Wednesday, 6 March 2013
So having done previous posts on Antisect and Sacrilege I got to thinking about other British bands I was into at the time that were mixing metal and punk to great effect (unlike the American version "Crossover" the British take on mixing metal and punk was far superior) So here's the first of them, English Dogs, started in 1982 English Dogs with original vocalist Wakey were along with GBH & The Exploited partly responsible for the 2nd wave of British punk their excellent "Mad Punx & English Dogs" & "Invasion Of The Porky Men" albums were great examples of the UK Hardcore Punk sound at the time.However.....
....In 1984 they had a change of vocalist to Ade Bailey and a serious change of sound as well! Debut 12" with this line up "To The Ends Of The Earth" was 4 tracks of great fast metalized hardcore punk, Bear in mind at this time the thrash metal that would later influence endless UK hardcore bands to change to a more metalized sound was in it's infancy the likes of Metallica & Slayer had barely released their 1st albums, so what the English Dogs were doing at this time was genuinely groundbreaking plus they had a great vocalist in Ade who's metallic style held enough "melody" (for want of a better word) to suit the new style music but enough aggression and a gruff edge to keep them from teetering into total metal also the fact that they used more "punk" styled D-beats with the drums rather than the bass/snare/bass/snare style of thrash metal. So onto Debut album with Ade fronting the band "Forward Into Battle" This is a great album it has a really good production everything's good and clear yet just ragged enough to still give it a punk feel.You can definitely feel the metal influences creeping more to the forefront here with plenty of fast chugga chugga riffing and the D-beat drums now have added double bass pedals and plenty of flashy tom fills and guitar leads! After "To The Ends..." EP & the "Forward Into Battle" LP which had been released on Rot Records (Home of some of the best Hardcore Punk of the era like The Varukers) they then moved to Music For Nations sub-label Under One Flag (Also the home of Sacrilege) the label responsible for bringing some of the best and heaviest Thrash & Death metal to the UK audience with many great releases by both European & American bands and released many things that I think changed the face of the UK Hardcore scene at the time. Their debut release for the label was the 3 track "Metalmorphisis" 12" and I think the clue is in the title!! This 12" carries on from "Forward Into Battle" but the pace is a bit more subdued, the production is better and the ragged Punk edges while not completely gone yet are smoothed out for a more metal sound, the picture at the top of this post is from the back of that 12" and I'll leave you to think about that! They did a further album for Under One Flag called "Where Legend Began" but that album lacked any bottom end and suffered from weak production and tinny guitar sounds plus the punk styles had well gone and it was really a full on metal album barely fitting the Thrash metal tag category never mind Punk!
I personally feel that what they were doing at this time was as important as Sacrilege & Antisect as far as the influence on future "Crust" type bands were concerned tho I doubt many "Crust" bands would admit to it I think That due to their early relases as a straight up hardcore/punk band, their associations with Clay records and GBH in the early days may put a lot of people off their 1984 - 86 stuff.and that they weren't exactly a super-political band Plus the fact that they have reformed with many different line ups and various takes on their sound and are still doing the rounds of the punk festivals to this day playing to the usual pot bellied balding 40+ year old punk crowd (I don't exclude myself from that I just don't go to the festivals!!)
However this period of recording was their best and I defy anyone who likes a bit of metal with their punk to not find these records to their liking. so here's what you get.... "To The Ends Of The Earth" EP & "Forward Into Battle" LP ripped from CD good quality but not my rip and the "Metalmorphisis" 12" which has never seen any kind of re-issue vinyl CD or otherwise so it is taken from a very good quality vinyl rip. go BANG THAT HEAD THAT DOESN'T BANG!!!....
To The Ends.. 12" - Mediafire
Forward Into Battle LP - Mediafire
Metalmorphisis 12" - Mediafire