UNLESS YOU FUCKING DO!" Colin explains in "Punk Inn'it." "What're we gonna be doing now it's 1984!?" he questioningly concludes at the end of "Cruise." All of these and more - chords, you name it. An explosion? Don't get me started.

I'll be honest. I can't remember how to write a record review. I'm pretty sure you're supposed to compare it to something (e.g. "Abbey Rode is like a cross between Jeff Beck, Beck and Jeff") or come up with some intellectual critical insight (ex. "This album's mise-en-scene is symptomatic of 21st Century America's something something Jagger's ballsac"), but I don't have that many words in my vocabulary, and even if I did, I doubt they'd be applicable to the sound of a record album. Plus I've just been too exhausted and achey lately to pull any wit out of my dick.

Except right there, of course. That was hilarious, the whole thing about pulling wit out of my dick (or 'package').

As such, here are a few important pieces of advice for young people, because I was so much younger then, I'm older than that now:

A. Your band probably isn't very good. And even in the rare case that it is very good, you will almost undoubtedly fail to become rich and/or famous for your efforts. MTV no longer plays music, the radio no longer plays decent music, and underground success doesn't pay the bills - particularly in these times of illegal downloading and $5,000-a-gallon travelin' gas.

B. Living the life of a teenager wears really thin once you reach your mid-20's. I'm not saying that you have to cut your hair and get an office job, but you do need to learn a marketable skill or you're going to spend your entire life working in a pizza place as your band continues to FAIL. Working in a pizza place is fine for a teenager or young adult, but at some point you're going to tire of the fact that you're wasting 40-50 hours a week scrubbing commodes and not making enough money to do anything. Had you devoted a few years to learning a marketable skill (or, alternately, marrying a woman who earns more than twice what you're making at your shitty job), that same 40-50 hours a week would be providing you the funds to travel, try delightful new pastries, and buy the biggest guitar in the world. You hear that? The biggest guitar in the world! "Eat your heart out, Keith Moon!" you'll be saying to people.

C. Figure out what your music means to you, and why. And be honest with yourself. Do you feel that your art is so creative that it needs to be shared with the whole world? Or are you just trying to stay a kid forever and avoid having to get a job? Either way, don't be surprised if you're still sharing a shitty apartment in a college town when you're 35.

D. If some wrinkly old peckerwood tries to tell you that your band isn't very good, or you shouldn't scrub commodes at a pizza place, or you shouldn't live in a shitty college town apartment when you're 35, tell that person to "Take off! To the Great White North!" Devoting your life to your craft could be the greatest decision you ever made. I definitely do not regret giving up my Rock N Roll Dreams when I did (The Age of 25 Years), but then I lacked the leadership skills required to form and maintain a band. You may have more success than I did. Plus, if you're a trust fund baby like The Strokes, money shouldn't even be an issue. So get out there and ROCK!

E. I wish that creativity and dedication were rewarded in the marketplace, but for whatever reason, most people just want to hear bad hip-hop. Most of the greatest songwriters of the '80s are now working straight jobs and struggling to afford health insurance. At the same time, somehow a band as obscure as Trans Am can manage to make a living on their music. So clearly there is a way to do so. Maybe ask Trans Am?

F. If your band has a unique new sound, PLEASE DON'T BREAK UP. The world needs all the musical innovation it can get, even if you're only free to record on weekends. Similarly, if your band plays power pop, PLEASE DON'T SEND ME A COPY.

Now then, back to Conflict and their Increase The Pressure LP. I've been listening to the punk rock music for 20 years now, I only just discovered Conflict about 18 months ago, and these songs sound great to me. I used to think that, because the subgenre is seemingly so limited, one tends to go nutso about the first 50 or so punk/hardcore albums one hears, and after that everything disappoints because it sounds like something one's already heard. This is true to a certain extent, but no more so than with electronic music, country/western, death metal, blues or any other stylistically limited form of music. At first, it's the sound you like, so you can find quality even in horrific shit like Toxic Zombies and Maggot Sandwich. But once you've heard a certain number of soundalike artists, your ears naturally become more selective. And dagnab it, even after cramming my selective ears with 500 thousand tons of hardcore, they still love these high-speed, pissed-off anthems of British anger!

The live side sounds grand too - tight, raw, mean and not overly trebly at all. Bass-Bass The Bass Playing Man (or whoever) flubs up a few passages, "One Nation Under A Bomb" has become even less of an 'actual song,' and "Stop The City" is recorded proof that a man and woman reading words off a piece of paper together isn't a very natural means of communication. But otherwise, they totally jam out the kicks with strong performances of the best Who's Who material ("Blood Morons," "Exploitation," "Blind Attack") as well as three monstrously vicious EP tracks (anti-fox hunting "Berkshire Cunt," punk-for-profit lament "The Positive Junk" and Crass-esque "The System Maintains"). "Whichever Way You Want It" is terrible though. I would've mentioned it earlier, but the previous sentence already had three independent clauses in it.

Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!

(little "independent clauses" joke for all the Santa fans out there)

Colin "Powell" Jerwood is a firm believer in anarchy. I've no clue why, since 80% of the world's population is composed of violent idiots (according to Gallup Polls), but nevertheless he constantly sings about overthrowing the government and tearing the system down. It's easy to understand why he would hate and distrust the government (Margaret "Maggie, Ya Cunt" Thatcher in particular was not hugely sympathetic to the British working poor), but harder to comprehend how he saw anything getting done at all in a society with no laws. Surely after all his altercations with Exploited fans, he can't still believe that people are inherently good!? "No more law and order. Those words they say it all/It's just one human being denying another of self rule." Err.... Rape? Murder? Arson?

Though I disagree with him on this count, I pretty much agree with him on everything else. His main concern is that all people get a fair chance at a decent life - which is impossible to achieve when the idle rich refuse to re-distribute any of the wealth that they've immorally accumulated (or inherited) from the efforts of their low-earning employees. His hope, at least in the '80s, was that punk rockers would stop arguing about petty bullshit so they could work together and actually accomplish something. This would never come to pass.

No hang on, they did invent the "Mosh" dance, where you run around in a circle like an asshole. If I understood symbolism, I'd make some comment about arrested-development punk rockers 'running around in a circle,' but fuck that -- I don't even understand why the Anarchy symbol has an 'A' in it!

For 'Alan Alda' maybe? He did some pretty wild stuff in The Four Seasons.

Reader Comments

Steve
That's some very good advice for young bands. I've thought now and then about "going for it" in the arena of music, but realized that there are so many bands out there, it's hardly worth the effort if you don't have something original. So until I get the genius bug, I'll stay underground with my cover band. Not that it's a bad thing to try, but just don't expect the world to take notice unless a) you're really pretty, b) you're really original, or c) you have friends in high places. And if they do take notice, be prepared to experience some major life changes that aren't always great.

Anyway, Increase the Pressure is in a tie for first for my favorite Conflict records (with The Ungovernable Force). You made a good point earlier that once you've inundated yourself with the glory of hardcore punk, a lot of new bands you may encounter just start to sound the same. However, I think Conflict has really stood out for me - like you (probably), I first heard them through the seminal P.E.A.C.E. international hardcore compilation ("From Protest to Resistance"), and I have 5 of their albums and they definitely show that they're more than just your run-of-the-mill punk band. The bass/guitar presence is really powerful and the chord sequences are occasionally really brilliant. Colin's vocals are angry and emotional. The live tracks are good enough, but it's the studio tracks that really show what kind of cojones this band had, especially after the relatively tepid debut album (OK, I haven't heard it, but I have the remake and it's not all that great IMO).

Thanks for reviewing Conflict. It inspired me to revisit my CDs (which I hadn't heard in years), and confirmed the fact that this band has stood the test of time.

OSLANE@student.gvsu.edu
ha ha,thank you so much for that advice; especially in a Conflict review. I am a developmentally challenged punk rocker at age 24 who still dresses in torn clothes and leather jackets yet is completely sick of living like a teenager who can't do anything, which is why I'm becoming a hard core actuary! And seriously, I live four blocks from 'suicide house' where anarcho and hard core punks who are my age and older are completely dedicated to living cheap, poor punk life styles.

Add your thoughts?


It's Time To See Who's Who Now - Go-Kart 1994
Rating = 7

If you're 16, you know that nothing in the world matters as much as music. Unfortunately, I'm 35 so here are some facts - true facts - that they tend not to tell us here in the U.S. These are real facts, from real people in real positions to know such things -- people who devote their lives to studying terrorism and terrorist groups:

The past 7 years have been the most violent period in terrorism history. There have been 17,300 terrorist events, over 29,000 dead and over 53,000 injured in terrorist attacks since 9/11. More than half of the attacks have been in Iraq. There have been no successful attacks in the U.S., but 29 plots have been brought to light, ranging from bomb attacks to mass subway poisonings.

On 9/11, Al-Qaeda had three targets:
- Economic landmark: WTC
- Military Landmark - Pentagon
- Political Landmark - They wanted the White House but had trouble planning it due to trees blocking overhead vision and such, so they settled on the Capitol. Congress was in session. Luckily, this plane landed in a field somewhere.

Al-Queda had planned a second wave of attacks after 9/11, including Los Angeles' Bank of American Building (Library Tower?). They made a shoe bomb and mailed it to California. The CIA and Asian Intelligence Services arrested the senders, and luckily the Dept. of Homeland Security caught the shoe in the mail in September '04. They got the idea to blow up the Library Tower (or, in Bush's words, "Liberty Tower") after seeing it get blown up in the movie Independence Day.

Al-Queda initially WAS in trouble after 9/11, but they re-established in the Pakistan Tribal areas while we were fucking around in Iraq. And they've now grown from a group into a movement. Today's threat is from a Global Jihad Movement. But it was not 9/11 that triggered this movement; it was our invasion of Iraq. Today's Al-Qeuda leadership is located in Fata, a mountainous region on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border, and has a LOT of partnerships with other terrorist groups. The reason it's so difficult to dismantle the current Al-Queda leadership is because it works very closely with the Pakistan Taliban in the Tribal Pakistan region, who have killed many Maliks (secular rulers) and installed their own clerics. One of our presidential candidates wants to put troops on the ground in this region, but it's far too mountainous. Even troops specialized in mountain warfare would find it difficult to operate there.

Al-Queda gets most of their recruits from poor areas. The Pakistani Govt. is working closely with the US to supply photos of Al-Queda compounds etc, but the Pakistani Army has lost 1080 people in their battle against the Pakistan Taliban. 73,000 civilians have also been killed in the Fata region. Al-Queda has grown from a small group of 3-4,000 people to a GIGANTIC MOVEMENT of terrorism extremist groups. Al-Queda got all these other groups into (a) suicide attacks and (b) global jihad. For example, the planners of the '04 Madrid attacks and '07 London attacks received training from Al-Queda AFTER 9/11. 81% of suicide attacks of the last 40 years have taken place since 9/11.

Bin Laden instructs them that "The U.S. is the head of the poisonous snake." It's hard for terrorists to target the U.S. at the moment because we're FINALLY working with other countries' intelligence groups, we're much more aggressive at hunting down terrorists than we used to be, and there is heightened public awareness of the threat. The most effective tool thus far in the War on Terror has been Intelligence and Cooperation.

This next part is very unfortunate, but here you go, straight from terrorism specialists' throats to yours: Going into Iraq was a mistake, but if we leave the country in the next 2-3 years, all of these groups will become ATTACK CELLS and we'll have to go back into Iraq in 5 years anyway. It would be a fatal mistake to leave.

The radicalization of muslim communities has increased significantly since the U.S. entered Iraq. The threat of terrorism has increased and spread to other areas. We're increasingly seeing European, Asian and North African terrorists, where they used to all be in the Middle East.

There have been 30 significant terrorist plots in the UK since 9/11 (through Pakistan-based Al-Queda commanding their UK members). There was a plot in August '06 to bomb 17 U.S and Canadian airplanes. Next month, Al-Queda clebrates its 20th anniversary. FARC, Hezbollah and Hamas are also over 20 years old. This is proof that they are a learning organization and very powerful. Al-Queda failed in their Iraq insurgency strategy, but they keep using terrorism there.

Religious terrorists don't give up because they believe that their mission is divinely ordained. Interestingly though, terrorists historically have killed more of their OWN than their enemies (for example the IRA has killed 400 British officers -- and 1600 Roman Catholics!) This stuff is true. Al-Sahab (Al-Queda's media arm) relased NINETY-SEVEN tapes in 2007! Zawahiri now runs Al-Queda day-to-day, so don't worry about Bin Laden. Expect SHIT to go down around 9/8/08 (Al-Queda anniversary), 11/4/08 (election day) and 1/20/09 (inauguration day). The Jihad groups are REALLY interested in chemical weapons too. We'll still be fighting this war on terror for at least another generation, because Al-Queda is still indoctrinating and training young teenagers. And the risk of CBRN attack grows every year.

If we attack Iran, they'll unleash Hezbolla, and Al-Queda will be THRILLED because it's yet another example of the West attacking a muslim state. Al-Queda convinces young men to be suicide bombers by telling them they'll go straight to Heaven - and since they can take 70 relatives with them, their relatives support their decision! They tell young men, "If democracy is established in Iraq, it will be the death of Islam. Democracy is Man's law - we practice Allah's law. You, young people, MUST come to Iraq and defend Allah's law!" So they do.

Here's how to defeat terrorism, those in the know suggest: - Strategic Counter-Terrorism: create an environment where the people are hostile to terrorists and their supporters. Get Muslim clerics on our side to say "Al-Queda is NOT a Koran-based organization. They're deviates." Try to use schools to sow the seeds of peace, through moderate clerics. Get these nations to establish new anti-terrorist laws. Use the media to create an ethic against extremism. There are 6,000 extremist web sites, and less than 100 counter-extremist web sites. Most of the extremist ones are hosted in the U.S!!! (due to the First Amendment). Get counter-terrorist financial investigators to SPY SPY SPY! Work with tribal groups and local forces - build hospitals and roads for them, so they'll trust us and report on terrorist activities. It's COMMUNITIES that defeat terrorism. Muslim communities must feel that terrorism is un-Islamic. Right now, they don't because the U.S. have been such complete murderous PRICKS!!!!

That's my opinion anyway. And by "my opinion," I mean "the facts, from people who are THERE."

And now, this album.

A couple of years after It's Time To See Who's Who tore the charts off the world, Conflict became angered at Corpus Christi Records (CRASS' label) for letting it go out of print. In impotent rebellion, they decided to re-record the whole album! They didn't though. They re-recorded 9 of the 14 songs, as well as a couple tracks from early EPs. It's good! Pointless, of course - but no more so than a live album, and Conflict has about 6 billion of those.

Notable improvements include:
- they've dumped the godawful first two songs, thus improving the record!
- they've added the angry-as-dirt anti-fox hunting tune "Berkshire Cunt," thus goodening the record!
- they've added the high-speed anger-Ramonesy "Conflict," thus beautifying the record!
- they've dumped the weak second chord sequence of "Great What?," thus perfecting the song!
- they've tightened up "Vietnam Serenade," thus excellentizing the song!

Notable deprovements include:
- they've dumped "1824 Overture" and "Crazy Governments," thus weakening the record!
- they've added the bland, ugly "Whichever Way You Want," thus destroying the record!
- they've turned the bass too low in "Blood Morons," thus putrefying the song!
- they've replaced Colin's vocals with a woman talking over the entirety of "The Guilt And The Glory," thus urinating the song!
- they've turned the bass up too loud and not bothered overdubbing a second guitar in "Meat Means Murder," thus shitterizing the song!

So basically it's only better than It's Time To See Who's Who because it's shorter than It's Time To See Who's Who.

The performances do seem tighter and faster though, even if the guitar is still trebly, reverbed and high-pitched. And although this isn't the same exact line-up that recorded the 1983 version, it's not like Colin replaced them with a bunch of funk metallers or something (Suicidal Tendencies).

However, if you're asking me which version you should buy, I'd probably recommend the original (some people love it), accompanied by There Must Be Another Way-The Singles. That way, you get all the good songs, all the bad songs, and lots more!

I realize that last sentence sounded like an advertisement, but that's because this is an advertisement.

Best,
David Casserole
Advertising Manager
Anti-Terrorism, Critical Theory and Conflict Re-Recordings Division
Microsoft

"When you need a tiny flaccid dildo, think Microsoft!"

Add your thoughts?


The Ungovernable Force - Mortarhate 1986
Rating = 8

But I know what you're saying out there, in your thoughts to others. You're saying, "Yes, that's all fine and good Dave Prindle, but how many movies have you seen by today's Top Erotica Directors of Yesteryear?" Okay okay, stop poking me with your Wondering Stick! Here's what I've seen, felt and believed (along with a few snippets of opinion tossed in):

JESS FRANCO (or "JESUS" FRANCO, TO CHRISTIANS)
The Awful Dr. Orloff
The Diabolical Dr. Z
Succubus
99 Women
Marquis De Sade's Justine
Kiss Me Monster
Venus In Furs
Nightmares Come At Night
Eugenie...The Story of Her Journey Into Perversion
Vampyros Lesbos - THIS MOVIE PUT ME TO SLEEP THIRTY TIMES
She Killed In Ecstasy - BORING BEYOND GODDAMNED WORDS
The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein - THIS MOVIE PUT ME TO SLEEP FOR A FULL MONTH
Les Demons
Virgin Report
Female Vampire
A Virgin Among The Living Dead - THIS MOVIE PUT ME TO SLEEP, THEN WOKE ME UP JUST SO IT COULD PUT ME TO SLEEP AGAIN
Kiss Me Killer
La Comtesse Perverse
Barbed Wire Dolls
Women Behind Bars
Jack the Ripper - HOW DO YOU MAKE A DULL MOVIE WITH KLAUS KINSKI IN IT? COME ON, JESS FRANCO! GET YOUR ASS OUT OF YOUR EAR!
Doriana Gray
Ilsa, The Wicked Warden
Demoniac
Sinfonia Erotica
Two Female Spies With Flowered Panties
Devil Hunter
The Sex Is Crazy
Sadomania
Bloody Moon - THE MOST AGGRAVATINGLY INEPT SLASHER FILM EVER MADE (EXCLUDING 'SHOT-ON-VIDEO' PRODUCTIONS)
Captive Women
The Inconfessable Orgies of Emmanuelle
Diamonds of Kilimandjaro
Macumba Sexual
Lilian, The Perverted Virgin
Golden Temple Amazons
Lust For Frankenstein - DISGUSTING! SHOT-ON-VIDEO SOFTCORE STARRING NAKED OLD LADIES!
Broken Dolls
Helter Skelter - SEE "LUST FOR FRANKENBERRY" ABOVE!

RUSS MEYER
The Immoral Mr. Teas
Eve and the Handyman
Wild Gals of the Naked West
Lorna
Mudhoney
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Motor Psycho
Mondo Topless
Common Law Cabin
Good Morning...and Goodbye!
Finders Keepers, Lovers Weepers
Vixen
Cherry, Harry & Raquel
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
Black Snake
Supervixens
Up!

JOE D'AMATO
The Arena
Emanuelle in Bangkok
Emanuelle in America
Emanuelle Around the World
Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals
Papaya: Love Goddess of the Cannibals
Images in a Convent
The Pleasure Shop on 7th Avenue
Buio Omega: Beyond the Darkness
Anthropophagous: The Beast
Erotic Nights of the Living Dead
Porno Holocaust
Absurd
Caligula: The Untold Story
Unleashed Perversions of Emanuelle

DORIS WISHMAN
Nude on the Moon
Diary of a Nudist
Gentlemen Prefer Nature Girls
Blaze Starr Goes Nudist
My Brother's Wife
Indecent Desires
The Amazing Transplant
Double Agent 73
Deadly Weapons
Satan Was a Lady
Come With Me, My Love
Let Me Die A Woman
A Night to Dismember

TINTO BRASS
Salon Kitty
Caligula
The Key - BLAND-O CALRISSIAN!
Miranda
Paprika
All Ladies Do It
The Voyeur
Frivolous Lola
Cheeky
Senso '45
Fallo!

JEAN ROLLIN
Requiem For A Vampire
High School Hitchhikers
The Demoniacs
Bacchanales Sexuelles
Fascination
The Grapes Of Death
The Night of the Hunted
The Living Dead Girl
Zombie Lake

MICHAEL FINDLAY
Satan's Bed
Take Me Naked - BORING! BORING! BORING! SO FUCKING BORING! THE WHOLE MOVIE IS A FUCKING POEM!
The Touch of her Flesh
A Thousand Pleasures
The Kiss of her Flesh
The Ultimate Degenerate
Mnasidika
Snuff

ERNST HOFBAUER
Schoolgirl Report: What Parents Don't Think Is Possible
Swinging Wives
Schoolgirl Report 2: What Keeps Parents Awake At Night
Schoolgirl Report 3: What Parents Find Unthinkable
Campus Swingers
Schoolgirl Report 5: What All Parents Should Know
Schoolgirl Report 6: What Parents Would Gladly Hush Up
Naughty Coeds

JOE SARNO
Sin in the Suburbs
Flesh and Lace
Vibrations
The Layout
Passion in Hot Hollows
Young Playthings
Butterflies
Abigail Leslie Is Back In Town

BARRY MAHON
Censored
The Beast That Killed Women
P.P.S. - Prostitutes Protective Society
Sex Club International
A Good Time With a Bad Girl
Run Swinger Run!
The Sex Killer

GERARD DAMIANO
Can't Get Enough
Deep Throat
Meatball - HARDCORE PORNOGRAPHY THAT LITERALLY PUT ME TO SLUMBER. GRANTED I WAS DRUNK BUT STILL
The Devil in Miss Jones
Memories Within Miss Aggie
The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue

ZEBEDY COLT
Terri's Revenge - SURELY THE ONLY DULL FILM THAT THIS SICKO EVER MADE
Erotic Dr. Jeckyll
Affairs Of Janice
The Farmer's Daughters
Unwilling Lovers
Virgin Dreams

NICK PHILLIPS (warning: this guy's not real big on "plot")
Brigitta
Uta
L'Amour De Femme
Gunilla
Roxanna
Fraulein Leather

R.L. FROST
The Defilers
Mondo Freudo
Mondo Bizarro
Love Camp 7
Zero In and Scream

A.C. STEPHEN
Orgy Of The Dead
Suburbia Confidential
Motel Confidential
Office Love-In
College Girls Confidential

RADLEY METZGER/HENRY PARIS
Carmen, Baby - KNOCK KNOCK! WHO'S THERE? I DON'T KNOW, BUT IT'S BORING!
Little Mother
Naked Came The Stranger
The Opening of Misty Beethoven

CATHERINE BREILLAT
A Real Young Girl
36 Fillette
Romance - SEE THIS MOVIE AND YOU WILL NEVER HAVE A BONER AGAIN. ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE A GIRL, BUT GUYS TOO

WALERIAN BOROWCZYK
Immoral Tales
The Beast

DAVID HAMILTON
A Summer in Saint Tropez - HOW DO YOU DULL UP A BUNCH OF NAKED TEENAGED GIRLS? HOW!? HOW, GODDAMN YOU!?!?!?

ANDY SIDARIS
Malibu Express

See, it doesn't so much matter whether you can discuss even a single movie you've ever seen, as long as you can put a whole bunch of film titles down on a list. So enjoy! And in fact, Congratulations! Also, any I should see that I haven't seen that you've seen?

The Ungovernable Force is where "all bets were off" because Conflict "thought outside the box" and went "batshit crazy"! If you're a fan of Crass's Christ: The Album and Rudimentary Peni's Cacophony, here's another eccentric weirdo-punk record for your collection. Don't worry - you'll get the angry high-speed hardcore punk you're looking for, but you'll also get:

- Three lead vocalists who constantly talk, rant, scream and sing over each other in both speakers
- Bizarre production decisions, with various instruments making strange jumps in volume and switching from mono to stereo and from speaker to speaker for no apparent reason
- Dialogue samples and sound effects aplenty galore
- No spaces between any of the songs
- Musical parodies of the Sex Pistols, The Clash and crossover metal
- A tribute to Crass performed over a pre-existing tape of that band's "Banned From The Roxy"
- A speedy punk song in which Colin foregos rhyme in order to helpfully inform you of your rights as a citizen if arrested (he screams them, to be exact)
- A one-minute punk song that ends with a full minute of cacophonous noise
- A radio-ready hard rock instrumental (strangely entitled "Statement")
- A piano ballad
- Acoustic guitars
- A bit where the bassist messes up on purpose because the other band members told him to
- A reggae segment with Rasta vocals
- Some honestly funny lyrics

I've no clue what drove Colin & The Gang to be so ambitious and all-encompassing on this release, but it's a very welcome surprise. Not only are the constant stylistic, instrumental and production jolts wonderfully bewildering, but the songs are catchy and memorable, the hardcore segments are absolutely vicious in speed and tone, and they've actually interjected a sense of humor into their political messaging! Dark, bitter humor, but humor nonetheless. A few examples:

- The Clash parody "Custom Rock" is a laugh-out-loud pastiche of tribal world music rhythms and singalong pop choruses a la Combat Rock, even as Colin screams, "Well, I'm sorry we can't take seriously your whining groans of hope/You made your world, now live in it. To us, you're a standing joke!"

- The crossover metal parody "Mental Mania" features some of the most ridiculous playing and singing in Conflict history, along with such lyrical passages as "Watch me, I can play at 90,000 notes an hour!/Know me for my power chords, not supporting of state power!" and "Call that a fucking solo? I'll do better with ten pints in me!/Listen to my voice, I'm really fucking angry!"

- "Force Or Service?" is a Keystone Koppery put-down/send-up of the violent British police force, full of 'dumb' voices and satirical lyrics like "There's a darkie in defiance -- Get that nigger off me, kill him!/Don't do it in the open, kick his teeth in later. I thought I'd taught you police operations!"

It's still a very serious record - and an extremely angry one (sample lyrics: "Fuck off you! Fuck your violent threats, your attempts to control the nation!/Fuck off you fucked up fascist cunt, understand the situation!/Back off you slimy worthless prick, you ain't got a clue what you are facing!/Eat bricks you het up bastard shits, scabs! You'll get what you are creating!"; sample lyrics from another song: "You fucked old yankee crony git!/You screwed up bastard commie shit!/You evil hag with blood-stained hands!/Fuck you, fucking hang!/Fuck it, I just can't see any point in singing yet another wanky war song") - but the little bits of humor are an integral part of its overall "anything goes!" mood.

Conceptually, this is easily Conflict's "10"-rating album. But in practice, it's kept from that distinction by a few weak tracks: "You Cannot Win" - basically some unexceptional dialogue samples and faux-dramatic music - is a regrettably uninspired beginning to such an ambitious record; the 'creative' production technique used in "The Ungovernable Farce" makes it nearly impossible to tell what the riff is supposed to be; "1986: The Battle Continues" is really more a recitation than a song - and not a terribly interesting one either; and album-closer "To Be Continued" is absolutely annihilated by female vocals so amateurish and off-key that they make the otherwise haunting piano composition sound like a middle school talent show performance.

But what's a few weak tracks when you've got an anti-Sex Pistols song called "A Piss In The Ocean"? Very little, I'd claim! So if you love both angry punk rock and lots of insane stuff going on all the time, buy this CD now! Please your mind and ear today - from here to Bustin', USA!

That last sentence was intended to be sung to the old Oscar Meyer jingle. If you failed to do so, it's too late now. You can never go home again.

(at least not for another ten minutes. I'm fucking your wife!)

Reader Comments

nanja_monja@hotmail.fr (Francois)
If you enjoyed Malibu Express, I can advise you to watch other movies of the master Sidaris: Hard Tocket to Hawaii is one of the best, Day of the Warrior and Return to Savage Beach are also great. You may also like Picasso Trigger or Guns.

Billdude
I remember the first time you mentioned Michael Findlay on your site--the first time was in some review where you did a load of movie reviews and called him "the most incompetent director OF ALL TIME!!" for "Snuff." I want to see that movie now. But speaking of snuff--did you know that he was killed by being DECAPITATED WITH A HELICOPTER BLADE? No bull. Just like poor Vic Morrow. However, ogrish.com doesn't have video footage of the Findlay accident happening. Uh, not that I visit ogrish.com.

olivuhr@gmail.com
Well i've never heard this album or Conflict in general, but like that matters.

Jeezus (Franco), so I'm not the only one who got awfully bored with Vampiros Lesbos. I thought I was in for one of the funnest movies in my life when it started, but it was a fucking stone drag most of the time. Only the music and some of the visuals were a bit above average, but most of it was forgettable 70s poo.

On the other hand, Franco seems to be an interesting film maker, so are any of his other films actually GOOD? I'd like to know...

OSLANE@student.gvsu.edu
good god, I've got some movies to add to my netflix que. Try Radley Metzger's 'The Liquorish Quartet', Catherine Breillatt's 'Fat Girl' and 'Sex Is Comedy' and, I believe Jess Franco also did an adaptation of 'Dracula' which isn't particularly erotic.

Add your thoughts?


Turning Rebellion Into Money - SOS 1987
Rating = 8

I'm so drunk, my urine sample is 5 billion proof.

Conflict have five million live albums, but this one is actually worth hearing. It's Conflict with Crass's Steve Ignorant joining them onstage, and they play half-Crass songs and half-Conflict songs! More specifically, they play 15 Crass songs and 17 Conflict songs (7 singles, 5 Ungovernable, 4 Increase and thank God a mere 1 Who's Who, though it's boneheadedly "One Nation Under A THIS ISN'T AN ACTUAL SONG."

It's not the greatest recording ever, and the vocals kinda drown out the guitars, and both Colin and Steve are so hoarse and ripped-throaty that they uglify the music, and it's kinda messy and tuneless, but if you're a fan of both these bands, this is a MUST-STEAL. Both of these bands have so goddamned many great songs, and they PLAY them here! "Big Hands," "I Ain't Thick It's Just A Trick," "Contaminational Power," "Major General Despair," "Punk Is Dead," "Rival Tribal Rebel Revel" and so on -- all played by Conflict but with Steve hoarsely shouting! Plus, strangely, they dragged a pair of harmonic sax players with them (!?).

If you're not terribly familiar with Crass or Conflict, drop this grade to a 7. It's simply too hoarse and live-sounding to be a worthy introduction to either band. However, if you're a fan of both, DEAR GOD YOU NEED THIS. They flub up a few ("Do They Owe Us A Living?" is ruined by an incorrect second bass note, and the band clearly didn't even bother trying to figure out "They've Got A Bomb" before performing it), but most of it is just wonderful. Manic, insane, fast, mean, angry, sad, smart, melodic and so forth. "What a fuckin' rip-off! Oi! Oi! Oi!"

I love those martial drums. Also, this show resulted in a huge police/punks riot, demonstrated on here by Colin's shouts of "Fuckin' leave him alone!," "Stop fuckin' punchin' people!," "Don't resort to their tactics!," and "You're supposed to be fightin' to keep the fuckin' peace - not promotin' violence!"

Every other Conflict live album can take a dump on my shoe and hire a midget to lick it off, but this one (Conflict meets Crass) is a beautiful match made in Hellven. And 32 songs on it are!

What's up with Steve Ignorant not sounding at all like himself though? Do you think it was actually his brother Bill Ignorant?

Knock knock!
Who's there?
I'm drunk
I'm drunk who?
I'm drunk and I rammed a knife down my throat several times in the restaurant's bathroom, thus puking all over the place.
That's great; let's have sex

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The Final Conflict - Mortarhate 1988
Rating = 7

Look, I'm not going to lie to you anymore. Conflict had some line-up changes over the years. I tried to stop them, but they wouldn't listen. Apparently the first album featured this line-up:

Vocals - Colin
Guitar - Steve
Bass - John (a literal TOILET!!!)
Drums - Paco
Some Broads - Broadin'

Crazy, right? I know! It makes no sense at all! But wait -- then their other albums had some other people, and now THIS album has THIS line-up:

Vocals - Colin
Vocals - Steve Ignorant of Crass fame
Guitar - I can't remember
Some Other People - Thingy
Drums - Paco

Now let's move forward with the review - hop off the tresses!

Side one of The Final Conflict KICKS SOME MOTHER FUCKING ASS, as if you were FUCKING YOUR MOTHER IN THE A

Side one of The Final Conflict ROARS!!!, with six of the loudest, brashest, hookiest, fastest, most blistering and in-your-faciest guitar-drenched distorted-bass hardcore punk anger volume-riffic noise screamy fuzzed-out songs of Conflict's entire career. Beginning with a driving, building anthemic instrumental (with saxophones!), the band whips up a flurry of punk rock steam engine rage devoted to such issues as abortion (the emotional Bad Religiony "The Cord Is Cut"), Northern Ireland (the vicious Poison Idea-style "Barricades and Broken Dreams") and rumor-mongers ("Is it true Colin bought his girlfriend a horse?/Owns a block of flats? Does a science course?/Heard about how they rip off bands?/A fiver expenses for touring the land/Said the money was going to ALF/Gave a carrot to the animals and pocketed the rest!"). By the end of the side, your ears will have turned bright yellow and fallen off due to how loud its guitars scream at you. But that's not all! Because here comes side TWO!!!

Side two blows.

I think you misheard me. The album's final song, the title track, is a strong dramatic piece filled with emphatic talking, shrieking and yelling from band members all. But the rest of

Side two blows.

I'm all for experimentation, particularly when it comes to music and spraying hair products into bunnies' eyes. But somebody has to say something about this, and I guess I'm the only one with the guts in my balls to do it:

Punk rock and reggae have nothing to do with each other. Just because you're a successful punk rock band does not mean that anybody wants to hear your goddamned 6-minute marijuana-paced echo chamber shit balloon. How exactly did these two disparate forms of music become so interconnected anyway? Was it posh little diplomat's son Joe Strummer and his Clash that did it? Oh, and don't even get me BEGINNED about SKA-punk, which is about 50 times worse than normal reggae, stinking up our lives with its bouncy faggoty lightfooted faggotry. And by "faggoty" and "faggotry," I of course mean "Homosexual, which is wrong" and "Homosexuality, which people practice solely because they want to hurt God."

And by "Lightfooted," I of course mean "Gordon Lightfooted of 'Sundown, You'd Better Take Care' Fame." One time that guy caught a reel big fish and c

Well yeah, it weighed less than Jake Gyllenhaal's fish but t

Look, I've no doubt that Jake's was a sublime fish but th

Goldfinger blows.

So between the barely-tuned reggae abomination "These Things Take Time" (4:12), grotesque and awful Big Audio Dynamite funk-rocker "Radio Trash" (3:30), and confused, directionless hardcore/hard rock/smooth jazz hybrid "The A Team" (5:28), side two is a pretty depressing piece of business (13:10). So I'd like to hand it to the album-closing title track once again for reminding us of how good this band really is. Whoo, album-closing title track! (*clap, clap, clap*) Ahh! Gonorrhea!

And lest you forget, side one is a searing sizzler of high-volume guitar roar, presumably due to the band's procurement of a new amplifier, distortion pedal or human being. So turn it up LOUD and don't be surprised if your phonographic needle melts away into a tiny pool of diamond water! Don't get upset if your CD laser is turned in against itself, creating a catastrophic shift in the time-space continuum through which giant spiders ravenously claw their way into our reality! Don't get mad if your MP3 breaks!

But enough about Conflict. Let's talk about why you're really here.

That's right -- to read about Conflict. So let's get back to Conflict now.

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Against All Odds - Mortarhate 1989
Rating = 7

In what may be the most whimsical act in anarcho-punk history, Conflict completed their The Final Conflict LP with a full three days of studio time remaining, and decided that those days must be spent. "What should we do?" one probably asked. "How about we throw together a single real quick?" another might have responded. "Up you guys' asses!" the drunkest member suddenly shouted, "Let's make A ALBUM!!!"

So they did. They wrote, rehearsed, recorded and mixed an entire extra album in three days. And, "against all odds," it's every bit as enjoyable as the one they intended to record in the first place!

First honesties first: it does sound rushed. A few under-rehearsed passages could've used another take or two, certain parts might have been fleshed out a bit more, and (most noticably) the 14-minute epic title track is simply nine entirely different pieces of music thrown together in no particular order. Also, it has the cleanest production sound of any Conflict record to date, which isn't necessarily a good thing. Rather than sounding like a mean, thrashy ass-kicker, it kinda sounds like somebody recorded it at home with ProTools. Nevertheless, all the marks of Conflict quality are here: anger, hooky chord changes, stylistic experimentation, vehement screaming, gentle recitation -- along with some of the most interesting and socially focused (rather than politically focused) lyrics Colin has ever written.

Let's start with the experimentation: there's a LOT of it. Every single song deviates from the expected Conflict 'hardcore punk' style. In fact, there is not a single moment of high-speed punk rock on the entire second side. (particularly if you're listening to it on CD) Here, look:

"Against All Odds" - This side-long track is the result of Paco wanting to create a "From The Cradle To The Grave"-style epic punk rock song. However, although it does feature a number of perfectly enjoyable fast punk and slow metal passages (along with a sorrowful keyboard/FX opening and dub reggae coda), the song has no internal structure at all, nor any attempt to piece together the nine different mini-songs in a sensible order. But come on, it's not like Yes threw together "Close To The Edge" in three days at the end of the Fragile sessions.

OR DID THEY!?!? Luckily, our cameras were there:

Unfortunately they were Instamatics, but we did get some great shots of Steve Howe not brushing his teeth.

Jon Anderson: "Hay we finished Fragile and I've got a really high voice."

Steve Howe: "Then let's do another song. I don't shake hands with people because I'm afraid of germs, and an asshole."

Chris Squire: "I don't know, guys; my fingers are killing me. I don't think I can play another note. Unless it's like a 23-minute note."

Rick Wakeman: "Jello Biafra, eat your heart out! Here we go...."

Bill Bruford: "I have never in my life hated anybody as much as I hate you people. And when we're done here, I'm joining King Crimson so I can hate them too."

"Slaughter Of Innocence" - Speaking of 'never in (one's) life,' you will never in your life hear a lead guitar so disproportionately loud in comparison with the other elements of a punk-metal song. But thank God it is, because its simple emotional little runs make the song! Incidentally, this riff sounds a HELL of a lot like something I would've written when I was 17, and I mean that as a great compliment.

"Assured Mutual Destruction" - Conflict chooses the mode of corny love ballad to share its depressing message about losing one's virginity (that it isn't the paradise of intimacy one might hope for, and is usually just the opposite).

"The Greatest Show On Earth" - Conflict's take on the DKs' "Anarchy For Sale" theme is a hilarious and ridiculous piece of carnival music narrated by an 'r'-rolling barker who sounds about to fall over drunk as he invites young punk rockers to purchase "Anarchy lights - anarchy pens/Anarchy panties - anarchy bras/Anarchy dildos!"

"A Message To Who" - Conflict becomes a midtempo Green Day-style emotional 'punk' band to share their most personal lyrics ever. I'll discuss them in a minute. Hang on.

"A State Of Mind" - JESUS CHRIST! THIS IS FUCKING AWFUL!!!! Make a note: neither Conflict nor any other band in the world needs to devote five minutes of album time to lopey-dopey psychedelic House music. Imagine a novelty b-side by The Stone Roses, then get out your mop and clean up all the puke.

Now let's critically examine the lyrics, taking particular notice of how they differ from the Anarchy-driven concerns of Conflict yesteryear:

"There's no compassion in here
My fingers keep curling into fists these days
No one smiles on the streets these days
And there's no compassion"

"The ritual advances have been made
Now flesh is bared
As though it is a solution
To the fear and confusion."

"A few words spoken quietly mean so much when said just right
Those words can also break a heart when two begin to fight
A love so strong now's nothing; his life begins to fall apart
She loves him so dearly, but her mind's demanding a new start."

Compassion? Human emotions? Heartbreak? Why, these lyrics certainly differ from the Anarchy-driven concerns of Conflict yesteryear.

You know that Sonny & Cher song "Bang Bang"? Here's a parody that "Weird Al" Yankovic drunkenly called at 2 AM last night to sing to me:

"She was 5 and I was 6
We rode on horses, sucked each others' dicks
She wore black and I wore blue
I would always sacka-lacka-woo-woo-woo

Bang Bang
She shot my balls
Bang Bang
Sperm sprayed the walls
Bang Bang
Hold all my calls
Bang Bang
My baby shot my balls"

I was all like Come On "Weird Al" nobody knows that song do another rap piece of shit.

Reader Comments

Steve
Well, at least this album is intriguing. Since "From the Cradle to the Grave" is my favorite punk album of all time, the idea of another monster-length punk epic surely got me excited. And it's not bad, but it's....just... kind of there. I don't demand a lot of cohesiveness in a long-form piece if it looks like they're TRYING to do something important, but the title track of this one just makes no sense at all. That said, I still listen to it a lot, more out of wonder than anything else. You mentioned the album was rushed, and that certainly makes sense after hearing this track a few dozen times.

"Slaughter of Innocence", however, is a monster track and one of my favorite Conflict songs. It's really the only track on here that seems like much thought went into it. Not that it's anything revolutionary, just 4 chords repeated over and over again with zillions of lyrics recited over it, but what a riff! What a lead guitar part! Heavens to popsicles!

I like the remaining tracks too, they're fun in a clumsy/charming sort of way. Reminds me a bit of when Camper Van Beethoven recorded the "Tusk" album during some breaks in their recording sessions, and shelved it until just recently. It feels like a demo of unfinished experiements that is probably best consumed with that in mind. The final electronic piece is just unnecessary, but it's still pretty intriguing to hear such a left-field track on a Conflict album.

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Conclusion - Cleopatra 1993
Rating = 6

One of the most fascinating and worthwhile arguments to be found on today's top message boards is that of "Prog vs. Punk." But, insanely, this scintillating and fulfilling debate has been secretly taking place since the Nineteen Seventies! And it's not difficult to see why, considering the crucial scientific advancements at stake. But hold your shorts, because Conflict is about to explode the "Prog vs. Punk" dichotomy all over your FACE!

Actually, that's not true. But for some reason, Conclusion replaces the age-old Conflict guitar punk sound with a corny keyboard-based classical/symphonic/prog/goth/sissy-pop approach. Presumably Colin and Paco were inspired by Bad Religion's Into The Unknown master(piece of shit), because - although it does end with "These Colours Don't Run," one of the most ferocious hardcore tracks in their catalog - Conclusion sounds more like Yes than Crass. And I'm talking like Tormato-era Yes.

The keyboards, performed by Mr. Mark Pickstone, sound wispy, cheap and '80s. This is fine for some of the record, because the dude's a master of coming up with troubled and strange chord sequences: "The Institute Of Dreams" entwines eight chords that I'm certain I've never heard played together; "A Question of Priorities" conjures up the symphonic military sorrow of Pink Floyd's The Final Cut, and "A Declaration of Independence" is even pleasingly reminiscent of Bloodrock's "D.O.A."! However, the corny, dated tones sound absolutely humiliating when employed for 'scary' ("To Live On In Hearts"), melodramatic ("Is Never To Die"), or for God's sake PUNK ROCK ("The Right To Reply") effect.

And more importantly, who the hell did Conflict think would want to listen to this record? Anderson Bruford Wakeman & Howe fans eager for a bit of anarcho-punk propaganda? Crust punkers looking to slamdance to Styx? Deaf people tired of turning to Oi Polloi for their symphonic, keyboard-driven needs?

Aside from the terrible reggae waste of intriguing lyrics "Climbing The Stairs," that pretty much covers Conclusion, so let's tell some jokes.

Knock knock!
Who's there?
Conflict!
Conflict who?
Con flict (flicked) a booger onto the windshield of my car, and now I can't see and I fell off a cliff and I'm dead!

Knock knock!
Who's there?
Colin Jerwood!
Colin Jerwood who?
Colin Jerwood, lead singer of Conflict!
Really? Because Con flict (flicked) a booger onto the windshield of my car, and now I can't see and I fell off a cliff and I'm dead!

Why did Conflict cross the road?
Because Con flict (flicked) a booger onto the w

Add your thoughts?


There Must Be Another Way-The Singles - Jungle 2001
Rating = 8

This CD compiles all eight of Conflict's 1982-1993 7-inches and EPs in their entireties, including:

The House That Man Built (1982) - "Conflict," "I've Had Enough," "War Games," "Blind Attack" - The fourth song was re-recorded for It's Time To See Who's Who, the first for It's Time To See Who's Who Now. The second is an unexpected (and iffy) foray into melodic girl-pop, the third a great anxiety-ridden "California Uber Alles"-type piece.

To A Nation Of Animal Lovers (1983) - "Berkshire Cunt," "Meat Means Murder," "Whichever Way You Want It" - The second was re-recorded for It's Time To See Who's Who, the first and third for It's Time To See Who's Who Now. Though I heartily applaud this EP's animal rights theme (anti-fox hunting, pro-vegetarian, anti-animal testing), the music itself is extremely weak, with only "Berkshire Cunt" bolstering its rage-fueled lyrics with appropriately vicious music.

The Serenade Is Dead (1984) - "The Serenade Is Dead," "The Positive Junk," "The System Maintains" - Live renditions of the second and third appear on Increase The Pressure, and live renditions of all three appear on Turning Rebellion Into Money. The first song is just okay, but the second and third are absolutely phenomenal punk rock songs, cramming more words into two minutes than anyone this side of DRI. This is PRIME Conflict, with confused chord changes, trebly buzzsaw guitar, and raw shouted vocals that really maaaaaaan it mean.

This Is Not Enough - Stand Up And Fucking Fight (1985) - "This Is Not Enough," "Neither Is This" - A live version of the former appears on Turning Rebellion Into Money. Two more fantastic punk rock songs by Conflict! Side A leads from a metallic Exploited-style intro into a surprisingly poppy (and sung) verse, and side B is a mean-as-shit speed-rant driven by a killer sideways bass/guitar riff. Follow along with the lyrics sheet and you'll see that Colin has no idea what the rhythm of the song is supposed to be!

The Battle Continues (1985) - "Mighty And Superior," "To Whom It May Concern" - Live versions of both appear on Turning Rebellion Into Money. Good God, these guys wrote a ton of great songs! The former is a multi-part assault on the British government (one part even has an acoustic guitar), the latter a tight descending high-speed... assault on the British.... Well, Thatcher's name comes up, if that's any indication.

B.B.C.1 (1986) - "Custom Rock," "Statement" - Peel Session recordings of two The Ungovernable Force tracks. No big shakes -- or, alternately, great whoop.

The Final Conflict (1988) - "The Final Conflict," "The War Of Words" - Okay, they're just getting lazy now. The former is a supposedly-remixed version of The Final Conflict's title track, and the latter is simply the first segment of Against The Odds' 14-minute title track, pulled straight off the album and given its own title. Side one is of course still great, but side two - though an evocative introduction to a 14-minute epic - is just too repetitive and aimless to serve as its own song.

These Colours Don't Run (1993) - "These Colours Don't Run," "Climbing The Stairs" - Exactly as they appear on Conclusion, the former still tearing ass, the latter still sucking whatever's left of the ass.

One would of course love to award a 10-grade to such a strong, lengthy and comprehensive collection, but "Climbing The Stairs," "Meat Means Murder" and "Whichever Way You Want It" are allied in an international Force Of Just Fucking Awful Songs to ensure that such an action may never take place. However, if you're interested in hearing Conflict at their most straightforward and 'anarcho-punky,' this is definitely the CD to buy. It mostly avoids their stylistic experiments, instead just giving you one unforgettable blast of 9,000-mile-an-hour British punk after another after another.

I love this band!!! I realize that their lyrical content is more important to them than the music, but the music so often FUCKING RULES!!!! They just come up with so many great, angry, slightly unorthodox, twisted, dark, hooky chord sequences!

Well, when they're not playing prog rock on their corny '80s keyboards anyway.

Add your thoughts?


There's No Power Without Control - SOS 2003
Rating = 7

The crazy thing is that this is the exact same line-up that recorded Conclusion, yet there's not a hint of prog rock to be found here! But the crazy thing is that every song on here is credited to Colin and the keyboardist, yet there's only like one second of audible keyboard on the entire album! Yet the crazy thing is that this is a punk rock/metal album, but what's crazy is that one of the songs sounds like Ministry!

There Is No Power Without Control is in some ways a complete comeback for Conflict, full of fast, mean, memorable explosions of righteous anger like "Carlo Giuliani" (about an Italian revolutionary murdered during a protest), industrial thrasher "Just Defy" (which takes Straight Edge to task) (two decades late), "An Option" (controversy!!! I'll discuss this one later) and "From St. Pauls to Seattle," a delightfully chaotic celebration of anarchist protest. However, the disc is unfortunately marred by a few duff tracks and some terrible punk-metal moments that make the band sound much less intelligent than they actually are.

Generally speaking, the mix is very full and guitar-drenched. The music is almost all aggressive and loud punk, hardcore and metal - with just a couple of forays into reggae, fuzzy pop and poetry. Female vocalist Sarah Taylor is given many more opportunities to 'shine' and 'strut her stuff' than on Conclusion, contributing particularly evocative tunefulness to "There's No Power," "From St. Paul's to Seattle" and a couple others. And, most neatly for me personally, there's always a lot going on the songs. What on first listen sound like pretty straightforward songs soon reveal themselves to be full of interesting production and arranging decisions, diverse guitar tones, hidden bass runs, and varied, well-thought-out vocal approaches (everything from sultry crooning to back-and-forth screaming on top of each other). In other words, the band sounds smart. Check out "From St. Paul's To Seattle," for example. There is a TON of stuff going on in that song!

Which of course makes it all the more disappointing that three of the ten songs are the typically dull reggae "The Hidden Hand," bad-Ministry industrial metal "Dodi Did'er Doggy Style," and almost non-existent mood piece "War" (yet another stilted moment of a man and woman reading together from a piece of paper). Still, the disc has enough moments of absolutely classic Conflict rage-and-riffage that I absolutely must recommend its purchase, particularly to anyone disillusioned by the Into The Unknown nature of Conclusion.

Now then, about "An Option" -- if you thought "The Cord Is Cut" was controversial, wait til you hear this one! After apologizing for not being a samaritan, and before admitting that he was warned not to include this song on the record, Colin recommends stopping the flow of Muslims into Britain!!!! But hang on, before you start calling him a Racist -- at least read the lyrics and try to understand where he's coming from:

"Just what the fuck is going on
Are we at war or not?
In fact, what is war? The war against war?
Armed combat, fighting for peace, what?

If I am wrong then tell me,
But war has no restrictions or rules
Why ain't the government closed our borders
when waging a war against terror - are they fools!?

One thing I do know for sure
I find beyond belief, disgusting
Is certain groups can gob off, preach hate, killing
Our only crime born here. Far too trusting!"

And it goes on from there into a general tirade against political correctness. I know, and I'm sure Colin knows, that the majority of Muslims are not terrorists, but heck - even I've heard about all the terrorist activity taking place among UK-based Muslims, and I don't even live there! So Colin just suggests this - as "An Option." Right or wrong, closing the borders during a time of 'war' is an option. I don't know enough about the issue to hold an opinion, but I love that Colin was willing to risk alienating his entire fan base to make such a controversial suggestion! At the same time, I'm praying that the next Conflict album won't be a bunch of variations on "Nigger Nigger Get On The Boat."

Speaking of which, apparently Paco recently had to retire from the band due to a health issue, and Colin replaced him to keep the band going. I disagree with this decision; Paco was an essential component of Conflict and a total ass-kicker of a punk rock drummer. Come on, Colin - at least change the name of the band to 'Colinflict'!

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