ALBUM REVIEW: Drunken Marksman – Decline Of Mankind (various labels)
Drunken Marksman are a four-piece piece hardcore punk band from South Wales, and this is their debut album.
They are a DIY band, made up of ex-members of This System Kills, Rectify, Classified Protest and The Guntys, who are doing things their own way.
I hadn’t heard them before, but their mission statement is to ”write songs, make noise, have fun, tell it as it is!” and they certainly succeed on this eight-track album, which I like more with every listen.
Pig on vocals, Southy on guitar, Weaver on bass and Loz on drums have their say about some of the social, political and environmental issues of our times.
Proxy War, which opens proceedings, is about the refugee crisis caused by conflicts around the world as governments get rich by selling arms to the warring factions, and contains some of the best riffing on the whole album.
There’s a touch of the Dead Kennedys about Snapshots Of Britain, which paints a depressing (but accurate) picture of many of the things wrong with our country, from knife crime to fly-tipping, and cyber-bullying to consumer culture.
Free Europe is a salutary warning of the kind of country we’ll be left with after leaving the EU, “the shops all gone, the high streets closed/communities gone, memories of old”.
Hypocritic, which closes side one, is the most frenzied song here, a bit Discharge-like with the punch of its delivery and its time changes.
Side two opens with Dance To The Apocalpyse, a doom-laden warning about mankind’s destructive influence on our planet, while Drunken Marksman is about training soldiers to kill and leaving “a shattered mind and broken spirit” as they turn to drink to get the job done and cope with its after-effects.
Like A Disease opens with a great wandering bassline before erupting into a takedown of political parties which win favour by spreading hate and fear in the “church of the hopeless”. I wonder who they could mean?
Default, which brings the album to a close,is another fast-paced song about the politicians who hoodwink people into voting for them: “Do as I say, not as I do/Give me your vote and we’ll take care of you.”
Hardcore can lose its message due to sheer velocity and the sometimes overpowering nature of the music, but Drunken Marksman get it just right, and, just in case, the LP comes with a handy lyric sheet.
Decline Of Mankind is released on Blind Destruction Records, Mass Production France Records, Not Yet Dead Records and Armistice Records, and is available from the band here. 7/10.