Saturday, 9 July 2011

The North Atlantic Noise Attack



What an absolute monster of a blast from the past we have here..  'The North Atlantic Noise Attack' double LP compilation on Manic Ears Records from 1989.  31 tracks from 16 bands from the UK and USA.  Initially conceived to be a snapshot of the '87-'88 UK scene with a similarly reflective American counterpart and as a follow up to '87's 'Digging In Water' comp on the same label..  Though according to the liner notes, the US LP didn't quite work out and ended up being, 'basically a bonus 12" to give a better value package'..  In hindsight these records have inadvertently become a fascinating indicator of how the implosion and subsequent fragmentation of the international hardcore scene had already begun..  With several of the featured bands having split by the time this came out (Heresy, Ripcord, Civilised Society? and Desecration) and the others (Napalm Death and ENT most prominently) basically struggling with either how best to utilise the media hype and/or record label interest/influence or where exactly they should establish themselves in 'opposition'..  Not forgetting the endless angst generated by the wavering uncertainties of future musical development..  Like, 'more metal?  More melody?  More/less dreadlocks? What about whatever the Yanks are doing?' etc.  Basically it's identity crises and, 'Hey, which way now?''s all round..  Great tunes though..  So you get straight up blazing (USHC worshipping!) hardcore from Ripcord and Heresy..  More melodically minded tuneage from Visions Of Change and Jailcell Recipes..  Metallic, crusty chugging from Civilised Society? and Concrete Sox..  Primitive grinding hardcore perfection from Napalm Death and Extreme Noise Terror...  That just leaves the crazy fast hardcore stylings of Intense Degree and cheeky 'exploding cabbagecore' of Doctor And The Crippens for the UK frisbee.  On the US disc Septic Death start us off with some brooding, faintly evil sounding metallic crossover clatter..  Then its Transgression who clearly have more than a few DRI and Excel issues themselves..  No probs there!  Next up it's Adversity and they also Excel at displaying some Suicidal Tendencies, maybe (at a push) until they were Beyond Possession (well they were Canadian)..  Fear Itself thump us hard in the head next, having hit on the winning formula of combining Raw Power and Discharge for their smoking number..  No Fraud with the penultimate portion sounding like they dig the hell out of RKL and Ill Repute, with their hard-on for that Nardcore sound baby!  Desecration blast us last, lashing out with proto powerviolence like intensity, with their ripping thrash sounding like an approximation of Infest and No Comment!  Can't believe for the first year or two of owning this I used to spin the second LP on 33 and thought all the US and Canadian bands were ridiculously slow and boring..  Actually, I can totally believe that..  Rest assured it's ripped at the right speed here!  If you coupled these tracks with the Peel Sessions 'Hardcore Holocaust 2' comp which I had on tape (and Disorder, Discharge, DK's and Carcass!) you pretty much have my soundtrack for 1995-96!  Ah, sentimental journeys, sigh...  


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