Record of the Week: Sial - Zaman Edan 7"
Sial: Zaman Edan 7” (La Vida Es Un Mus) This record is so good that, earlier this week, it single-handedly pulled me out of a deep funk. Feeling exhausted by the treadmill of work, I had trouble getting enjoyment from music. I spent most of my free time sitting in silence, reading and searching for something interesting or exciting. I was in a negative headspace, but as soon as I listened to this record, I felt energized. This record is so exciting, so daring, and so powerful. Singapore’s Sial has always been on the artier end of the spectrum, pulling from the same well of inspiration as bands like Lebenden Toten or Horrendous 3D, taking Confuse and Gai-style noise-punk and emphasizing that style’s psychedelic elements. However, the two tracks on Zaman Edan go way beyond that. Some of its power undoubtedly comes from the fact that, rather than just a stylistic experiment, the record is a thoughtful and passionate response to the current state of the world. As the description puts it, “Side A and B features one song each, which translates to “You are born to fight” and “You are born to die”. “Zaman Edan” itself means Age of Craziness or Mad Times in English. To put it simply, this record is about all the broken promises that the state made towards minority voices, and continues to make in this perpetual Zaman Edan.” Even though I don’t understand the lyrics, the music says plenty on its own. Like the Pandemic, as soon as you think you have your footing, this record throws something new at you, keeping you on your toes. And it is long; you might assume a two-song single would be a concise statement, but Zaman Edan has a stretched out, epic quality; a maximalist single… a contradiction in terms… a paradox. And while the record is eloquent, it is also (and this is another way they resemble Lebenden Toten and Horrendous 3D) fucking RELENTLESS, a total in your face barrage of hardcore punk. For me, this is one of the essential hardcore punk records of 2021.