MORROW LIBERATES: This Is a Democracy Not a Fucking War: CD

I know I’ve prattled on about this before, but back when I was a kid, probably long before I’m guessing the oldest member of Morrow Liberates was born, I was neck deep in the East L.A. punk scene. The Vex had closed down, the first group of local punk bands were off doing the dance with the major labels and breaking up, and we, the next group of piss-poor and funny-haired malcontents overdosing on Ramones and Black Flag records, found ourselves pretty much without a pot to piss in—no clubs to play, no one interested whatsoever in what we were doing outside of our immediate area, and no money to rent halls, release records, or even buy decent equipment. Left with exceedingly limited choices, we eventually coalesced into an ad hoc scene of bands—Butt Acne, Plain Agony, Copulation L.A., The Thrusters, No Church On Sunday, Insurrected State, Misled, Anti-Social, Resistant Militia, Conscientious Objector, and the list goes on and on—based almost solely in the neighborhood backyards. Most of us were shitfaced most of the time, few of us could play with anything better than rudimentary competence, and even fewer of us were savvy enough to know the difference between Emma Goldman and Goldman-Sachs, but underneath the drunken caterwauling was the sincerity of kids reacting to crushing poverty, the bleakness of their surroundings, and the triple dead end choices of “courthouse, jails, and factories” that seemed inevitable. Every weekend we drank, fought, and had a helluva blast reveling in being cultural pariahs. Inglewood’s Morrow Liberates is affiliated with a cluster of bands that fly the banner of “L.A. [Drunk] Punx,” a non-professional-punk scene that likewise often utilizes backyard spaces, but is smart enough not to isolate itself geographically, playing anywhere they can across the county and beyond. It would be presumptuous, and pretentious, of me to infer that they’re directly descended from what we were doing, but listening to ‘em, I do hear the same anger at living in conditions that apparently haven’t changed in the more than two decades between our respective scenes—discrimination, asshole cops, blight, poverty, and being ignored by a political machine that cares nothing for people that can’t make campaign contributions. While their tunes more or less adhere to a too-well-worn “punk” template, and their adoption of the Cockney “oi” rallying cry makes me smile and shake my head in much the same way it does when American skinhead bands do the same, buried in what they’re doing is a sincerity that most punk bands can only dream of. Unlike your average parrot punk band, they aren’t afraid to take a position and do so with a lyrical intelligence and sophistication that, while no less direct, transcends their musical limitations. The average listener would probably pop this in and summarily dismiss it as the ravings of a bunch of kids born way too fucking late to know what “real” punk is, but those for whom it’s intended will get it and love it. Sitting here in front of a computer less than a mile from where I grew up and twenty-five years removed from wild weekends and Top Ramen for dinner, somehow I still get it, and I can tell you from experience: they may not sport the artistic nuance of others, but punk rarely gets this fucking real.

 –jimmy (unrepentantrecords.com)