Scene Report: Gothenburg Hardcore 2010
Cat and Tofuboy tell us about the state of hardcore punk in Gothenburg
Gothenburg (Göteborg) is Sweden’s second biggest city boasting 500,000 citizens. It’s traditionally a working class city because of the early and heavy industrialization led by Englishmen and the important harbor which is Scandinavia’s biggest. Gothenburg is also known for being one of Sweden’s most segregated cities. The city became an important playground for the 2001 riots following the EU summit and visit of US president Bush Jr. when one demonstrator was shot in the back and injured. The riots were followed by heavy retribution by the state with political sentences which was criticized internationally and was a heavy scare-blow to the Swedish activist scene.
The main venues (there are others that are commercial or doesn’t put up shows regularly) for punk hardcore shows are Nordengarden, which is all ages and drug/alcohol-free shows in a cellar room in the basement of a house owned by the sobriety movement.. Underjorden is a rented social center quite close to the city-center that puts shows very often. There is in our opinion a divide between the traditional punk scene in Gothenburg and the hardcore straight edge scene, while the first one offers alcohol at shows while the other don’t and that the bands tied to the two different venues seldom share stage (but it does happen) which is the case in for example Malmo in the far south of Sweden. Hopefully this divide can be overcome by the bands, organizers and participants focusing on what the scenes has in common and not the differences, combined with a tolerant attitude.
Two of the newest bands seeing the light of day in the local hardcore scene are Royal Rumble and Lose The Life. The first is a four person outfit playing positive catchy hardcore with a demo recorded during summer 2010 and a new demo recording that will be finished early autumn.
Lose The Life has already put out two recordings, one released as a 7-inch on Law&Order rec. The records are stuck in customs and no one wants to bail it out. The band is heavy influenced by the US Cleveland scene both in music and attitude.
On the punk half of the punk/hardcore scene in Gothenburg the band Dörrterror can be found. They play trashy hardcore with Swedish lyrics about freeriding the trams and shoplifting. They are great. Further out on the punk genre-line is the quite new band Contorture, probably the most important crust band in Gothenburg right now, unfortunately they haven’t released anything yet. Vicious Irene is a punk’n’roll band that is very active and worth mentioning.
Law & Order records is based in Gothenburg and besides records also puts out the great zine called… Law & Order! L&O released the first recording by local heroes Stay Hungry. Actually only two members of Stay Hungry live in Gothenburg while the other two live in Linkoping on the East Coast. The band has also released an LP on Reflection records in 2009 and has a new LP on the way.
Another band with members split up between different cities is the vegan straight edge outfit Anchor. Half of the members are based in Gothenburg which is considered the band’s home base. The band is currently writing a new LP to follow up on 2008 The Quiet Dance album.
Members of Anchor can also be found playing bass and singing in the all local band The Eight Arms (formerly Eight Arms Around You). The band has done a recording of their expressive contemporary hardcore that is yet to be released.
The Eight Arms shares a few members with the band Young Ones. The Young Ones play melodic contemporary hardcore and has a CD/LP DIY release in their backpack. On the outskirts of the local scene the band The Process can be found, and are worth to be mentioned. The band plays Refused inspired hardcore and can flash some Swedish lyrics. They have released two MCDs and a 7-inch. Repoman is a fast technical hardcore band and released MCD on Monument rec from the neighbouring city Trollhättan.
Almost legendary is the band Commitment Crew with their home base on the other side of the harbor, a part of Gothenburg called Hisingen. That is also the name of the bands debut 7-inch released 2007 by Crucial Response records, they have since then released an LP as well. Commitment Crew are known for their neatly performed early ’80s hardcore sets.
Fredag den 13:e has a newly released LP and two 7-inches in their back-catalog. The band refers to their music as sing-along d-beat which we guess is pretty accurate. Some of the lyrics are in Swedish. Loved by Swedish music critics is We Live In Trenches, they released a LP named Modern Hex about a year ago and plays punk hardcore and has been played on national radio.
Some of the shows in town are put up by Punk Illegal. They put up great shows where the money goes directly to the network Ingen manniska illegal/No human is illegal that works with helping and supporting people in Sweden who haven’t been granted asylum and are staying in Sweden but denied all rights to take part of for example in the health system, work etc. Punk Illegal also puts up a big festival a few hours north of town every summer, you should come and check it out next summer!
There are more bands and more venues, but these are the ones we thought were most interesting right now, maybe the next scene report from us will look different. Hope you want to come to our town and hang out, we can eat vegan food at the fast-food diner Jonsborg and go to the ocean by tram. We hope more of the punx and hardcore punx will become good friends this winter and that means good shows and meetings will come….
by Tofuboy & the Cat