The news cycle as it exists in 2019 – rapid, permanently mutating, consistently grotesque – equally blesses and curses Bad Breeding. A group with a keen eye for social injustice and establishment venality, expressed in hollered tones over a full-throttle, enervating soundclash of anarcho punk, hardcore and noiserock, their third album ‘Exiled’ was fuelled by the last 12 months in (primarily) British politics: a nation circling the drain while forever eyeing the plughole. Partly, anyway.
Topics on this 12-song, 33-minute album also include some hardy perennials of left-wing hardcore punk: war, imperialism, the police, the press. Topics which, at a time where the political landscape could change tectonically between this being written and you reading it, maintain a grim relevance. It's far more than generic protest prose though. One must hear for oneself to know for sure.
250 copies on black, 75 on teal green and 75 on translucent light blue 150gr vinyl housed in a classic CRASS style 12 panel foldout poster sleeve with essay inserts and download cards included. Art by Nicky Rat. Sound by Ben Greenberg.
A record for the people.
Our take: Fourth 12” release from this UK band, and not only is Exiled the best one since their first in my opinion, it’s one of 2019’s most exciting releases so far. If you haven’t heard Bad Breeding, their unique sound combines anarcho punk (Crass, Conflict, the UK Anthrax, etc.), noise music, and more straightforward hardcore. On any release they might tilt more toward one of those poles than the other (for instance, their first LP sounded like Flux of Pink Indians, while their Divide album put the emphasis on noisy textures), but Exiled feels like the perfect balance. Despite being progressive and even avant-garde at times, they’re a great rock band who plays with unmatched power and precision. The rhythm section is downright amazing; they’re heavy but agile, never lumbering but always providing the song with a strong center of gravity. If Bad Breeding just had a guitarist who replicated the bass lines as power chords they would be a killer hardcore band, but they are rarely so straightforward. Instead, you get a mind-bending blend of inventive guitar playing, wild noise textures, and even a bit of eerie, Bitches Brew-esque sax. The vocals follow the Crass template of providing a torrent of words spit out so quickly and venomously you’ll struggle to follow along with the lyric sheet in real time, but don’t worry… they’re worth reading even if you aren’t spinning the record. If you follow Sorry State, you know I remain fascinated with punk’s rich history, but I also believe there’s space to build upon punk’s history and make it relevant to the world I’m living in right now. If you share those values, I’m sure you’ll love Bad Breeding as much as I do.