When nostalgists wax lyrical about the 1990’s there is something that is always overlooked amongst the plaid shirts, baggy tie dye and bucket hats. At one point you would have found me jumping around a field in Berkshire (more specifically a medium size tent) to bands that mixed rock and hip hop and dance with anti-fascist left wing lyrics and a sense of community. I am thinking of Senser, Credit to the Nation and Blaggers ITA. Times changed and people moved on. The UK became apathetic and then wondered why the EDL and Britain First began to gain momentum if not credibility. Anarcho punk still exists but the style hits only a small fraction of the young. (more fool those that don’t check out the new breed of politically charged punks – go listen to Grand Collapse).
Moscow Death Brigade are a clenched fist in the face of the rise of the Far Right in Russia. AntiFa is a swear word in the metal community in the UK and USA with tales of bands being targeted for things they have said or sung about or alleged to have said – or even due to the type of tanks that they put on their album covers. Hey BM you got cheap shocks from playing with Nazism for years. You best put up and shut up when people call you out on it!
Circle pit hip hop is what Moscow Death Brigade call their genre mixing up drum and bass, techno, New York Hardcore and hip hop to protest against fascists, homophobes, misogynists and anti-refugee legislation.
Every track on Boltcutter is at once a call to arms and a call to dance. Renegade Stomp which kicks things off has a pounding Euro dance beat which may put off many of the Liberty Spiked and conical stud brigade but could definitely get fans of Chase and Status and Prodigy up and moving and maybe opening their minds. Moscow Death Brigade have a strong image which is unsurprising for a group that put graffiti and flags up front in video clips and album covers. Tracksuits , ski masks and spray cans get many shout outs throughout as do boltcutters – a tool that is both real and metaphorically used to cut down barriers and allow access to those that need shelter – whether that be homeless people or refugees. “Boltcutter Boltcutter – we from the same gutter”
When a band have a track called Anne Franks Army and I realise that it is still scarily relevant in 2018 a chill shoots up my spine then Collateral Murder reminds me how much money there is in manufacturing hate.
Warzone influence “Brother and Sisterhood” for a pit anthem. “Jump in the pit we’re Shaolin Monks. . Skinheads and Punks” Shout outs to local Anti Fa Oi crew Razor Boi’s and a pounding beat this I wanna make sure I am at the 0161 festival in Manchester this June to see this go off.
“Rude Girl Warrior “ is a call for equality and a slap in the face for macho aggrocore whilst Crocodile see’s bars spat out reminiscent of Eminem .
The two bonus tracks from 2015 are big Youtube hits for MDB. “One for the Ski Mask” runs over a frantic guitar line with a Biohazard vibe. Lots of chances for big arm movements and circle pits here.
“Papers Please” is my favourite and a track that resonates most for me . A call for acceptance of those who are fleeing war and oppression. “No one is illegal!” . At a time where children and families have been likened to swarms and plagues and “Illegal” is used as a noun rather than an adjective thank fuck someone is screaming something. “We’re all immigrants. We’re all refugees!”.
This album is essential for its message and pretty darn important for its beats and rhythms too. If you like it check out Siberian Meat Grinder – an associated Metal band.
(9/10 Matt Mason)