SATAN PANONKSI: Hard Blood Shock: LP

Jun 13, 2014

Satan Panonski, a.k.a Ivica Čuljak, was quite a figure in Croatian and Yugoslavian punk in the eighties and nineties. Before he was turned on to punk, he was a delinquent kid sent off to a reform school in Germany. There he discovered punk and introduced it to his homeland in the crudest and most extreme of forms. He called his style of punk “Hard Blood Shock,” dressed in drag, and cut himself with razors on stage while singing songs with subject matter such as rough sex, violence, and incest. It gets more interesting from there. During a dispute, a mafia guy starting messing with his brother. Ivica stabbed the man and killed him. He was sentenced to twelve years hard time for murder, but due to his struggles with addiction and madness, he was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and transferred from prison to a mental institution. There he had access to musical instruments and recording equipment and could get day passes to play with his band. He was released early in 1989, only to have his country erupt into the Croatian War of Independence. He joined the Croatian army to protect his family, but became increasingly nationalist as the atrocities went on. He was mysteriously killed by a gunshot wound and it, according to the Croatian Army, was an accident, but some believe he was fragged. It’s a wild story, to say the least. Unfortunately, drama doesn’t always make for great music. In spite of its spirited attitude, its amateurish and uninteresting at best and intolerably annoying at worst. Not liking it upon first spin, I thought I might be getting soft. After all, it could just be a challenging record, like something The Germs or Rudimentary Peni would make. So I gave it a few more spins. On an agreeable night I could dig the first couple of songs, sort of, but from there it gets more experimental and it’s just ill-conceived. There’s a lot of a lot minimal guitar riffing with Panonski’s annoying caterwaul. If you could imagine the aural equivalent of Panonski’s lyrics about sucking off his dad, that’s what it sounds like. 

 –Craven Rock (S.S.)