A Las Barricadas: Los Muertos De Cristo’s Atheist-Anarchist Punk Music

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Spanish Punk music has long had an anarchist as well as atheist tradition. Los Muertos De Cristo were no different in this regard as they wore their atheism on their sleeve…or in this case their band name (Christ’s Dead).

Lorenzo Morales (singer), Antón Tochi (lead guitar), Jesus “Mosti” Mosteiro (rhythm guitar), Ignacio “Chino” Gallego (bass), and Maniel “Lolo” Borrego (drums) came together in 1989 in Utrera, Sevilla, Spain. The quintet chose its name for three reasons. First, as a direct challenge to censorship and free speech laws in their country (of which they provided many challenges). Second, as a reflection of the band’s atheism. Third, to commemorate the millions of people killed in the name of religion throughout history.

LMDC self-released its debut EP, Punk’s Not Dead ’91, in 1991 and unveiled its full-length debut album, A Las Barricadas (To The Barricades) in 1995. The 12-song album includes the band’s Anarcho-Punk version of “¡Ay Carmela!/El Paso Del Erbo,” a classic song originally written during the War of Spanish Independence in 1808 and used by the Spanish Republican Army during the Spanish Civil War. LMDC’s version changes the lyrics to reflect their antifascist stance with lines such as “solo es nuestro / acabar con el fascismo (our only wish / is to end fascism).”

The band remained true to its Anarchist roots throughout the entirety of its existence. They self-published/distributed six of their nine albums with A Las Barricadas, Cualquier Noche Puede Salir El Sol (The Sun May Rise On Any Night), and Los Pobres No Tienen Patria (The Poor Have No Homeland) the exceptions. The band also created their own label, Odisea Records, which still exists today to promote their work as well as the work of Anarcho-Punk group El Noi Del Sucre.

Speaking of which, the seeds of LMDC’s impending demise were first planted in 2001. Morales first referred to himself as El Noi (The Boy) on the band’s live album Bienvenidos Al Infierno (Welcome To Hell). Morales wanted to start a new Anarcho-Punk group from scratch but not before ending LMDC on good terms with his bandmates.

LMDC announced their inevitable dissolution during their performance at the BaituRock festival in the summer of 2006. The group’s farewell tour lasted well into 2008 and they released their final album, Rapsodia Libertaria Vol. III, in 2009. Morales launched El Noi Del Sucre (The Boy From Sugar/The Sugar Boy), named as an homage to Catalonian anarchosyndicalist Salvador Seguí, that same year. Mosti and Chino of LMDC joined him in this new endeavor with the latter leaving the group in October of this year in order to focus on his work at Odisea Records.

Los Muertos De Cristo reunited this year to celebrate their 25th anniversary, touring as El Noi Del Sucre & Los Muertos De Cristo.

The band’s entire discography is available for download at this site.

Meet Él Mató a un Policía Motorizado

It didn’t take long to find my new favorite band of 2013. I’ve been obsessed with the music of Él Mató a un Policía Motorizado (He Killed A Motorcycle Cop) since late December. My obsession grew worse after the band released its second full-length album, La Dinastía Scorpio (The Scorpio Dynasty), on Spotify about a month ago.

Courtesy Georgetown Radio

The band hails from La Plata, a district of Buenos Aires, the capital province/city of Argentina and features Santiago Motorizado on bass/vox, Doctora Muerte on drums, Pantro Puto and Niño Elefante on guitars, and Chatrán Chatrán on keys. Él Mató, who got its name from a line in Die Hard, released its self-titled debut album in 2004 followed by a trilogy of EPs focused on the themes of birth (Navidad De Reserva, 2005), life (Un Millón De Euros, 2006) and death (Dia de los Muertos, 2008).

The group’s sound is similar to that of alternative/indie rock groups of the 1980s-1990s such as Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., Yo La Tengo, Guided By Voices, and Sonic Youth. The characteristic lo-fi sound of the genre is more prevalent in the earlier releases probably due to the fact that it was the best they could afford at the time.

That’s not to suggest that Scorpio sounds like a completely different beast altogether. The guitars are still distorted, the drums still layered enough to sound like there are four drummers in the studio playing simultaneously, and so on but, it’s all cleaner and more polished, an organized mess were no instrument drowns out another. Plus, Santiago’s vocal skills have improved greatly over the past decade.

La Dinastia Scorpio

The band released Scorpio in early December last year in its home country and shared it internationally on February this year. They’ll also make their SXSW debut next week at a few showcases. Listen to four tracks off Scorpio below including my two most favorite songs, “Mujeres Bellas Y Fuertes” and “Mas O Menos Bien.”

Alerta Antifascista: The Anarcho-Punk Sounds of Sin Dios

Sin Dios was a hardcore-punk band from Madrid, Spain that existed from 1988 – 2006. The group released eight original lp’s plus a handful of ep’s during those years that outlined their anti-fascist, anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist anarchist beliefs.

The band wore its politics on its sleeve much the same way Morrissey wears his emotions as a badge of honor. The album titles say it all: Sin Dios…Ni Amo (No God or Masters), Ruido Anticapitalista (Anticapitalist Noise), Alerta Antifascista (Be Alert Antifascist), Guerra A La Guerra (Wage War On War), Solidaridad (Solidarity), Ingobernables (Ungovernable), Odio Al Imperio (Hatred Against the Empire), and Recortes De Libertad (Snippets of Liberty). The albums were packaged with booklets filled with commentary that explained the topics and themes behind the songs.

They followed the autogestion/worker self-management model were no one member held authority over the group and decisions were made and agreed upon democratically. As such, they operated without the aid of managers or agents. They self-produced and distributed all their works through their own label, Difusión Libertaria La Idea, or with the assistance of other independent anti-commercial labels such as PHC and Queimata. The band sold their albums at popular, rather than competitive, prices.

Sin Dios maintained dedicated groups of fans in Spain, Europe and Latin America despite its underground status (I’m talking pre-internet days). They also worked with a number of anarchist groups in other countries, most notably Mexico’s Juventud Antiautoritaria Revolucionaria (Revolutionary Antiauthoritarian Youth), who assisted the band in its tour of Mexico in 1999 as well as helped publish/distribute its albums in Mexico, and Brazil’s União Libertária da Baixada Santista – U.L.B.S. (Libertarian Union of Baixada Santista – libertarian in the original meaning of the word, anarchist liberty, not the modern Ron Paul/Mises redefinition), who the band supported via a benefit album.

No reason was given for the split in 2006 but the members announced they would continue their political activities via other means. It’s believed two of the members were, and possibly still are, also members of the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (National Confederation of Workers).

The group’s library is also available as a free download/stream on its website. Click on an album then right-click a song title and select “save link as.”

Henry Rollins turns 50: A Brief Guide to Kicking Ass at Everything in Life

Henry Rollins has hit the point in every artist’s/icon’s career where his name becomes an adjective. His contributions to music, politics and entertainment are many and could fill up a multi-volume book. Considering this vast and intimidating mountain of work, I present below a (very) brief summary of his life for those who are just now getting acquainted and want to know what all the fuss is about.

Henry Rollins. Photo by Shawn Mortensen

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