In a country where the political activity and any form of protest is basically forbidden, the DIY hardcore punk has emerged as one of the only possible ways to create a culture of resistance and dissenting from the norms imposed by the state apparatus. Occupying the office ever since 1994, Belorussian head of state Alexander Lukashenko is among the last authoritarian dictators in Eastern Europe.
The DIY punk scene in Belarus has originated shortly after the declaration of independence in 1991, and the city of Grodno, lying on the Poland-Belarus border, was the birthplace of the political hardcore / punk / crust scene in the former Soviet republic. The band Deviation were probably the most important people for building the foundations of the movement, and were followed by many new Belorussian bands and fanzines in the end of 90’s and early 2000’s. Other important hardcore punk bands from the city of Grodno include Contra La Contra, I Hope You Die, and Bagna. Most of these were mentioned in the scene report that we published back in 2014.
In 2019, there is still a climate of political repression and no signs of real alternatives for Belarus. While some activists and people in the scene are leaving the country, others continue to hold their ground and fight against all odds. Also, the city of Grodno is still a hotbed for angry political punk bands.
Belting out a five-song demo in 2018, Ожог (Burn) is a noise-drenched hardcore punk band that sounds really great! Their second demo appeared in February 2019, and immediately grabbed my attention. This is fast, pissed and aggressive effort that captures both the disobedient spirit and the ooze of hopelessness present in the modern-day state of affairs. If you google-translate the lyrics, you’ll see how extremely pissed these songs are.
The six raging blasts on here are clocking in at around six minutes, which makes this a short sharp shock attack that represents an uncompromising attitude along the lines of Contra La Contra and Bagna. I’m not sure how long exactly Lukashenko will keep the reins of power, but the punk scene will always stay in a total opposition to everything that’s fucked up in the world.