Born Against

Noisy little sons of whores, aren't they?
*special introductory paragraph!
*Nine Patriotic Hymns For Children
*Battle Hymns Of The Race War
*The Rebel Sound Of Shit And Failure

I don't know a whole heck of a lot about these guys, so any insight you could provide would be great. All I know is that they were either from Virginia or NYC, and that they only recorded a few records between 1989 and '93 before falling apart. The music is an intriguing, messy, screaming, muddy mix between what used to be called "grunge" (Hammerhead, Guzzard, Cows, Helmet) and what is still called "hardcore punk" (Agnostic Front, Slapshot, Gorilla Biscuits). Noisy fuzz-blast guitars and distorted thub-buzz bass combine with SCREAMED LIKE SPLINTER SHOUTED SHIT SANDWICH SHELL STATION SHIRLEY vocals to create a skull-crushing blast of angry young dick noise that makes you feel like you should clean out the inside of the stereo with Glass Plus when the listening experience has reached cessation. And political? Political how! Just look at those album titles. Have you ever seen any collection of letters so political in your life? And don't try to fib!! I can espy a fibber from several kilometers in most directions!!!!!! (Not North though) GODDAMMIT, WHO WROTE THAT???? NOW MY ACHILLES' HEEL HAS BEEN REVEALED TO ANY AND ALL WHO WISH TO PRACTICE THE ART OF DECEPTION!!!!!

Reader Comments
I'm surprised that there isn't any reader comments for this band (save for the mysterious bootlegger) , as they were probably the last good punk band. They formed in 89 from the ashes of a youngin' NYCSXEHC group called Life's Blood and broke up a year before punk exploded. It's members went onto about 50 bijillon other bands, most notably the almighty Men's Recovery Project, (Young) Pioneers, Skull Kontrol, Universal Order of the Armageddon, and Moss Icon. No matter how much I hate music Born Against will always have a special place in my heart. Most missed their sense of humour, which is a shame since they were one of the few bands that questioned those who attacked politics as much as attacking politics themselves - personal or state. Plus, like all good bands, half their audience wanted to torture and kill them, and that my friends, deserves nothing but my respect.

Nine Patriotic Hymns For Children - Vermiform 1991.
Rating = 8

They rocky rolla's and they gots shits to say to you! They don't like organized religion and they don't like how the government sends people to war to die. Most people like both of these things, but the Born Againsts are not representative of Everyman. They are three skinheads and a singer who looks about 12 years old. And their songs are great! Picture me this: the overwhelmingly overloud guitars of an Unsane smashed together with the generic, competent hardcore of a Sick Of It All, with a singer who just screams like he's being murdered with a pickaxe or GumBall Machine.

It isn't all hardcore punk, mind you this. Like I said, they also were heavily influenced by smashy crashy trudge Amrep-type bands. Midtempo and slower. There's even a slight Fugazi influence in a few of the guitar lines (the more melodic ones, of course). This is very aggressive music, with great riffs. It's a short record, so don't pay more than 10 quid, but man -- non-metal rock music doesn't get much more angry sounding than this!

Except, of course, Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight," an eerie, nonfictional expression of the singer's bitter feelings of betrayal and anger upon discovering that Peter Gabriel has whacked off into his swimming pool, and the gooey spermball is just swishin' to and fro over by the diving board.

Reader Comments
You can get everything Born Against recorded (yay) on two compact discs (boo). This album and the 10" below (no not that one! ZING!) on one CD, thus you have Nine Patriotic Battle Hymns for Children of the Race War. And the post-breakup collection, the Rebel Sound of Shit and Failure on another CD. Both of which are as everybit essential as something like the Rich Man's 8-track. I agree with your Am Rep type noise sludge mixed with hardcore but I don't really think these guys had too much in connection (in sound anyway) with the NYHC stuff that was going on at the time. I remember when SOIA tried to start a fight with them on the grounds that a New York City record store owned by a (former?) member had it's inventory marked up high (well that's because EVERY NYC RECORD STORE'S PRICES ARE TOO HIGH BECAUSE IT'S NEW YORK) and on the grounds that the main members went to University. Well all I gotta say is that they be very fucking cautious about who they talk shit about. Beeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

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Battle Hymns Of The Race War - Vermiform 1992.
Rating = 7

Another short blast of insane screaming headpoundnoise from Bjorn Aganzarra. The songs aren't quite as consistently catchy, or even as INTENSE, as those on the first record (and am I nutso crazy schizoid 21st century, or is the singer guy starting to sound like the dude from Fearless Iranians From Hell?), but the lyrics are great stream of consciousness political rants ("Murder The Sons Of Bitches!!!," "This Trash Should Have Been Free," "Set Your AM Dial For White Empowerment," "Born Against Are Fucking Dead!!!!") and some of the mixes, especially the one about the band getting killed, are INSANE. Both this and the first record are really, really short, but you can get them both packaged on one CD called Patriotic Battle Hymns so try to grab that one.

Reader Comments
See above.

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The Rebel Sound Of Shit And Failure - Vermiform 1994.
Rating = 8

A compiltation!!!! 25 songs in 50 minutes, without a second to spare! Nice roundup of the Born Atasignt aesthetic, with lots of high-speed hardcore thrashers, but also the plundering thundering trudge muffins too. Also a cover of the theme from the Jeffersons and a great cover of the great X song "Riding With Mary." Best song titles: "My Favorite Housing Project," "The Nail That Sticks Up Gets Hammered Down," "Go Fuck Yourself" and the INCREDIBLY pus-merizing pulverizer "Well Fed Fuck." Talk about a "well fed duck"!

If this world were everything that it claims to be, Born Against would have stuck around longer and gone down in herstory as one of those classic hardcore bands like Agnostic Front and the Circle Jerks who actually only had 2 or 3 good records each. But time hurries on, turn around and it's gone - da da da da if i could have you by my side, I'd give it all away....

OOOOOOOH!!! Running water! Don't throw your love away, we live to love another day! OH HO!!! Running water! Don't throw your love away, we live to love ano---thu---- DAAAAAAAY!

If you need me to sing any other songs from The Moody Blues' 1983 LP The Present to help you study for the PSAT, just let me know.

People in the army are fags, by the way.

Reader Comments (Evan O'Brien)
hey i have born against shows on video.
More essential then the Battle Hymns/Race War CD. Contains the hilarious "Lillian", which would have been better if it was the live version but a nice fake remake will do. The best stuff is contained at the end of the album, "$5 An Hour,", "My Favorite Housing Project, "Janelle," and "Albany Academy," you can FEEL the anger in that song, I don't know if the song is based on personal experience, I hope not but it sounds that way. How many bands do you know that scream about being tortured, abused, and urinated on at Military School? It is also a shame to hear the last group of songs and realize they are from the last recording session - as the band seemed to start to realize that they could accomplish more with fewer words and began to concentrate more on pointing out their targets spot-on. I think the reason why the lyrics works so well (and never seem forced) is their love/hate relationship with humanity, the "underground", and politics. Blurrrrgah.
Sam from Born Against has a new band now: Wrangler Brutes! They've got a 7" and a cassette out. They're amazing, and make me think of a time when hardcore wasn't only for jocks. Screaming, "smart" songs lots of funny. Lots of funny.

But Born Against, how I love you. Basically it's all classic except some of the VERY early stuff. But even that's not bad, just not as EXCITING. Mr. Prindle, you'd love the post-Born Against band Men's Recovery Project--spazzy weird synth-punk-rock-noise with albums about the future, the middle east and naked sailors. Get ON THAT. (i'll make you a tape, if you want.) (Cliff)
I just happen to be listening to them at work right now. It made want to look them up on the web and came across this. I had the opportunity to see them play in San Diego MANY MANY years ago. They were really great. Not to mention thought provoking songs. Don't see too many bands tackling alot of the issues which Born Against sang about. Four or five years of seeing these guys play. I saw the (Young) Volunteers, not knowing members of Born Against were in this band. They played at the Che Cafe, in San Diego.

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