New Music

Short, fast, loud! Stay angry with powerviolence act TRAVØLTA

7 mins read

In the sprawling sonic landscape of Heultje, Belgium, a rousing cacophony echoes through its gritty streets. Its source: a maelstrom named Travølta, a band that embodies the chaotic discord of powerviolence/fastcore with a lyrical narrative that hits as hard as their sonic assault.

It all started back in 2015 when four raw and energetic souls collided: Jonas wielding his guitar like a rioter’s molotov, Kevin whose bass lines are as solid as brick walls, Nico with his vocal cords akin to a roaring megaphone, and Rik whose drums are nothing short of auditory artillery. Since then, they’ve left a significant dent in the European underground scene (we covered the band’s “In Tinnitus We Crust” album three years ago at this location).

Fast forward to 2022, Travølta steps into the recording battlefield once more, crafting an 18-track whirlwind aptly titled “Discoviolence Up Yours“. With a total runtime barely brushing past the 20-minute mark, this album could be mistaken for a sonic blitzkrieg, each track a lightning-fast gut punch that leaves listeners gasping for breath.

Discoviolence Up Yours

From the get-go, Travølta sets the stage alight with “Shake That Ass,” an opening salvo of devastating guitar riffs, relentless percussion, and Nico’s snarling vocals that careen through the melee like a wrecking ball. Their follow-up, “Brainless Mess,” doesn’t let up the pressure, further solidifying their departure from their 2019 outing “In Tinnitus We Crust” and cementing their shift towards a more diverse punk-laden and hardcore-infused powerviolence.

The elements that make up Travølta’s volatile formula are reminiscent of the genre’s pioneers, but with an injection of their own trademark influences, creating a sound as refreshing as it is ruthless. Their lyrical artillery doesn’t miss its mark either.

Travølta’s vitriolic social and political commentaries, peppered with personal frustrations and delivered through songs like “I Wanna Be Dumb”, “The End of Drama” and “Jesus Crøst Soccer Punch”, leave listeners in no doubt of their disdain for the world’s ills. Nico’s vicious vocal delivery, replete with sarcasm and cynicism, serves as a biting critique of society’s pervasive rot.

The band’s distaste for fascism, capitalism, and racism surfaces in tracks like “Modern Day Witch Hunt”, “Broken Teeth”, “Burn The Notre Dame” and “Bruin Rotte Zweer”. The album’s confrontational title, “Discoviolence Up Yours,” is emblematic of their unapologetic attack on societal ills. Nico serves as the band’s lyrical sledgehammer, pounding away at the edifice of complacency with relentless vigor.


Drawing inspiration from a wide spectrum of genres, Travølta fuses the hardcore energy of punk, the brutal velocity of powerviolence, the intensity of grindcore, and the rebel spirit of d-beat into a volatile cocktail of raw, unadulterated sound. Yes, they even wink at the realms of new wave and heavy metal.

Evidence of their eclectic influences surface in “Discoviolence Up Yours,” with tracks such as “Shake That Ass” and “The Travølta Pact” reveling in a frenzy of speed and power, while “So We Are Extreme?” and “The End of Drama” offer unexpected grooves and unconventional riffs. Their homage to the forebears of the genre is manifested in their cover of Drop Dead’s “You Have a Voice,” underscoring their ethos that hardcore punk without passion and profound lyrics is like a pint without the buzz — decent, but far from the real thrill.

Fittingly, Travølta has been invited to give a performance at the final Fluff Fest, a platform where music and ideology share equal footing. They pay tribute to the festival’s unwavering commitment to principles and ethos that resonate with their own. In their gritty, powerful, and unapologetic way, Travølta carries the torch for the powerviolence/fastcore scene, proving that the genre is far from fading into oblivion. Instead, they show that it thrives, it evolves, and continues to speak its truth, as loud as ever. Be sure to catch them at the last Fluff Fest to see for yourself.


The artwork

The album artwork of “Discoviolence Up Yours” is a riotous burst of colour, a graphic testament to the raw energy Travølta embodies. Central to the imagery is a disco ball morphing into a medieval flail, an unorthodox combination that neatly encapsulates the relentless pace and biting sarcasm that form the backbone of the band’s sound.

Bathing in the disco ball’s reflective glow, the surrounding shades harken back to a classic – Pulp Fiction, the cult masterpiece starring the band’s namesake, John Travolta. The font, a stylistic echo of the film’s end credits, exudes a nonchalant cool, underlined by a shade of irony.

The logo, a tongue-in-cheek homage to the iconic Hollywood sign, boldly seizes your attention. Its design, stark and minimalistic, is purposefully built to pop against the backdrop of gig posters, a beacon amidst visual clutter.


The flipside of the artwork is a playful spin on a scene from Pulp Fiction, but with a Banksy twist. Vincent Vega, played by Travolta in the film, is caught in mid-motion, lobbing a $5 oat milk shake, a tongue-in-cheek nod to the activist ethos of Travølta. It’s irreverent, it’s cheeky, it’s Travølta – their signature blend of humour, rebellion and artistic flair, translated into a visual medium.

“Discoviolence Up Yours” took shape over a span of one laborious, passionate year. Each band member poured his unique influences into the mix, creating a resonant cacophony of varying sounds and styles that ultimately formed the raw nerve of Travølta’s revamped sound.

Once the skeletal form of the demos was laid bare, the band retreated into the womb of Majestic Studio in Hever, guided by the capable hands of Nico Vedts. In the scorching embrace of a near 40°C heatwave, the bass and drum sections of the tracks were forged, a testament to the band’s unyielding dedication to their craft. In a twist of fate, Rik had a brush with the fiery lips of death when the studio owner introduced him to the infamous Da Bomb hot sauce.

The creation of “Discoviolence Up Yours” was a journey traversed together, a testament to the strength of shared creative endeavours. It allowed each band member to delve into their personal artistic depths while still contributing to a common, unifying vision. The final product is an album that reverberates with Travølta’s dynamic sound, layered with thought-provoking lyricism, all while capturing the electric spark of their live performances – raw, unfettered, and undeniably intense.


The lyrics

The lyricism, sharp as a scalpel, was the brainchild of Nico, while the composition of the music was born from a combination of individual experimentation and collective jam sessions. Two-thirds of the tracks emerged from these organic, fiery rehearsals, the sparks of creativity struck against the crucible of collaboration.

Samples have been a recurring theme throughout Travølta’s oeuvre, becoming an identifying marker of their musical identity. These audio snippets not only individuate their tracks but also infuse a dose of humor into songs dealing with serious subject matters, a technique often employed within their genre. Samples often serve as a comedic counterpoint to the song’s lyricism.

In the early stages of their journey, Travølta sourced their samples from films and songs that tickled their funny bone. Over time, this strategy has metamorphosed, reflecting a burgeoning creativity and originality. Today, they weave together samples, blending them with self-recorded elements like ambient noise and spoken words, largely the handiwork of drummer Rik.

A distinctive example of their evolved sampling style is found in the song “So We Are Extreme?” This track dissects society’s warped viewpoint on extremism. Travølta underscores the contradiction wherein environmentally conscious behaviors, such as vegetarianism or veganism, are deemed ‘extreme,’ while the systematic slaughter of animals for sustenance remains uncontested.

To amplify this commentary, they enlisted the vocal prowess of the bass player’s girlfriend, her voice adopting a pretentious, snotty tone for the occasion. This is set against a soundscape of nature sounds, punctuated by horns, engine noises, and a climactic explosion. Rik’s voice, transmogrified through a pitch shifter, erupts with the accusation of ‘extreme!’ – reminiscent of a mincecore vocalist’s powerful delivery. This assembly of disparate elements injects a striking, eccentric note into the track, enhancing its overall impact.

The remaining tracks took on a more unconventional birth, born amidst the echoes of children’s laughter at an indoor playground. Rik, seizing fleeting moments while waiting for his daughter, composed midi drum tracks on the go. These sonic snippets were then passed on to Kevin, who, along with Jonas, meticulously honed the riffs, giving the fragmented pieces a harmonious shape.

Stay angry!

Ferociously embodying their manifesto, Travølta isn’t a band that confines their message to the auditory realm of recorded music. Their activism is conspicuously woven into the very fabric of their high-octane live performances, which have been leaving trails of electric energy across Europe. Their concerts are a seething cauldron of velocity and vitriol, where discussions on socio-political issues punctuate their explosive sets. Audience members are rallied to resist injustice, nurture critical thinking, and to embrace righteous anger. Travølta’s gigs transcend mere musical performances – they are fervent calls to action.

The band’s steadfast dedication to societal change and activism underpins their live shows. In solidarity, they frequently align themselves with like-minded organizers and entities – from local autonomous collectives to charities and large-scale festivals. Their concerts don’t merely revolve around the music; they’re designed to foster an environment conducive to activism and societal metamorphosis.

The sonic cacophony of Travølta’s live performances aptly mirrors their recorded sound – both bristling with the same kinetic energy and intensity. These concerts are a faithful embodiment of Travølta’s ethos, a palpable testament to their unwavering commitment to their cause. Travølta’s mission isn’t solely confined to crafting exceptional music but extends to instigating meaningful change in the world. Their live shows stand as powerful exemplifications of this relentless drive.

Post the departure of their previous guitarist, a noticeable shift has transformed their live performances. With the band’s focus pivoted towards composing and recording new material, the setlist predominantly features tracks from their latest offering, “Discoviolence Up Yours.” This evolution symbolizes a new chapter in Travølta’s sonic journey, influencing the texture and tone of their live performances significantly.

“Discoviolence Up Yours” marks a sonic detour in Travølta’s musical trajectory while simultaneously preserving the infectious energy and provocative social commentary the band is renowned for. This metamorphosis is most vivid in the punk-infused guitar hooks, Rik’s newfound affinity for hardcore drumming, and Nico’s introspective, meticulously crafted lyrics. Kevin’s vibrant album art deserves a commendation as well, with its clever allusions to Pulp Fiction and subtle undertones encapsulating the band’s tongue-in-cheek yet deeply critical social perspective.

At its core, “Discoviolence Up Yours” stands as a potent proclamation from a band unflinchingly vocal about pressing societal issues, unapologetically defying injustices. This unwavering activism isn’t just confined to their music but also permeates their live performances, where they leverage their platform to disseminate their message and foster a meaningful dialogue with their audience.

“Discoviolence Up Yours” fortifies Travølta‘s position as a formidable entity within the powerviolence genre. As we anticipate the band’s future endeavors and the potential evolution of their signature sound, one aspect remains unwaveringly certain – the raw, breathless energy that’s bound to be uncompromisingly short, fast, and loud!

Karol Kamiński

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels.
Contact via [email protected]

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