Dimmorna Skingras is a Swedish D.I.Y-compilation coming straight out of Pike Records. If you know me, you’d know by now that I support D.I.Y. and this one got sent to me some weeks ago. I picked it up today and I’m going to review it for you too. Haven’t really heard much about Vol. 1 in this series, so I’ll basically have nothing to compare with. What I can say is that I like this cover better than the first one, even though I find it to be pretty awesome anyway.
One thing that’s good about this compilation is that the line-up have changed since Vol. 1, allowing ten new bands fight in the tiny space that is Dimmorna Skingras. Those ten are the following bands: Handgranat, PP7 Gaftzeb, Stockholms Blodbad, Bombangrepp, Vengeance Of Karma, The Bristles, Passiv Dödshjälp, Inavel, Von BøøM and Thräshers (from Hotet Från Skogarna). One of the bands that I recognize from this compilation would be Thräshers, as they were featured on another D.I.Y.-initiative. I also recognize Passiv Dödshjälp and The Bristles, I’ve actually heard one or two of their songs, but the other bands are virtually new to me.
Do you want to read more? Hop on the train below!
Inspired by propaganda, perhaps? A really interesting cover which leave me different options for interpretation. I also like the yellow and almost orange outlay of it, since it sheds a light on the more black areas of the illustration. As if it came from a huge center of D.I.Y, where all the creative little assets (robots in this case) get to mangle it out as if they were playing on a megaphone running through an apocalyptic scenario and enemy territory. Like orange/yellow representing the firepower and things exploding, the black representing mayhem and what apocalyptic scenery I’ll be hearing. But when you look a little bit closer on the badges this person in a suit has, this scenario goes away completely. Showing off a badge where it says: “Cash from Chaos“, but also adding another confusing dimension to it as he has a Jolly Roger-pin but also some The Ramones-pins, one with the famous line from the song with the same name: “Hey Ho, Lets Go!“.
So maybe this man with a suit ain’t so sinister at all? While flexing some anarchistic-symbols and Ramones stuff, he’s got the stereotypical look of a button-presser. Or a bureaucrat that only make decisions but never face the consequences. A double-edged sword pierces right through me and I don’t really know right from wrong. It also looks as if he’s going to make an important speech, while at the same time being a robot. Being one of the “classic” American presidential images where they sit by a large microphone, but this one also flexes with 24 tracks. Maybe the robot is tired of being in charge? Maybe he’s gone berserk and decide to use this channel to pump out punk, d-beat and hardcore instead of revealing his “message“?
The environment of the front cover also seems to be a bit disoriented, as if you’ve been hit by a d-beat train in the middle of nowhere. The lettering that spells out “D-I-M-M-O-R-N-A” and “S-K-I-N-G-R-A-S” all lay in different angles, maybe representing the more D.I.Y.-approach to cut and paste with paper and scissors. Also, I wouldn’t really know what the depiction of the flashlight would mean, but maybe the robot have been altered? Since his masters no longer control him, he might’ve gone out of hand and played this “devilish” music. Hopefully this will be what awaits me on this album, so now I’ve got a pretty clear vision of what I’ll be suspecting. Some crazy d-beat, punk and hardcore mayhem?
It starts out with the first band in the line-up, namely Handgranat (Handgrenade), a pretty wise choice if you’d take it by it’s name. Time to blow this place up. All-in all a great mix of punk, d-beat and good old crust to some extent, coming off with the depressing song Inget nytt under solen (roughly: Nothing new under the sun) is a great way to start off a more apocalyptic record filled to the brink with hopelessness. As it starts off with some basic riffs and a chugging introductory to a song with interesting vocals that almost come of as black metal to me. I find a little edge of it to be just that, with some of the riffing, but the sound scape reeks of crust and d-beat. One great song to start it off with, as the sound scape also is somewhat lo-fi which increases the gloom and doom in it (not genre wise though). The song is basically about the hatred of how everything is monotonous, living in the same concrete complex as you did years before and going to the same places that you’ve gone to before. Angst and drunkenness, everything in the same song. It compliments it well, I can really feel the hopelessness in my soul. “Seven hard years at the 44 (44:an is a punk cafe in Stockholm), I only manage it when I’m drunk“. At least the cover had been right all along, with good representation, for now.
There isn’t much of a transgression from this one to their next song, they mean business and start directly. Next song from the same band is Slå Blå (roughly: Hit Blue) which means: hit someone until they’re blue. Another song in almost the same vein as the first one, but it starts out with a more catchy riff and seem to develop their sound further. The same lo-fi environment is there, which is good, since the sound scape with all instruments included shrouds the singer at times but makes his voice even clearer when he shouts: “Hur fan kan man bete sig så?” – “How the fuck can you behave this way?“. The song is about police brutality and how they think they’re bigger and better at times just because they have a badge. I liked Handgranat pretty much, they contributed with a good start to this compilation and saturated it with their heinous d-beat and crustiness, accompanied with some pretty serious subjects. If you don’t feel hopeless now, you’ll be hopeless after this song. Good riddance!
Lets move on to the next band PP7 Gaftzeb. With their first song Sliding Doors (in english, yay!). It starts with a quick and nice d-beat mayhem and a catchy melody. “It could have been you!“, entering an mesmerizing and almost vortex-like riff that drags you down into oblivion. The singers voice is complimenting the sound scape very well, it almost makes for your own moshpit when sitting in a chair reviewing this stuff. They’ve actually got some hand-claps and a tambourine in the mix too, and it almost changes to a rock-song after you think you’re through with the d-beat insanity. But, nope, there it comes again. A carefully woven but seemingly chaotic sound scape that blends all the greatest elements from the genres around it.
With a good transgression into a song that isn’t as up-tempo as the first one, giving the rock-influenced atmosphere a facelift. This song is Life In The Mainstream. Some good riffs in this one and also a solo that sounds pretty good, a singer screaming his voice out. Slow down the pace, add up a little bit of attitude and scrape the floor with your dusty rock-knuckles. Feel like a king and take a sip of your beverage, because you’ll be taken on a ride that you’re not going to forget in the first place. Kodus to you, PP7 Gatzfeb for a good execution in a crossover of genres.
Now we’re entering another backalley. Introducing to you: Stockholms Blodbad (Stockholms Bloodbath). And their first song Rättsprocessen (Lawsuit). Buddy, don’t chill down now, because we’ve just started. Continuing along the road with a quote from some Swedish dude talking about Stockholms Blodbad (a historical event). If you thought you were healthy, you’ll be even more healthy when you hear their blend of grindcore, crust and hardcore. Spitting these vile diseases from their own mouths, straight from the streets and with an attitude that will blow your mind. “Vissa måste slita för att få det att räcka till!” – “Some have to toil to make it last!“. With reasonable low-key hardcore breakdowns and general grindcore mincing. At times almost sounding like Svullet Frenulum, or at least some of their earlier songs. Sing your hearts out, because the grinding won’t stop.
Of course they had a little gap for humorous entries, with a sampling saying: “Men få lite hus på ungdomen klarar ni inte, förbannad förmyndarmentalitet!” from their second song Jag e inte botad (roughly: I’m not cured) accompanied by a fast grindcore assault, ending in a humorous way, as if they were actually barking at the sample. “Är det inte jobbigt när alla skäller på dig sådär?” – “Heh… jo“. I laughed but was caught off-guard thanks to the sampling, but hey, I survived the assault.
Their third song Va fan (roughly: What the fuck) should really be the theme of this album if anyone made one. It’s got such a menacing tone to it that I almost cringe, like we’re about to conquer empires and shit. A passive-agressive singer talking about the injustices that people at the social services don’t really know or care about. It almost sounds like a metal-intro, but should be something you’d be playing when going to Försäkringskassan (it’s shit) or Arbetsförnedringen here in Sweden. You’ll need the extra power needed, say this to yourself: “Har du stångats med myndigheter?” if you answer yes to that question, then you’d have this song as your theme. The riff is really what makes the whole song and the dark voice of the singer ranting about the subject. It’s fucking great.
A well-placed song indeed, because now the whole thing bursts into flames. Welcome Bombangrepp (roughly: Bombattack), with their first song Skuggan av dödens sändebud. (roughly: Shadow of death’s ambassador) A piece that just butchers your head and throws it away, while your body keeps moshing to the sound of real crust and d-beat. Even though the song is about one and a half minutes long, you’ll find much joy in the crustiness of the singers voice as he gets his message across while the d-beat drums stampede away and make your body mosh with itself. Surely one of the best placed songs on the A-Side if I had to choose, it is such a huge contrast to the third song of Stockholms Blodbad. I would also say that this is A-grade crust and d-beat all in a small shell that blew up during this session. I’ll keep that shell nearby, if I ever need to mosh again. I’m tired, you guys!
When it couldn’t get worse, it just got worse. Not in negative terms, but this shit is really adrenaline-filled. Second song Artförtryck (roughly: Speciesopression?). The strong thing about Bombangrepp is that they manage to utilize the best of their riffs, drumming and singing to make total hell. It also sounds somewhat old school when you think about it, which is a good thing in itself. When you listen to it, you’d think it’s at least four minutes long since they transgress so beautifully (angrily?) into each other. Now I also know why they chose their name, because you won’t live through it. I actually had to rest my ears for a bit before continuing with the third song. Which could only be a good sign for how fucking great it is and absolutely ballistic.
The third song Det sista sveket (rougly: The last imposture) is probably their most fucked-up song yet. It just masks itself and symbolizes their song name perfectly, here I thought they had sped it down to make it a little bit more interesting and maybe not escalate into a complete attack. Of course, I was wrong. This song is their most devilish, hard, rough, wicked and maniacally sounding song yet. The devils horns go up directly and put me through the roof, this is such a banger. Not in the sense of a club, but more a building that’s about to collapse. If I ever see these guys live, I’ll tell them to play this song in a building that’s about to collapse. It’s really the soundtrack of ultimate decay, brutality and anarchy. Lets raise the roof and let that fucker collapse.
Vengeance Of Karma
Back comes the lo-fi atmosphere and here comes Vengance Of Karma. I was wondering if their first song Dansa din djävel (Dance you devil) was an ode to Thomas DiLeva or a cover of his song with the same name? But then I realized that it wasn’t. This shit sounds metal in some areas and crusty as fuck and they’ve incorporated some hardcore and other vile elements into it. Roughly two minute long song that keep you on the path of moshing your brains out as you should be. I was thinking of the background of the song because it sounds like blackened crust, but at the same time it has that punk-edge to it. Like someone setting down the hourglass and announcing what time you have left, sending you into some crazed mode with this song spinning in the background. The hardcore breakdowns are great and I’d like more of it.
Then it was over. It spun over to their second track Destruktivt beteende (Destructive behaviour) which was more of a straight-forward hardcore and punk experience. I’m impressed by the vocalists and I wonder how they endure doing those insane growls and shrieking. Also, the part that I forgot to describe is the muddy texture of the sound scape that seem to drown everything else out. But I guess that’s just what their aim is to do, because this is inherently chaotic and fuels the confusion even more. Doomsday is coming, I tell ya.
Conclusion – Side A
I liked the positioning of the tracks and especially Stockholms Blodbad and Bombangrepp. It made the record throughout enjoyable and this was the high peak of it. I was also fond of the other bands since they made up the rest of Side A as good as they could. Even though I didn’t like them as much as the above. But I must say that the placement of the tracks was genius in between, it kept the whole side afloat and I never stopped to wonder what was next because it all felt like a whole and synchronized song. The variation was also good on this side, showing off a bunch of different genres and not just one or two. Normally you’d like one or two songs on a V/A of this size with basically six songs on each side, but this one is filled to the brink with 24 songs and I liked them in my own kind of way but prefered some over the others. So I have to reach a final verdict for this side.
The verdict is: 7.5/10
Do you really want to continue? Press the button, get to Side B!
Welcome back, this time we disseminate The Bristles and their first song Checkpoint Sweden. Starting with the final words from the Kurtz report and then blasting into catchy but venomous punk, with emphasis on great vocals and nice riffing. Almost a bit old school sounding here too, the only word you have to know is: “Checkpoint Sweden!“, which is being shouted into your ear almost as a mantra. This also makes it into a little bit of sing-a-long punk but instead of cheesy riffs and uneasy drumming it’s precision stacked turbulence within a total punk avalanche. Great song, side B couldn’t have started any better.
Continuing with their second song A prayer for the employer which almost has some Oi!-influences in them. I’m especially thinking of the working class lyrics, the vocals and the sinister riffing in this one. The difference is noticeable and the song is really well-balanced but still hits for your throat. I fucking like these punk-songs that are filled with attitude and where you actually (almost) can hear what they are singing without having to decode it through searching for lyrics or the likes of it. “Too good to even talk to us“, wow, this line surely applies to more than the song is about and it’s filled with truth that even the deniers can’t deny. I’m amazed by these songs.
Passiv Dödshjälp (Passive Euthanasia) contributed with two unreleased songs for this compilation, two good songs at that. Lets begin with their first song Inga gaddar, inga brudar (roughly: No tattoos, no chicks) mark the return of the lo-fi sound scape that I adore so much. No, but really, I like it very much. There are some good riffs in this one and as usual I hear a mayhem that’s uncontrollable, but this time it’s more concentrated around rough drumming and vocals but a little bit catchier and more melodic riffing. The bass in this song is absolutely uncompromising, it would do good in a dark post-punk song. Enough about that, this song has everything that I want. Not too much annihilation, just serving a little bit for you throughout the song and then unleashing a friendlier and catchier segment that’s really enjoyable.
Moving on to their second song Avsmak (Distaste), there’s a galloping horde of drums and also some nice riffs to accompany them. We’re in the netherworld now, trying to get to the lower regions. As I said before, they’re uncompromising as fuck. There’s really no words for this, but there’s an awesome breakdown á la hardcore-style. Also a continuous riff throughout almost the whole song, but that really doesn’t matter as I hear the singer shrieking his heart and lungs out for this particular song. Fucking nasty and good.
Going into the world of Inavel (Inbred) and their first song Slavsystem (Slavesystem). Which opens up for a lot of grinding, a lot of lo-fi and a more punky sound than the prior ones. Actually reminds me of some kind of thrash mayhem covered in punk-attitude. From the start to the end, it’s an uneasy and unending process of slaughtering the instruments. Which is great.
Their second song Använd hjärnan (Use your brain) is basically the same. Thump, thump, thump. Dun-dun-dun. But how awesome isn’t that? Surely something you’d have with you in dark corners of the alleyway. The third one however seem to tone it down a bit and now I can actually hear the singer a little bit better. This would be the song Sluta existera (Stop existing), which pulls of some basic riffing and some almost identical drumming but in a slower pace. However, I like the singers voice as it sounds like someone straight from the street. With no hope and not really much to look forward to.
Whilst their fourth(!) and last song GHB is more of an old school punk-song with nothing more than a humorous singer gaining higher pitch and singing about the drug. Pretty nice anyway, maybe something for your Sunday-stroll.
Enter the world of Von BøøM, with their first song, a straight-forward and no-bullshit hardcore/d-beat song: Le Cotard. This one actually include a solo and some nice transgressions from the faster paced drums and the slower paced drumming, until the end draws nearer, when they utilize the last of their manpower to put some shit down. Continuing with the second song Allt ljus på mig (Every light on me), got some quite nice riffs and drumming. Sometimes the singer sounds familiar, as if he’s been in a band that’s wider known than this one. I really like his style of singing too. The low-down accompanied with the stampeding drums that transgress from a lower tempo with some form of breakdown, turns into a wild mess which sounds really good.
Long time, no siege. It’s time for these guys again, the famous Thräshers from “up in the country“. This form of blend with 80′s and 90′s hardcore have really had it’s toll on them. No, just kidding, they’re as great as they were before when I got some acquaintance. The first song Smäller på Stan is really the stepping stone before unleashing the whole artillery, all-in-all a great hardcore-song which blend the elements of what they represent perfectly fine. I also like their dialect which screams NORRLAND right up in my ear. The second song is really the fury and the root of what Thräshers is for me, it’s named Dimmorna Skingras and can really be a good representation and ending for the same compilation I’m reviewing. A more hasty version of the first song, but with more side-stepping and a greater range in the vocal-department. Also, I like the riffs and the drumming which made this the perfect ending for Dimmorna Skingras. Jeez, now I’m done with this, I’ll hit these two songs up a last time before I move on to the real conclusion. This was fucking awesome.
Conclusion – Side B
I thought Side B was a really good showcase for how many talented and unsigned bands there are out there. The placement for this one was cool too, which set a high stake on the bands to perform correctly. They matched it perfectly and I liked some of the transgressions. But I don’t think that’s the most important thing, the most important thing that made this side outweigh the first by a small marginal was that there were more variation in this side to be honest. The Bristles and Thräshers really made a good impression for first and last starters, the other bands were a good compliment to that too. But I must say that Checkpoint Sweden was one of the greatest songs I’ve heard in a while, and that’s saying something since I liked the other bands too. Equally a nice experience and a very well done one at that.
The verdict is: 8/10
The Final Conclusion?
Fuck! Is the one word I’ll start using for this. It was totally amazing all in all. A really satisfying compilation that has everything you’d ever wanted, whether you’re a punk, a crustie, a grinder or a hardcore foot-soldier. Good blend of bands that ultimately hightened the experience even more and every single band had something to offer. What impresses me even more is that the bands financed this themselves out of their own pockets, they made this record on a pure D.I.Y.-platform which makes it even cooler. I like and endorse these kinds of projects and to be honest, this is better than most of the commercially produced compilations out there. I hope I won’t be dissatisfied when the next volume arrives because I’ll be waiting for that one too. This is one of those compilations that deserve a follow-up, and of the (now three) compilations I’ve ever reviewed, all of them were ultimately satisfying to the bitter end. Even though I find it hard (from time to time) to put into words what some songs mean to me, this one had it all. Amazing is all I have to say, and the record is dirt cheap too. For only 40 SEK + postage you receive a compilation with 24-tracks on a 12¨ vinyl. That makes it even better and affordable for those of you that don’t have a lot of cash to spend on records like these. I would say: buy it, you will not regret it the least.
The final verdict is: 9/10
Thank you to all the bands and Pike Records for making this possible!
Buy it over here: V/A – Dimmorna Skingras Vol. 2 (40 SEK + Postage)