Portugese hardcore—now there’s something I never thought I’d be reviewing here on Punknews. In fact, I have to admit to being totally ignorant to what the punk music scene is like in Portugal, but apparently Pointing Finger were one of the leading lights spreading their word far and wide across Europe.
I’m not a fan of tough-guy hardcore or the generic metallic hardcore shit that really is unable to distinguish itself from so many other bands pushing that kind of stuff, so it was with much trepidation that I stuck this CD in my player given the cover, insert, etc., which seemed to give some indication of a "hardcore" background. To my surprise this 22-track collection (lifted from four 7” releases or so it seems from the insert) does not contain the attributes I associate with the less interesting bands from the genre.
This is from the more positive side of hardcore (although this genre is not devoid of the kind of machismo-laden music that is still doing the rounds today), which has a more easily digestible sound/feel to it. Yes, you do get occasional gang vocals; yes, you do get some chugga-chugga guitar; but it is all done with an element of individuality that keeps it from sounding stale. Given it’s not the sort of music I listen to much, I could be wrong and there could be any number of groups playing the same sort of stuff, but for me, Pointing Finger are well worth listening to: The songs are short, aggressive, impassioned and most of all, they’re pretty good.
The lyrics are sung in English and deal with the typical kind of subject matter that one would expect from a hardcore band, but they also address the horrors that men inflict upon women, so they have a wider range of material than some contemporaries.
I’m not going to compare these guys to other bands as I’m not best qualified to do that, but I do hear bits that get me thinking of Gang Green at times, although the overall outcome is nothing like that former great band. This release contains a lot of energy, which helps deliver a particularly good set of songs, including a Gorilla Biscuits cover (“High Hopes”).
Despite not being able to tell which tracks come from which 7”, there are subtle differences in production that allows the listener to split some of the songs into subsets. However, even with these relatively minor changes, the collection flows nicely from start to finish.
Pointing Finger’s album Milestone is also well worth checking out too if the above piques your curiosity about the band.