Homomilitia – Twoje Ciało – Twój Wybór
Remastered reissue of Homomilitia's iconic 1996 album that brought anarcho-queer ideas to the forefront of European crust punk.
Homomilitia, one of Poland’s most iconic anarcho-punk bands, is a household name for anyone interested in Eastern European crust punk, as well as anarchist and DIY music in general. They hail from Łódź, the third largest city in Poland—located in the central part of the country. Famous for their hard stance on supporting LGBTQIA+ issues and homosexuality, with some of the members being part of the queer community themselves, the band is sometimes called Queercore. And while their sound can easily be compared to cult crust bands like Nausea, Disaffect or Antischism, they have a distinctly Polish quality that makes them all the more interesting and akin to their counterparts in the very strong and prominent local scene in the ’90s with bands like Sanctus Iuda, Infekcja, Guernica Y Luno.
A lot of bands in the genre tackled similar issues in their lyrics back in the day (the ’80s and ’90s) when it was not as common and accepted in the general hardcore scene, but few were as outspoken and militant about LGBTQIA+ rights and equality (even in the US and more progressive European countries when the album came out, there wasn’t a lot of queer sensitivity and solidarity in the scene), so Homomilitia, as their name suggests, is definitely a strong outlier with their eloquently crafted messages of angst against the macho culture, patriotism/nationalism, homophobia, racism, neo-fascism and similar diseases of the mind, all products of capitalism and all so sadly prevalent in post-communist countries.
Especially given the current situation in their local context, with the ruling ultra-conservative party frequently attacking LGBTQIA+ causes and actively disrupting the queer community, including recently banning abortions—which sparked huge protests all over the country—Homomilitia’s lyrics are sadly still relevant to the current oppressive political climate in Poland.
Homomilitia’s first album, originally released through Nikt Nic Nie Wie in 1996, Twoje Ciało – Twój Wybór, which translates to “Your Body – Your Choice”, is a seminal classic of the Polish anarcho-punk/crust scene and its name, which is an important feminist slogan, speaks for itself. The militancy is simply undeniable and very honorable (considering the fact that the general anarchist scene has long been crippled by pacifist cowards). Now, 27 years later, it is being re-released by the great Polish label Sanctus Propaganda (run by people from Sanctus Iuda, another classic anarchist band from Poland) and is being skillfully remastered—sounding the way the band themselves wanted it to, with updated artwork and a great bonus track, “Milczenie=Śmierć” (Silence=Death), not available on the original album!
After listening to the original recordings, I can definitely say that this remastered version sounds much better, very pleasant and really shows the musical and compositional abilities of the band. You can finally hear these classic songs of (queer) anarchist rage against systemic oppression, patriarchy and capitalism the way the band intended. And most importantly, this re-release is a wonderful tribute to Homomilitia’s recently deceased members Wojciech ‘Wojtek’ Krawczyk (vocals) and Włodzimierz ‘Strzała’ Strzałka (guitar).
The album is legendary and if you are into serious and militant anarcho/crust punk and you haven’t heard it, this is your chance to do yourself a big favor and listen to this masterpiece of political punk hymns (like “Policja”, “Homofobia”, “Moje Ciało – Mój Wybór”, “Milczenie=Smierc”, etc.). Rest in power, Wojti & Strzała!