Spillage – Spillage EP (Rad Noise, Pumpkin + 5 more)
The vinyl debut from Manchester punk/hardcore outfit Spillage has Nathan Brown reminiscing about raw punk and hardcore from the 1980s.
This is tuneful solid punk with a hardcore injection and a chunky bass that drives the songs. A few seconds in I knew I liked it. For someone like me whose formative years were spent listening to punk in the 1980s as it got progressively faster and harder (core), I’m instantly drawn to compare it to the sound of MauMaus with a touch of the Instigators. I am also hearing the raw attack of American hardcore bands like Verbal Abuse or Reagan Youth. Morning Song has plenty of that hardcore feel and will speak to anyone who suffers anxiety and stress as a result of work.
In Mort420 Spillage lament the fact that punk bands in 2020 are singing about the same stuff bands were shouting in 1982. I remember having an argument with people in 1990 that these things still needed attention when they said it was time to “move on” from political punk to a personal message. “People are still living on the streets. People are still eating meat. Governments are still fighting wars.” There are some really nice tuneful melodies on both guitar and bass laid over the frantic drumming and angry singing. A tribute to 80s anarcho-punk sonics or just coincidence? BTW the song title is a tribute to the catalogue labelling of anarcho punk label Mortarhate records.
Culture of Indifference comes in 2 parts. Both songs focus on the extreme poverty and inhumanity of the benefits system since “austerity” kicked in – austerity for the poor, not the rich of course. The first song tackles work capability assessments.
Musically it sounds a little like the Upstarts with a vocal delivery akin to Mensi, especially the enquiring nature of the chorus “who gave you the right to..?”. The second part is a noisier continuation of the theme, reporting the harsh reality of living on benefits.
There are sleeve notes outlining what the songs mean if you couldn’t work it out from the lyrics. What is really nice to see and worthy of note is the positive attitude on the insert that they believe: “Punk should be accessible to everyone, regardless of financial income or physical ability. Therefore if you know of any wheelchair accessible venues (specifically in Manchester), that are affordable to DIY promoters, please let us know.”
Okay, so finding any venue in the lockdown world is going to be a challenge but still, answers on a postcard to Spillage please….
Buy the vinyl or download it for free (or maybe chuck ‘ em a couple of quid you tight arse) from Spillage’s bandcamp page.
All words by Nathan Brown. You can read more from Nathan on his Louder Than War archive over here.