REVIEW: Indoctrinate – Down-And-Out
Genre: Crusty hardcore punk
Some bands strive hard for a raw and lo-fi production, adding in fuzz and hiss to add some level of authenticity. For others, like Austrian political punk trio Indoctrinate, it happens as naturally as hitting record during a rehearsal. Which isn’t too far from what happened according to vocalist Mike. Down-And-Out, their three-track filled with crust, d-beat and hardcore to prove that the scene in Vienna/Krems is still alive and kicking.
The EP opens with a quote from Dave Chappelle about racism, which introduces the first song’s topic with a bit of light humor. The topic, however, is far from humorous: a vicious attack on the still-prevalent neo-Nazi scene in Austria. “F.O.A.D.” (Fuck Off And Decompose) is a vicious 2 1/2 minutes of fast-paced crusty hardcore with some abrasive and melodic riffs from Mike, Jassi’s fuzzy bass and Nino on the Discharge-like drums, along with throaty screams and Napalm Death-like low growls denouncing the “Aryan master race beliefs”, screaming “What exactly are you so proud of?/Ignorance? Non-existent superiority?/Or a barren piece of desert once part of a whole?”, before finishing off with a mid-paced instrumental section which segues into the next song.
“Genocide” also takes a similarly heavy topic, the persecution of Native Americans, and instills a slower and more plodding approach, before turning the dial up to its normal faster intensity. It’s hard to believe Indoctrinate just a trio, as there is a lot of guitarwork going on, including an intense solo, which proceeds a particularly powerful headbanging section. The lyrics are my favorite of the three, especially the opening verse, alternated in vocal styles: “A desperate mother looking for her kids/While straying through contaminated lands/Miserable victims get chopped off their limbs/Indigenous people with guiltless hands”.
The EP concludes with the longest track, “Competition Of Greed”, a rhythmic track lambasting the capitalistic views of corporations and those blind enough to buy into them. It’s not quite as strong as the previous two, especially in the opening verse, but it features some interesting ideas, especially in the drumwork, and the lyrics are also fairly good, particularly the couplet “Lubricate the churning gears and grinding wheels/Of this corrupted and insidious machine”. To conclude the song, the band insert a much faster and aggressive section, akin to Toxic Holocaust or Disfear, which almost sounds like part of another song, and maybe an indication of material to come.
Considering Down-And-Out is only a demo, I think it’s safe to say we can expect some great material from Indoctrinate when it emerges. For anyone disillusioned by the newer wave of punk bands that have been gaining mainstream attention, turn your ears onto this little gem, available on Bandcamp as an mp3, on CD or even cassette, for that DIY feel. Contact the band on Facebook for details on the physical formats.
Song to try: