Hydrogen Man Records has unveiled a full stream of the amazing debut LP “Ordinary Violence” by WOODWORK from Toulouse, France. Co-released by Stonehenge Records, the effort is a reminder of some of your favorite, highly engaging hardcore bands like UNBROKEN, INDECISION, OUTSPOKEN and DISEMBODIED, as well as one extrmely important fact that punk is political. It’s something that hardcore punk embodies. Play the full record below, and scroll down to see an insightful track-by-tracl commentary from the band. Embrace it.
Hydrogen Man Records commented:
It’s unlikely you’ll have trouble figuring out what Woodwork is trying to say. From the intro to the record, featuring the unmistakeable voice of Angela Davis through the end, their intentions are clear. This record falls very squarely in the tradition of the best political hardcore from the late ‘90s. At times, they draw from Unbroken, at others, from Disembodied. It’s a genre that is easy to get wrong, and it’s rare anymore to hear a new record that really grabs our attention like this does. It benefits from a clear and heavy production, bringing this style into 2016.
02 – Emancipation // Lyrics:
Words can veil the sunshine
Life means nothing in face of death
Only absence – Numb to feelings
It’s so hard to deal with
Words still cast a shadow over hope
Face the pain – Storm in my brain
Eyes don’t lie
Let me cry, let me scream
All I need is to escape
Let me go, dark and deep wounds, for an endless path
Let me live again – Nothing lasts forever
Time passed, I can feel this freedom, a weight without oppression
Your absence is tearing me to pieces but your memory is engraved in my soul
The river is running, I’m trying to cross
The river is running dry, I’m ready to cross
02 – Emancipation // Commentary:
In Memory of Philippe B. and Hana G.
03 – State of Oppression // Lyrics:
First-strike attack / Patriotic impulse
Don’t pretend to mourn the dead. I refuse to.
Against organized suicide the blind have signed for.
Die on the battleground: a republican duty.
Shooting aimless bullets.
Honor and tradition to save democracy. The metastasis that is this slavery
Proud to serve your homeland. Taste of blood in the sand.
Second strike – long and slow resonances of the nails on their deathbed.
Human tragedy – killing me softly – off with their head
Honor your dead – dishonor the living
[compatriots uphold the banner of decadent nations]
Arm their “third-world”, controlled by blood.
Brand new day – brand new enemy
Corrupt pieces of shit fueling the terror machine
Silence in the ranks empty boots beating the path.
This is a state of oppression
03 – State of Oppression // Commentary:
“Conceit, arrogance, and egotism are the essentials of patriotism. […] Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who have had the fortune of being born on some particular spot, consider themselves better, nobler, grander, more intelligent than the living beings inhabiting any other spot. It is, therefore, the duty of everyone living on that chosen spot to fight, kill, and die in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all the others.” Emma Goldman, Patriotism: a menace to liberty. (1911)
04 – Overshoot // Lyrics:
Hunting the Earth like criminals
God complex blinds your sight
No love – No justice
Our fate – your game
My hopes – your death
Earth is burning – slowly dying
Mankind is watching – Quietly dying
From large scale deforestation to oil spills
Ask your children how they feel
No need for guilt / Society condemns you
All that we built can be reduced to dust
Don’t be stunned if they push you further
You need more, you’ll never settle the score
I’ll never feel ashamed to stand against your secular torture
The Earth is getting rid of its parasites
Mankind fears the unpredictable
Lost in its own denial
You break it – Own up to it
But we don’t give a shit
The greedy scum needs to be destroyed
Earth is burning – slowly dying
Prometheus must die
04 – Overshoot // Commentary:
Humanity acts as if all resources were unlimited. Earth Overshoot Day (http://www.overshootday.org/) is the day when all the renewable resources of the planet in a given year are consumed by the population. Beyond that day humanity overconsumes the reserves of Nature and lives on credit for the rest of the year. This day backs up year after year and the proposed measures remain superficial. Politicians revel in the expert reports, shallow analyzes, and international conferences without fighting against the root causes that lead to this situation. Consumerism, capitalism, market economy, and sustainable development among others are slowly destroying the planet. Disconnected, artificialized, humanity will react once again too late to be able to face the depletion of natural resources.
“There cannot be much doubt, sustainable development is one of the most toxic recipes” Nicolas Georgescu-Roegen, Correspondance to J. Berry. (1991)
Development is a standard, shaped by a Western ideological system. Its sustainability over the centuries has led to its acceptance as a vital cog in the fulfillment of civilizations.
“The Western order of the world falls under structural violence. The West claims to be the torchbearer of universal values, of morals, of a civilization, of standards by which all peoples of the world are invited to take control of their destiny” Jean Ziegler, Hate for the West (2008)
The “death of Prometheus” is not in defense of the religious Revelation against the emancipation of mankind. The myth of Prometheus symbolizes the attempts of mankind towards knowledge and freedom: he stole the fire from the gods in order to give it to men. It symbolizes the domination of Nature by man; his material leanings.
05 – Legacy// Lyrics:
Modern genocide is wearing another face, it differs in nature.
Who deserves to live or die? Between love and torture.
Your food is an accumulation of violence, and reeks of death
Just blood in your mouth. – Human failure.
The spread of cruelty.
How many throats ripped out? How many skulls crushed on the ground?
Dried blood spots mark the fate of their certain death.
One by one through the eyes of the scavenger
One by one – by the bloody hand of the carnist
Don’t try to deny / Don’t try to justify
Accomplice of defect
Tradition doesn’t make it right / That’s not a legacy
As racism must be eradicated / let this suffering end
As tradition dies slowly / Innocents will be free
Another voice of the voiceless / raging against the disinterest
There is another way, it’s a matter of choice
05 – Legacy// Commentary:
Why do we eat meat? By tradition, by culture, and if we look more closely, out of conformism (conformity?). We’ve been conditioned since childhood and this conditioning carries on thanks to a societal and cultural environment, not facilitating, but making of conformity an intrinsic value. We consume meat like we consume any other product. When one ask the average Joe why they eat meat, the answer is usually something along the lines of “because it‘s good”, “because we always have”, “because otherwise we’d probably suffer from deficiency” , or even “why even put this into question? Man has been eating meat since time immemorial”. Why change now? It is this conformism, this complacency that indirectly removes the capacity of questioning things from our intellect. So how do we explain this situation? By ignorance (voluntary or involuntary)? By apathy? Or by sheer laziness?
We’ve been taught to disregard the living being behind the product. We consume animals without even thinking about it; because it’s what we’ve always done. The belief system inherent to this practice is invisible. Melanie Joy use the term “carnism” to refer to this invisible belief system. “[…] carnism is based on the ideology of the “three N”: eating animals is normal, natural, and necessary. And these same myths have been used to justify violent behaviors and belief systems based on the exploitation of a category of individuals throughout human history. The “three N” are so deeply rooted in our social conscience that they guide our actions without us having to pay any mind to it. Mélanie Joy (2010). Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows – An Introduction to Carnism.
It is a matter of choice. Have we ever truly made the conscious choice to eat animals, or was it decided for us at an early age? Actively choosing our diet means taking moral responsibly in participating to the murder of living sentient beings, or rejecting this odious tradition of useless suffering. It is –literally- a choice between life and death.
07 – Mari Chi Weu // Lyrics:
Avidez y orgullo occidental exterminan sus esperanzas
Encontrar un sitio o morir en el olvido
La sociedad moderna ahogada en sus ilusiones
La vergüenza les acosa – niegan sus crímenes
El fondo se pudre – la forma domina
Tradición indígena como una molestia a erradicar
Arrancan las raíces sin remordimiento
Queman tu cultura – se quemaran de tu rabia
¡Crimen – Sangre – Les asesinan!
La espera asesina
Venganzas pasadas y cólera incumplida
Acabaran todos enterrados vivos [sus avaricia morirá en el olvido de los oprimidos]
Más vale irse la cabeza baja que los pies delante
[Esta sociedad tiene que quemar] – esta sociedad quemara
07 – Mari Chi Weu // Commentary:
Mari Chi Weu is an ancestral Mapuche war call that means “ten times we’ll win”.
As many indigenous struggle around the world, Mapuche’s people (which means literally People of the Land) are a good (and sad) example of state domination/oppression and land despoliation. It’s a stateless society led by a chief (called “lonkos”) “where courtesy allows peace be maintained” (Bengoa, 2012). Before the Spanish conquest, the ancestral area occupied by the Mapuche reached 10 million hectares, for an estimated population of one million people (Foerster, 2001). Colonization caused (in less than forty years) the death of 800, 000 people (Bengoa, 2012). Their territory varied according to their resistance to the armies of the Spanish crown but also by the many post-colonial legal episodes. Today, according the census of population in 2002, more than 600, 000 person consider themselves belonging to the Mapuche culture (Bengoa, 2012). It’s difficult to fix limits to their territory with our standards because in private property doesn’t exist in their culture. Although the Chilean state are pushing for them to switch community territory to individualized land. Chile is clearly in a context of neoliberalisation of nature, defined by Castree (2008) as a project driven by political economic elites that marginalises the poor and calls forth resistance.
Noel Castree (2008). Neoliberalising nature: processes, effects, and evaluations. Environment and Planning.
Rolf Foerster G. (2001). Sociedad mapuche y sociedad chilena: la deuda histórica. Revista de la Universidad Bolivariana.
José Bengoa (2012). Los Mapuches: historia, cultura y conflicto.
08 – Unlearn // Lyrics:
Frailty and strength, rooted definitions of discrimination
Defined by what’s between our legs, reduced to body and flesh
Gender is power / Controlled and belittled
Shift is progress / Your traditions need to be put to rest
Why was I taught that I was the one?
When one is not born a woman, but becomes one
One is not born a chauvinist pig, I’d rather die than be one
I wouldn’t dare to walk in those shoes
If these are your standards
I am not a man and I’m nothing like you
We’ve been fed this narrative for far too long
And I’m sick of playing this game.
Let’s try to change the world for those who refuse to
We’re going to change this world no matter what they want
Blinded by crosses and dollar signs
If I despise what they’re selling
Then why am I buying?
Systematic domination, organized submission
I am guilty / we are guilty
Of perpetuating an archaic system of oppression
Pre-defined gender for a pre-defined life
We need to deprogram ourselves
Unlearn / For Equality
Unlearn / For Justice
Learn / To take a step back
08 – Unlearn // Commentary:
There’s a lot to be said about straight white men speaking about sexism in a male-dominated scene; but it is imperative that we, as men, realize and take into account how our privilege keeps enforcing the status quo and contributes to gender inequality. We’ve been told since birth that we have value and that our needs need to be fulfilled, while women have to prove their worth on a daily basis and are told they are here to fulfill men’s needs. While unfair gender roles are placed on every gender, there is an undeniable imbalance that is still to this day not fully recognized and accepted by most. Whether or not you consider yourself “an ally”, “a feminist”, or “a good guy”, you are still part of a system that marginalizes women and other groups. We can never really remove ourselves from the privilege of our gender, but understanding and assuming responsibility regarding how our general behavior weights in the balance is pivotal in moving forward towards gender equality. Men have dominated the conversation for far too long on this issue, and it is time we contribute in taking apart the institutionalized power struggle exerted on women in our society.
09 – From The T-4 // Lyrics:
May this cold wind never blow again
The past is shining through generations
She escaped, he did not
Another so-called “unworthy of life”
Survivor of the Final Solution
Looking at the victims’ shadows engraved in stone
A never-ending last cry for the gone
Itinerary in the darkness
Crushed, packed and terrified
Thuds and cold. Bleeding hands. Obscure feeling of death
The opening of train doors and shattered hopes
The human tragedy at its worst
Holocaust denial, blinded by ashes falling
Nostalgic of the T-4. Murderers of the truth
Waiting for another chance. Hate-mongers, let them burn
“Chosen people” watch your back
From the darkness of the past
Persecution from first to last
It takes generations to heal
But how far can your bruises legitimate your beatings?
09 – From The T-4 // Commentary:
The T-4 Program was an Euthanasia Program designed by the Nazi regime in 1939 to exterminate physically and/or mentally deficient children & adults during WWII. It marked the beginning of the use of Gas Chambers for systematic extermination. Tackling the subject of The Holocaust may be nothing new, between all the books, movies, articles, etc. it seems we’ve seen/heard it all. But the testimony of a member of your family directly involved, who makes you “relive” the dark moments of her youth, who tells you about how she saved her mother and others; can move you in a different way. Others, like her father weren’t so lucky and never left the extermination camp. This is merely remembrance; a reality check against the negationist speeches out there. Never again.
10 – There Is No Alternative // Lyrics:
You’re told (that) your life has no limits – a liberal and liberated being, but
Limits of our freedom stops where their interests are threatened
Always searching for an escape. What they called free trade and liberty – i call it attempted murder and climate of impunity
Leaders are all dressed in the uniforms of normality. Fanning the flame of brutality.
The deadly dance of harmonization will burn our cultural diversity…to the ground.
They build our beliefs – maintaining a dark veil
Limits of our world are the limits of our own fear
Their words eat the world
Hell makes the connection
We are the profane choked / strangled by their esotericism
Born with no rights – suffocating all our life
There is more than meets the eye
Find a cure we will burn by their lies
Our blood is contaminated – victim – of human hatred
What are you afraid of? What do you expect from suffering?
Push your limit we must order the new world
Become a threat even if they steal what you get
They’re playing their game and we’re part of it
We’re born equal and free – bowed and on our knees
I will never be part of it
They will not obtain my silent, obedient consent
Smash their greed, smash their power
10 – There Is No Alternative // Commentary:
Repeating again and again that people need a political structure (vertical or top-down) to live in a society is part of slow process of mental conditioning. We confine ourselves in thoughts such as “I’m not capable of”, “it’s too complex”, “There is no alternative”, and the notion that “man is a wolf to man” justifying the need for “leaders” to “control and protect us”. We are convincing ourselves that we are nothing but free. And what we believe can become the truth, not only for ourselves but also for others.
“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very likely debate within that spectrum” Noam Chomsky, The Common Good (1998)
Alternatives exist. They’re out of this spectrum but they are demonized because ruled “non-compliant”; so as to have us remain in a security bubble “for our own good”. And this is the same pathetic story with the economic system in which we all live.
“These [globalist and market-centric discourses] continue to naturalize globalization and ‘the markets’ as out there, all-determining and irresistible forces, while equating neoliberalism with a market-assisted process of state withdrawal. The two discourses are, needless to say, very closely entwined, since a defining feature of neoliberalism is its necessitarian, there-is-no-alternative character and its invocation of a ‘politics of inevitability’ based on a deference to (global) economic forces” Jamie Peck. “Geography and public policy: Constructions of neoliberalism” (2004).
It’s easy to lie and wait, it is what’s expected of us: distancing ourselves from complex topics, conforming to the status quo, legitimize their power; while we peacefully wait for our last breath.