Discharge

Why?

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This deluxe reissue from Sanctuary Records Group compiles Discharge's 1981 10," "Why," with the initial EPs that established the Stoke on Tent-based shock unit: "Decontrol," "Fight Back," and "Realities of War." Discharge emerged in 1980 and 1981 -- after the Sex Pistols had fizzled and the Clash's popularity had exploded. While the media proclaimed the death of the scene, Terry "Tezz" Roberts (drums), Tony "Bones" Roberts (guitar), Roy "Rainy" Wainwright (bass), and vocalist Cal lurched out of the gate with "Realities of War." And like any great grass roots effort, the band began to make considerable noise without the support of a distribution network or widespread media attention. Their one- and two-minute screeds ("Fight Back," "Religion Instigates," "Maimed and Slaughtered," etc.) seemed taped together from existing shreds -- harsh screams, snatches of messy guitar, and one-dimensional, lockstep drumming -- but were the nourishment that sustained the vital U.K. punk scene beyond the implosion of its first wave. There's no posing here, no spectacle. Rather, "Why" and its accompanying material hum with desperation and attitude. The Roberts brothers and their mates certainly had something to prove, as vicious lyrical tirades against war mongering and repressive social politics can attest (a lyric sheet is included in the reissue). But while their agenda was admirable, it's the snapping, popping, hair dryer-in-the-bathwater quality of Discharge's music that resonates almost two decades on. Musicians will write protest songs forever. But the immediacy of this torn and stained punk rock snapshot is hard to replicate. [Captain Oi reissued the album with bonus tracks and videos in 2007.]

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 1:38 SpotifyAmazon
2 1:15 SpotifyAmazon
3 1:55 SpotifyAmazon
4 1:09 SpotifyAmazon
5 1:06 SpotifyAmazon
6 1:14 SpotifyAmazon
7 1:29 SpotifyAmazon
8 1:30 SpotifyAmazon
9 1:22 SpotifyAmazon
10 1:48 SpotifyAmazon
11 1:09 Amazon
12 1:11 Amazon
13 1:15 Amazon
14 1:14 Amazon
15 1:16 Amazon
16 1:16 Amazon
17 1:18 Amazon
18 1:16 SpotifyAmazon
19 1:37 Amazon
20 2:34 Amazon
21 1:33 Amazon
22 1:32 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick