Almost forty-years into their hell-raising history, Getintothis’ Zach Jones sees one of the few hardcore punk bands of the seventies still killing it on the live scene.
Discharge may have had more member changes than albums (that’s 8 studio albums, and 13 past members) but that doesn’t stop them being one of the most fierce hardcore bands on the circuit today. They invented D-beat, a movement that has had its hand in shaping modern grind, crust and hardcore. And it’s not just the noisy band in basements crediting Discharge, with a list of fans ranging from Metallica to Mayhem.
Tonight however, it’s the youngsters turn first. The scouse ska-violence of Dead Blends fills The Magnet with grinding, pulsing blast beats and visceral chaos. They’re as ridiculous as they are heavy, and prove themselves to be one of Liverpool’s great underground talents. They prove what grind should be about, fun. It’s something that’s lost on a lot of people, but the heaviest of sounds aren’t meant to be for sad kids with black hair solely. It’s cathartic, and by the stupid grins on their faces, you can tell they’ve done their part.
However Discharge have a few lessons to dish out. They are fucking furious. This is a band with nearly forty years of aggression behind them. They are the kings of dishing out a beating.
Tonight it’s new front man ‘JJ‘ taking the reigns, and as they tear through old and new material alike, the energy prevails. It’s something only punk can manage. forty years on and pop artists are a shadow of what they once were, Axl Rose sits on his throne looking overweight and tired, Madonna butchers David Bowie songs in a desperate plea for attention, no-one knows where Meg White is and yet Discharge still. fucking. kill.
It’s a lesson in priorities, platinum records and number one hits mean nothing if you can’t back it up. Being a band is about delivering on the night, and if you can still do it forty years later then you are certainly one of the greats. Discharge certainly earned that title tonight.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Chris Flack