Apparatus - Hardcore Religion

I won't lie, I'm not that up on my Malaysian hardcore. I would hazard a guess that you, dear reader, are in a similar position. It came as quite a nice change of pace then, when I received the pristine vinyl version of this LP by Malaysian band Apparatus in the post. It is a bold move to invest in this kind of thing, and kudos to French label Shogun Records for taking the time effort and huge risk in investing in producing vinyl of music from Kuala Lumpar. What is even more impressive about this is that I have been given a repress copy for review. Who said punk was dead?

The packaging and music as a whole just screams crust. D-beat crust. Old-school crusty hardcore. It was actually recorded back in 2009, although it could have been released at any point from about February 1983 to now. And it definitely does possess a timeless quality. The album itself is not about individual songs, it's about a body of work that fits a mood. When you're in the mood for something filthy, something retro sounding, yet somehow idiosyncratic then this is the kind of thing you'd be after. Tracks like Another Night Of Holocaust and the opener, my particular favourite, Dead Ratts come and go with more subtlety than you would expect from songs with such titles - the musicianship is crafted simplicity, the production is warm and inspiring. The addition of a Disarm cover for good measure goes a long way in explaining where this lot are coming from.

Information on the band online is patchy at best - they seem to have a myspace - and this kind of clandestine, faceless punk rock is refreshing in an age of over familiarity. No press release, just vinyl. Go have a listen to Apparatus if you can find their work. Old-school crust should live this way. It feels just a little bit like reliving lost youth.