Sedition – Discography 1989/1992

A very special release from Screaming Babies Records. The remastering has ensured that the listener gets to hear Sedition at their best.

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Artist: Sedition

Title: Discography 1989/1992

Release: 2x LP

Year: 2022

Label: Screaming Babies Records

Sedition formed in 1989 and included members of Glasgow bands Chaotic Subversion and The Disturbed. In a short space of time they became a powerful and influential feature of the UK DIY punk scene. This double album discography gathers together their recorded output between the years 1989 and 1992. Their reach was such that it seems they were around for longer—although the continuation of some of their themes in the band Scatha may be responsible for this false memory. Sedition have since reformed for sporadic live outings which are not to be missed if they play anywhere within a day’s ride from you. Typified by screeched vocals, rattly bass, chainsaw guitar and pounding drums, Sedition were heavy, chuggy and speedy without degenerating into metal. Across this double LP there are 44 songs to acquaint yourself with their very identifiable sound and track its development.

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Dealing With Clichés… EP (1989)

I first heard the band when I picked up a copy of the Dealing With Clichés… EP from Deek Allan at an Oi Polloi gig. I was instantly hooked, but the best was yet to come. The music was so fast that one friend managed to play that EP at the wrong speed for a few months before realising his mistake. They also had really intricate artwork—and skulls which are always a winner with a young punk. A firmly political band they kicked back against the trend at the time to branch out into “personal” lyrics with a pointed statement to that effect on the sleeve. Animal abuse, sexism, domestic violence, state oppression of protest, racism. There was (and still is) a lot wrong with the world.

What I hadn’t realised at the time was the band had already released a demo, recently released as a seven-inch by Screaming Babies. These first two releases, along with their side of a split EP with Disaffect (including a Sedition cover of a Disaffect song) makes up the first side of this double discography LP.

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Sedition / Pink Turds in Space Split LP (1990)

The second side of this collection is the Sedition side of their split LP with Pink Turds in Space from Belfast. Both bands had a similar whirlwind approach to punk and it became a must-have record, ably distributed by the ubiquitous Flat Earth Records, purveyors of the finest music to be heard in those pre-internet days. Sedition railed against more of society’s ills including homophobia and the Poll Tax. They also firmly stated their interest in Celtic culture with a guide to the ancient Celtic writing form Ogham and some Celtic inspired art.

Sedition arguably kick started the thriving interest in Celtic artwork and mythology in the DIY punk scene. This was really cemented with the Earthbeat album, a masterpiece which wove together modern anticapitalist and pro-environment messages with reflections on the loss of ancient cultures and indigenous rights. Indigenous rights were a hot topic as 1992 marked 500 years of the occupation—and subsequent genocide—of the Americas by Europeans.

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Earthbeat (1992)

This album provided an insight into concepts drawn from old pre-Christian cultures that resonated with modern activists, at a time when in the UK there was a wave of occupations, protests and direct action against road building, environmental destruction and animal abuse. Sedition spoke of the connectedness of the planet and the way we treat its inhabitants—both human and non-human animal—relating it to ancient reverence for nature. They also recognised that old beliefs, cultures and symbols were at risk of being co-opted by nationalists (and had been co-opted by the Nazis in Germany). So as well as the reflective view, Earthbeat had bang up to date songs about fighting Nazis and animal abusers. Songs were interspersed with samples to underline and generate an atmosphere so that rather than a collection of songs, Earthbeat became an immersive experience. Notes accompanying the songs provided deeper understanding of their meaning. A highlight was a version of Christy Moore’s “Ride On” with the melody led by the bass. I always wonder if he has ever heard it! The Earthbeat booklet and cover (early copies came in a screen printed hessian bag) were adorned by Pictish, Celtic and indigenous influenced art. Earthbeat makes up sides 3 and 4 of this collection.

The cover of the discography is a new Sedition design by singer Angus Quinn incorporating the band logo with a version of the traditional Pictish “Double Disc and Z-rod” symbol (a version of which appeared on the original Earthbeat cover) and some knotwork. Its meaning is open to debate but whether it is a naming device or a representation of the solstices and equinoxes, it has become closely linked with the band’s identity.

For those lucky enough to get their orders in early enough, there is still the option of getting your LP in an additional sweatshop-free tote bag of the front cover.

The front of the accompanying booklet is a fantastic piece of art from Sean Fitzgerald. Inside are lyrics and excerpts of art from all the releases, with all the Earthbeat booklet artwork included and an interview with the band by Sanctus Propaganda (for which you may need reading glasses as the font is fairly small). The interview explores many of the issues flagged in the band’s recorded output and brings this release up to date with questions about the band’s reformation.

Daniel Husayn’s remastering has ensured that the listener gets to hear Sedition at their best. I particularly noticed the difference on the Dealing With Clichés… EP tracks.

Despite having everything the band had released except the Disaffect split, I still bought this as soon as I saw it was available—and I’m not one to buy re-releases if I have the original record. To me, Sedition were THAT important and this is a cultural artefact that I needed to get my hands on. I can’t give any better endorsement than that. If you like your punk fast, raw, heavy and political then you need this.

Available from Screaming Babies Records, home to Bratakus and Brain Anguish as well as Sedition.

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