This System Kills - 'Private Speech' (Mass Prod/Rebel Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Darrel Sutton   
Thursday, 25 February 2010 15:12

thissystemcoverFollowing every delay imaginable, the new release from Blaenau Gwent's finest This System Kills finally sees the light of day and, God, does the world need this release. Railing against everything punk rock used to, before it became the domain of fashionistas and fuckwits, TSK will restore your faith in a genre and scene that has become jaded by association.


Despite being in existence for many years now, this is TSK's first full release (they've made a number of compilation appearances and a split album) since they emerged from the ashes of Rectify many moons ago. Having gone through more line-up changes than you'd care to count, the current line-up of Pig (vocals), Craig (guitar), Wedge (drums) and Newt (bass) is arguably their strongest to date, and their collective experiences and influences make this an album that offers so much to the listener both musically and lyrically. Far from the metallic hardcore of Rectify (of which 3 of this line-up were members), the energy, variety, anger and intelligence of this album should gain them a much wider audience, whilst still having much to offer any lover of dyed-in-the-wool punk rock.


If you've caught any of TSK's incendiary live shows in recent times then many of the tunes on offer will be familiar to you, but the very fact that these songs have lived and breathed in their live set gives them a very tight, confident air now committed to disc. Opener 'Government Buildings' sets the ball rolling with Pig letting you know the system isn't getting any better regardless of the party in power, or the country you live. Great tune to boot as well. 'Little Moscow' runs a caustic rule over the state of local communities and again is a cracker. On this and next track 'The Caller' you really begin to appreciate the breadth of TSK's music. As well as traditional punk influences there's all sorts of musical references in there: Dag Nasty, New Model Army, China Drum to name a few.

'In Credit Or Crisis' is a straight ahead blast with an almost Dead Kennedys mid-section, 'Grief And Hangovers' is a brilliantly sarcastic take on the serial mourners who seem to inhabit Valleys towns, 'Under Banners' is a call to arms against the Big Brother Police Statedom that has stealthily infiltrated our everyday life. 'If The Cap Fits' gives you a well-timed bollock-kick of traditional hardcore as does '30 Years'. Instrumental 'You Decide' (which is also included as an enhanced video track, which is excellent) then gives way to album closer 'The Bells Of Rhymney'. A reworking of an old standard, it pays tribute to the 1984 Miners Strike which effectively marked the start of the decline of the South Wales Valleys. Poignant in its sentiment, it makes a truly fitting finale to an excellent album.


In summary, you've got four people who make music because they really believe in every fucking note they play and word they sing. If these boys need open heart surgery just cut their sleeves open. They're also right on top of their game and producing music as relevant now as it was when the Valleys that raised them were first getting shafted back in the mid 80's. If you believe in music as a medium for change, protest and giving a voice to the downtrodden thenapproved_image_lrg you'll believe in This System Kills. 


Essential listening for anyone with a brain.


The album is available direct from the band. Send a cheque/PO for £6.50 payable to; W.C. Rees, 4 Heol Ganol, Brynmawr, Ebbw Vale  NP23 4TJ


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