Sunday, October 19, 2014


D-beat is an easy genre to play but an insanely difficult genre to be good at.

D-beat started in 1977 with the UK's Discharge. As with any genre, no one gets it right the first time. Make no mistake, Discharge did a lot right. Their lyrics & themes about the horrors of war became the bedrock for entire schools of hardcore punk and influenced a sea of incredible bands. However, for as much as Discharge did right, they left a lot on the table and much to be desired. Four years after Discharge came along, in the infant realm of Sweden hardcore punk, Anti-Cimex began and took things to the next level.

Anti-Cimex was a band heavily by Discharge doing the best they could with what they had. The product was a band that played d-beat to the best of their ability & with the production that they could afford. In the process we got a raw, more degenerated (both acoustically & aesthetically) band. While Discharge was asking Why?, Anti-Cimex was writing Raped Ass. This is not to say that Anti-Cimex didn't wear their Discharge influence on their sleeve. They incorporated a lot of the horrors of war themes that Discharge used. The good thing for Anti-Cimex through the 1980s was that they never messed with their winning formula of sounding as raw and abrasive as possible. Anti-Cimex finally cleaned up their production sound on 1993's Scandinavian Jawbreaker. The record is great in its own right. Some people criticize it as an abandonment of the things that make Anti-Cimex who they are, but the album is excellent. It is still very much an Anti-Cimex record, just one that is written 12 years after their inception and with a great deal of success under their belts. As it would turn out, Scandinavian Jawbreaker would be Anti-Cimex's swansong and they broke up shortly after its release.

Not many bands can say they had a perfect catalog. Few others can say they did it over 12 years. Even fewer can say they did it as a d-beat band (a genre constantly criticized as easily stagnant and boring). Even Anti-Cimex's heroes Discharge only lasted 9 years before driving off a cliff with Grave New World. Anti-Cimex can say they did all of that. Band is essential listening for Scandinavian hardcore, d-beat, and raw punk. Included is their entire discography.