SSR Picks: Usman - March 17 2022

Hello and thanks for reading,

I really can’t remember when I first heard “Stockholm’s Mangel” but I know I checked it out cos of MOB 47. I had no idea who the other bands were previous to my listening, but quickly AGONI, CRUDITY, and DISCARD became some of my favorite Swedish bands. At the time, I did not know all three bands shared members. The DISCARD tracks were later reissued on a 7" in 1990, and a few times again after that. The CRUDITY tracks were bootlegged a few times, once on a 7" and once on a 12" split with DISCARD. I’m not sure when they came out, but I can tell you the 7" sounds like shit haha. I remember when I got my copy I was so bummed on the sound; you can’t crank the volume at all without it distorting. My homie Chris (What up Mofo!!!) said to me he thinks the 7" was around 1997, and the split was around 2000/2001. So the 12" might have good quality sound if they used the “Stockholm’s Mangel” CD reissue from 2000 as a sound source. No idea though, maybe that boot came before the reissue. I got the CD version cos I thought I’d never secure the LP version. They don’t pop up much, especially in the USA. Well, sometime over the pandemic, I was lucky to score the LP pressing within the USA. The entire reason I bought this shit was for CRUDITY pretty much. Don’t get me wrong, I love AGONI and DISCARD, but I wanted to blast the CRUDITY tracks in specific from the vinyl pressing. That band rips so hard, it’s insane to me. Hilariously, there is a fucking error in the track list on the CRUDITY side. In the middle of their tracks, all of a sudden an AGONI song plays that already appeared. And the CRUDITY track that should be in that spot is nowhere to be found. I was so fucking bummed to discover this... hahah. I was surprised no one has noted it on the Discogs page to be honest. Getting back on track, AGONI was never reissued aside from that “Stockholm’s Mangel” LP/CD on the label Swedish Punk Classics in 2000 (which I think is just the dude from Distortion Records). I think this bit of mystery added to my obsession with the band. The tracks from “Stockholm’s Mangel” were on their own demo tape as well back in the ‘80s but I have never seen much info on it, aside from this pixelated photo of a j-card I’ve seen in a few places online. The only other stuff I’ve heard from them was when they changed their name to AGONY and they were playing metal by this time. Unfortunately I didn’t care for it but I loved their first demo so much. It stood out compared to other Swedish bands with their super blatant DISCHARGE worship. I know bands like DISCARD and SKITSLICKERS worshipped DISCHARGE, but they had their own twist. Alongside the DISCHARGE riffs and aesthetic, DISCARD brought a pummeling speed with their D-beat. And SHITLICKERS of course worshipped every element of DISCHARGE but they added an extra element of noise and chaos. To me, AGONI’s first demo is right on the nose DISCHARGE worship. The riffs, the somewhat relaxed tempo, the lyrical content, and the overall aesthetic was pure DISCHARGE. The only thing they didn’t have was a ‘Dis’ name haha. I never even knew about the existence their second demo until this reissue was announced. The record comes in a gatefold sleeve with liner notes and band photos printed inside. I was bummed to fold it out and see there wasn’t a word written in English haha. My nerdy ass was looking to do some learning... Luckily, Daniel used his phone to do this translate thing, which was amazing. However, here now I have one better for you: complete English translations direct from the label! The compilation features three demos and five tracks recorded live in 1985. Aside from the first demo which I talked about already, I had never heard any of this stuff. Well really for the second demo, I think less than twenty people ever heard it in the history of the world. We are so lucky one guy saved a copy after all these years. They explain this stuff in the liner notes I linked above. The second demo is not ‘right on the nose’ like the first one, but man is it good. You can hear some foreshadowing of the metal to come on their following tape (which starts off the B side of the compilation.) There is some more attack on the guitar picking and the riffing is a bit more complex, which pushes the second demo away from the blatant DISCHARGE elements, but man is it damn good. Damn. I am biased though. I told you how much I obsessed over the band so hearing anything unreleased like this is going to make my day. So inside the cover there is no photo for the j-card of the second tape. Maybe there never was one? They also mention there never was song titles, so they just made ‘em up for the reissue. They also used that same pixelated photo I mentioned earlier of the first demo inside the gatefold. Man, AGONI tapes must be rare as fuck if no one can muster up originals in Sweden for scans, etc. All the more reason you should just buy this now! Haha. Alright, I think that’s all? Forgive me if I bounced all over the place in my writing. I felt confident in the topic at first but later found myself second guessing what I am writing. Anyway, as always, thank you for the support and thanks for reading. Peace!

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