In Debt Post Punk, Other Black International Black International is a post punk-influenced group from Edinburgh, Scotland. The band was formed in late 2006 by Edinburgh College of Art graduates Stewart Allan (Vocals & Guitars) and Craig Peebles (Drums) with the intention of making stripped down, economical, brutal pop music. Their debut album 'In Debt' was recorded in Glasgow and issued on the band?s own 'Return of Order' label on March 11th 2011, now re-released by Spiralchords April 13th 2012. "A Million Mouths" straight away creates visions of 1977, and the bonus is these guys can play their instruments, if it's post-punk it's only just, straying back in and out of it's punk roots. Great drums and guitars what more does anyone need. The vocals drift in and out a little but to be expected when your playing this stuff. We head straight into "Destruct-o" which is in the words of Tommy Ramone, "pure, stripped down, no bullshit rock 'n' roll". Loud, exciting and aggressive, if you like punk you won't fail to move to this track. With "Dread (Excerpt)" we get a slower start, banging drums and wonderful guitars, and a real melodic contrast to what has gone before, I am somewhat pleased to know we are not going to hit all 11 tracks at warp speed. The guitar music is so expressive, even more so than the vocals which are really secondary to it. "Word Virus" takes us back to 'Buzzcocks' speed and has great guitar breaks. Then "Know You Exist" has again the slower guitar build-up into the vocals and back to our standard speed. It's unpolished just as it should be, polish it and you would take away so much aggression.         Holy crap it really is an "Interval", some kind of mind-bending experimental one I really didn't need. I am sure it was put there as a tongue in cheek joke. Thankfully "The City Is Dead", lots of them are, and I recover quickly from the mind-bending experience. Just as raw as before and although most of it's fast and furious it's not repetitive by any means. Even sounds a little punkabilly this one. With "Monument" and I am now totally getting the comparisons with The Fall and that's great company to be in. Such an abrasive guitar driven sound, and this one sounds so angry. Apart from the dreaded 'Interval', "Idle Worship" is probably the first track I haven't enjoyed on the album, luckily it's a shorter one but they are all longer than typical punk length. The vocals are too distant and muffled on this one, and because the guitars have a distorted sound in places it makes the vocals more noticeable, but it has it's moments in between. And "Feed Me Rhetoric", soon fills me with hope and we are back on track, it was almost as we had got lost for nearly three minutes before. But this is once again three minutes of guitar driven heaven. "You Can Trust Me"sounds so special right from the start, wonderful drum beat, guitar kicks in with that drum beat taking the background. Then chugging guitars, it's raw anger and good vocals to go with it all. Harder to pin this one down for me as to influence, as has a different style to what has passed. Conclusion: It's raw, powerful and a little brutal but not so much as to lose it's appeal to the masses. Even then I won't insult them by calling it power-pop, although even the Buzzcocks have been given that label before, but Black International are hardly 'The Sweet' in name or music. A reminder of what punk was all about and why it happened. A reminder that so much of the mainstream music that is still being labelled rock and roll today is bullshit. As to myself and other fans, rock and roll means this wild and rebellious music. I don't know these guys but listening to this I really believe they understand the underlying values and philosophy of what they are playing, and there is so very little of that left. I hear The Fall, Joy Division, Richard Hell, Buzzcocks, The Damned, The Nipple Erectors, and The Vibrators, the vocals particularly reminding me of 'Ian 'Knox' Carnochan'. I am glad to find someone else I can really believe has as bad an attitude as I have. Now I long to hear words once again coming from a stage like, "Bet you don't hate us as much as we hate you!", preferably to a bunch of upper and middle-class students. I don't suppose most people even knows what a crackerjack pencil is anymore, so no point in telling anyone who doesn't like this album where to stick theirs. And finally to the band, please don't lose that attitude and anger and don't polish the music. 450
Brutal Resonance

Black International - In Debt

8.0
"Great"
N/A
Electroracle
Released 2012 by Spiralchords Music
Black International is a post punk-influenced group from Edinburgh, Scotland. The band was formed in late 2006 by Edinburgh College of Art graduates Stewart Allan (Vocals & Guitars) and Craig Peebles (Drums) with the intention of making stripped down, economical, brutal pop music. Their debut album 'In Debt' was recorded in Glasgow and issued on the band?s own 'Return of Order' label on March 11th 2011, now re-released by Spiralchords April 13th 2012.

"A Million Mouths" straight away creates visions of 1977, and the bonus is these guys can play their instruments, if it's post-punk it's only just, straying back in and out of it's punk roots. Great drums and guitars what more does anyone need. The vocals drift in and out a little but to be expected when your playing this stuff. We head straight into "Destruct-o" which is in the words of Tommy Ramone, "pure, stripped down, no bullshit rock 'n' roll". Loud, exciting and aggressive, if you like punk you won't fail to move to this track.

With "Dread (Excerpt)" we get a slower start, banging drums and wonderful guitars, and a real melodic contrast to what has gone before, I am somewhat pleased to know we are not going to hit all 11 tracks at warp speed. The guitar music is so expressive, even more so than the vocals which are really secondary to it. "Word Virus" takes us back to 'Buzzcocks' speed and has great guitar breaks. Then "Know You Exist" has again the slower guitar build-up into the vocals and back to our standard speed. It's unpolished just as it should be, polish it and you would take away so much aggression.
       
Holy crap it really is an "Interval", some kind of mind-bending experimental one I really didn't need. I am sure it was put there as a tongue in cheek joke. Thankfully "The City Is Dead", lots of them are, and I recover quickly from the mind-bending experience. Just as raw as before and although most of it's fast and furious it's not repetitive by any means. Even sounds a little punkabilly this one. With "Monument" and I am now totally getting the comparisons with The Fall and that's great company to be in. Such an abrasive guitar driven sound, and this one sounds so angry.

Apart from the dreaded 'Interval', "Idle Worship" is probably the first track I haven't enjoyed on the album, luckily it's a shorter one but they are all longer than typical punk length. The vocals are too distant and muffled on this one, and because the guitars have a distorted sound in places it makes the vocals more noticeable, but it has it's moments in between. And "Feed Me Rhetoric", soon fills me with hope and we are back on track, it was almost as we had got lost for nearly three minutes before. But this is once again three minutes of guitar driven heaven. "You Can Trust Me"sounds so special right from the start, wonderful drum beat, guitar kicks in with that drum beat taking the background. Then chugging guitars, it's raw anger and good vocals to go with it all. Harder to pin this one down for me as to influence, as has a different style to what has passed.

Conclusion:
It's raw, powerful and a little brutal but not so much as to lose it's appeal to the masses. Even then I won't insult them by calling it power-pop, although even the Buzzcocks have been given that label before, but Black International are hardly 'The Sweet' in name or music. A reminder of what punk was all about and why it happened. A reminder that so much of the mainstream music that is still being labelled rock and roll today is bullshit. As to myself and other fans, rock and roll means this wild and rebellious music. I don't know these guys but listening to this I really believe they understand the underlying values and philosophy of what they are playing, and there is so very little of that left. I hear The Fall, Joy Division, Richard Hell, Buzzcocks, The Damned, The Nipple Erectors, and The Vibrators, the vocals particularly reminding me of 'Ian 'Knox' Carnochan'.

I am glad to find someone else I can really believe has as bad an attitude as I have. Now I long to hear words once again coming from a stage like, "Bet you don't hate us as much as we hate you!", preferably to a bunch of upper and middle-class students. I don't suppose most people even knows what a crackerjack pencil is anymore, so no point in telling anyone who doesn't like this album where to stick theirs. And finally to the band, please don't lose that attitude and anger and don't polish the music. Jul 10 2012

Danya Malashenkov

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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