The Varukers… this band is a legend. If you’ve never heard about them, please do your homework. Originating long back in 1979, Varukers, along with Discharge, were the first to pummel the d-beat style of hardcore punk we know today.
This is the raw and aggressive, fist-pounding sound that made punk loud and political. With it’s intensely raging guitars and galloping drums, everything these guys have ever produced is a staple in UK punk that deserves our attention.
“Damned and Defiant” was released last October and it’s their first full-length since 2005’s “Hellbound”. In the meantime, Rat has been busy singing for Discharge and Warwound. Drummer, Kevin Frost, is also pretty busy with tons of other bands. So I don’t know what the actual process of writing and recording this LP was, but I’m not that much impressed of their latest LP.
All the standing ovations for being punk legends aside, I don’t find anything really interesting in “Damned & Defiant”. 15 songs, almost half an hour. Vocals as not as harsh and the music has lost some of its aggressive vibe. In a sense, it just sounds like your mediocre, run-of-the-mill band in the style actually created by Varukers. The cover artwork is also hilarious, and more appropriate for some cheap bootleg… or just some average gig flyer/poster, if you wish.
Every time I try to listen to this record, I’ll stop it right there and play some of their older stuff instead. However, these songs might be fun to hear live, along with the classic Varukers. Actually, it would have been a bigger disappointment if they have changed their style to a boring heavy metal, or some other shit. In the end of the day, it’s still punk as fuck but just not as good as it used to be.