Abrazos – Abrazos (Pea Brain/Suspect Device)
Two punk zine editors write 8 songs and go into the studio to record them. Nathan Brown listens to the results on this red flexi.
I am sure there’s a joke in here about Abrazos being 2 zine writers which is why they couldn’t find enough friends to form a real band, but in truth, I am told this was always a stripped down project and never intended to be a band as such. Besides which our 2 protaganists have been in plenty of excellent DIY punk bands: Hack Job, The Shorts, Whole In The Head, Screwed Up Flyer, Pilger, Chineapple Punks…the list goes on. Unlike the songs on this record – clocking in between 30 seconds and a minute long. 6 and a half minutes all told.
With my insider knowledge I know that Tony and Alan both got into punk back in the 80s and it definitely comes across in the Abrazos sound and the style of the release. A Blitz style wall of guitar with a bit of Discharge and Ramones thrown in. Tunes and melodies vie with angry ranting. Vocals are a mix of eyeball popping shouting and sing along punk. The titles are like a famous brand of stuff to stop water getting into walls – they do what they say on the tin. “Armchair Racism” is a proper little Oi stormer. “Government Stinks” has a snotty DeeDee inspired dumb punk sound, despite the intelligent lyrics. And “Bullshit Detected” is a great title with lyrically genius homage to punk of the past.
Flexis used to be the way to get your music out cheap in the 70s and 80s – some now becoming collector’s items. Once you had your flexi you put together a cut and paste cover on a sheet of A4, got down the photocopy shop or library, folded them up and sold it to the punters out of a carrier bag. Which is what Abrazos have done. Being a flexi, it has the crackle you would expect but you only notice it in between tracks and if you’re looking for hi-fidelity you’re in the wrong musical genre, anyway. Prog rock and classical are downstairs.
Abrazos are so damn punk rock they even managed to fit “spunk” into the name of their bandcamp page from where you can download all the songs for free. Bargain. And if you want the red flexi check out the Suspect Device and Pea Brain labels and zines.
Words by Nathan Brown. You can read more of his work in his Louder Than War archive.