Monday, May 23, 2005

DOM DAR – Revolution/Stench of Decay! 7” (Elderberry Records)
Another 7” I recently borrowed from my brother’s singles collection. This was purchased via Spiral Objective in 1992. Anyone remember Spiral Objective? Of course you do. They were, in effect, the Australian version of Blacklist mailorder (the San Fran co. linked up to MRR… are they still going?), which meant for every young punker in the early ‘90s only one thing: a ton of cheap records within easy grasp of anyone with a letterbox and a bit of spare cash. God bless ‘em. So, then there’s this 33RPM two-tracker from Sweden’s Dom Dar…

It gets me wondering: why was this purchased? I think the catalogue description mentioned the Melvins and Dom Dar’s penchant for lumbering, dirge-y crust-punk. Sounded good to us, throw it in the pile. I’m glad the purchase was made. 13 years after the fact, this is still a ripper, and even more perfect when played at wall-shaking volume. The A-side sounds uncannily like BGK’s slower tracks from their amazing Nothing Can Go Wrogn! LP; kinda like a Discharge 78 played at 33 with a thick, Northern European accent grunting out grim verses like “How can you fight a faceless spirit / When nothing is in the light / Where truth is all hidden / Lies passed down generations” before that apocalyptic one-word chorus hits: “Revolution!”. I’ll be sure to play it at my next disco swing party. It’s long (no, I haven’t time it, but I’m guessing it’s up somewhere near the 6-7 minute mark), though never wears out its welcome. There’s a glorious mixture of heavy, low-end, slo-mo riffage – which never crosses over to the Metal zone – and twangy second guitar providing a killer hook in the verses. Things do get fast for a minute or two before collapsing under a sea of strange guitar effects. Flip it over.

“Stench of Decay!”… don’t forget that exclamation mark! I might even prefer this to the A-side. The pace is up a notch, vocalist Ricke barks out his lines like a gargling Cal from Discharge and that riff! It almost approximate sa Bullhead-period Melvins recorded in a Scandinavian basement. I’ve said this before: I could give a fuck for the 7” format. I know there are folks out there who swear by it, but it’s not me. The pleasure, if there is one, is too fleeting and brief to be fully satisfying. In fact, they’re frustrating; if they’re bad, you find yourself never playing the thing again (and you can’t even get diddly-squat for it secondhand!), and if they’re good, like real good, like this Dom Dar disc, it only leaves you wanting more. Did Dom Dar ever release anything else? Beats me. “Crust-punk”, if you want to throw a term at it, is hardly a genre I’ve bothered investigating much at all in my life – barring Rudimentary Peni, Amebix and early Discharge – though I guess, just as those three bands showed, it’s got its little surprises which’ll just knock you out. I mean, fuck, an old Swedish crust 7” still flooring me in 2005? I can hardly believe it myself.

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