SYSTEM OF HATE are a new punk band currently doing the live pub/club circuit. Three of its members were/are actually in Total Confusion, another punk band which had been active since 1978 – give or take the odd decade they had a lengthy hiatus. 2012 sees System of Hate launch their debut gigs alongside a debut record, the Immortal EP.
The EP opens with it strongest tracks. These are the ones that are furthest removed from Total Confusion. There was nothing wrong with Total Confusion – they are a brilliant band, but this is a different band, so it’s better to at least sound different. Dark Winged Immortal instantly has more of post-punk feel, especially in that bass and the hook in the chorus has a similar feel to Babylon Is Burning. And with added dark, comic book themed lyrics, what a great start?! Second track Am I Evil? opens with more of Warsaw-era Joy Division bass line – or could it be The Cramps. Even the production sounds like it’s come from 1979. No bad thing at all. It’s timeless yet fresh because of it. The anthemic backing vocals give it a great edge that you know will come across great live.

The second half of the disc has more in common with Total Confusion material than the first half, albeit darker in tone. Parasites in Paradise is angst ridden, energetic old school punk and Sins of Father could be taken as either an anti-catholic stance but is just as likely to be an anti-bankers rhetoric. It’s a fine cut of prime dark punk.

I reckon this short four song burst works even better than the last Total Confusion album, and that is some feat. The sound has the right balance of the raw, the aggressive, the gothic and to be honest, the timeless. It could have been recorded now or thirty years ago. I think it would have worked better with the first two tracks opening and closing the disc, but that is just my humble opinion. However, if those two tracks are a sign of things to come, then we are in for a very nasty treat.

System of Hate support gutter-glam punks, The Kingcrows @ The Clothiers Arms, Elsecar on the 2nd February.


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