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Born Against - Nine Patriotic Hymns For Children / Battle Hymns Of The Race War [reissue] (Cover Artwork)

Born Against

Born Against: Nine Patriotic Hymns For Children / Battle Hymns Of The Race War [reissue]Nine Patriotic Hymns For Children / Battle Hymns Of The Race War [reissue] (1991)
Kill Rock Stars

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: KenjaminKenjamin
(others by this writer | submit your own)

One reason history is studied and analyzed is to prevent the repetition of mistakes. Born Against were the product of eight years of boot-to-mouth Reaganomics and a dangerously regressive conservative agenda in the judicial system. With the election of Vice President Bush Sr. and the looming Gulf Wa.


One reason history is studied and analyzed is to prevent the repetition of mistakes. Born Against were the product of eight years of boot-to-mouth Reaganomics and a dangerously regressive conservative agenda in the judicial system. With the election of Vice President Bush Sr. and the looming Gulf War along with the explosion of punk into the mainstream with Nirvana meant punks had plenty to be pissed off about. History is repeating itself and depending on your sense of humor, Born Against is the luckiest band in the world. They should have become a relic and a mere timemarker for the feelings of the working class and youth at the time, but instead they've become one of the most relevant bands again today and in my opinion even more so than in the early nineties.

This Kill Rock Star reissue is the combination of the Veriform-released Nine Patriotic Hymns For Children and the 10 inch-only Battle Hymns Of The Race War. These 18 songs are some of the heaviest songs I've ever heard and are a creation of genuine anger; nothing is forced here. It's honestly refreshing in the cesspool of metalcore and hardcore bands cashing in today who have no real hardcore influences or knowledge of punk. The problems sung about still exist, and for the most part have gotten worse, and lyricist/vocalist Sam McPheeters holds nothing back. The lyrics are progressive as expected, but the real charm of McPheeters' writing comes in his versatility. His intelligence is prominent and he takes many roles and forms and uses satire and sarcasm to effectively get his point across. In "Test Pattern" he plays the role of a TV drone barely able to contain his excitement as he snarls in a lightening fast manner:

Not on 'til ten but it's gonna be good, two niggers gonna beat each other raw. The New Season's just starting and we're sure you'll agree it's the best one yet!
Somehow with globalization and the spread of disposable culture through new mediums such as the Internet, songs like "Mount The Pavement" ridiculing "pre-fab culture" are all too poignant. Other topics covered include the spreading of racial divisions through conservative media (with McPheeters calling out Rush Limbaugh!), pro-choice, free speech, capital punishment, with the band even penning their own "Holiday In Cambodia" with "Poland;" eh, kinda… Anyways, the issues are fucking relevant nonetheless, written by a band that broke up ten years ago.

Punks sickened by the overly glossy and poppy production of bands vying for spots on commercial radio will be pleased to hear the production here is very raw and mostly guitar-driven, almost to the point of grating my ears. Like any good band, Adam Nathanson and Sam McPheeters are a formidable pair of guitarist-vocalist, up there with the best in history. The guitar playing seems to be a stepping stone between the muscled intensity of Greg Ginn and the mathy and complex spazz-outs of Frodus's Shelby Cinca. They weren't the most proficient musicians by any means, but there are enough key and rhythm changes and even some math to keep your attention for a seemingly short 41 minutes. The songs range from blistering fast, three-chord rockers to more varied, structured, slow headbangers, all equally intense and angry. Also, as a fair warning, there aren't any catchy choruses or too many memorable melodies. Each to his own. In the booklet, you also get some bizarre McPheeters artwork. He shows how really strange he is in the awesome bonus song at the end, which had me cracking up. This is also essential for any fan of Refused to see that Born Against were "fucking dead" long before the Swedish lads. To contradict the strong anti-capitalist stance of the band, I say, "buy buy buy!"

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
bornagainstcrackhead (October 12, 2006)

born against is simply one of the greatest bands ever formed. if you dont own this your missing out!!

FuckYouOiOiOi (April 6, 2006)

i own battle hymn for the race war on a 12"

feeeding5000 (November 18, 2005)

This is one of my favorites. The production pissed me off a little, I had to turn up the volume really high to hear it well. Punk should be "Loud-At-Low-Volume". McPheeters's most recent project, the Wrangler Brutes is also amazingly good. If you like this, check out Articles of Faith.

Anonymous (September 18, 2005)

"Born Against or go see NOFX/Lagwagon/2.5 Children/Horace Pinker. I went to see NOFX and I still don't regret it at all."

You horrible human being.

Anonymous (September 15, 2005)

I remember in 93 in Philly I had a tough choice. Go see Born Against or go see NOFX/Lagwagon/2.5 Children/Horace Pinker. I went to see NOFX and I still don't regret it at all.

Anonymous (September 14, 2005)

Members of Born Against was in a band called Moss Icon, who is considered to be "emo" pioneers or whatever. Check out sammcpheeters.com

Anonymous (September 13, 2005)

The vinyl is still in print on Prank Records.

Anonymous (September 13, 2005)

wasn't this guy in an old emo band?...cant remember which one...
serious question not being an asshole

GreenVandal (September 13, 2005)

I have this. Arent I cool?

stevejonestherealbones (September 13, 2005)

hey brandon, learn to read. and what kind of kock uses the word DESTROY? you got one of them erectile dysfunctions?

uh...what kind of cock spells the word cock as "kock" and thinks the word "destroy" is odd?

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

BrandonSideleau (September 13, 2005)

Dude....lighten up.....it's only the internet.

Anonymous (September 12, 2005)

hey brandon, learn to read. and what kind of kock uses the word DESTROY? you got one of them erectile dysfunctions?

Infrarecon (September 12, 2005)

I had heard of these guys before but never got anything by them. I'll definately check this out though.

BrandonSideleau (September 12, 2005)

Born Against DESTROYS Sick Of It All. I mean, come on, just listen to the damn record......their intensity eclipses SOIA. They aren't a bad band or anything, but they don't hold a candle to Born Against.

Toby_at_Fat (September 12, 2005)

I'm not taking anyone's side by saying nothing was accomplished or observing that the moderator wasn't being fair. I like SOIA, but I actually like Born Against more.

kenjamin (September 12, 2005)

haha yea i thought it was a conflict of interest as well. The part of about getting matching Sick Of it All football jackets from the record label had me cracking up. I'm just glad I wasn't around in the 80s listening to hardcore. I think i would have gotten my ass kicked on numerous occasions.

rkl (September 12, 2005)

considering soia put out 3 albums on fat, and i dont know the moderator, i say.. troll go home.

Anonymous (September 12, 2005)

small wonder that a guy named RKL is siding with the moderator. huh?

rkl (September 12, 2005)

small wonder the dude at fat is siding with sick of it all...

Toby_at_Fat (September 12, 2005)

Jeez, not a whole lot was accomplished in that debate. The moderator/interviewer clearly is siding with Born Against because she cuts off SOIA every time they try to defend themselves or respond to questions. Right when they have something to say she's all "Let's move on" or "This is getting off subject".

Anonymous (September 12, 2005)

and though born against comes off as reall self-righteous and holier than though, SOIA pulls some stupid tough guy bullshit too.

Anonymous (September 12, 2005)

you can listen at http://www.bystanderfanzine.com/audio.php

Toby_at_Fat (September 12, 2005)

Awesome band. I wanna hear this debate between SOIA, anyone got it?

Kenjamin (September 12, 2005)

hey dazed, that's when i saw them too, when sam had a broken foot. He stood on a chair and finger pointed with a cane! It was a halloween show and some dude was crowd surfing with an 80s Thrasher skate deck in full Daggers! costume. It was the best hardcore moment of my young life.

dazed (September 12, 2005)

When I saw the Wrangler Brutes Sam was hobbling around like a maniac with a cane. The sound was bad so his vocals were all but unintelligible but he ran around and did vocal impressions in just about everyone in the place's faces.

It was amazing!

soulbleed (September 11, 2005)

this record deserves 5 stars.

Anonymous (September 11, 2005)

i like this record a lot, though i do have some issues with the band. if you listen to their infamous radio debate with sick of it all over SOIA's decision to change the title of the song "bullshit justice" to "justice" in order to get it in to chain stores, born against ends up sounding like a bunch of holier-than-thouh, self righteous, spoiled (they didn't have to worry about money since sam had a huge inheritance) brats who assume everyone else has to subscribe to the same ideals as them. it kind of brought them down a notch in my book.

lushj (September 11, 2005)

One of the best bands of the 90s, hands down. I agree with whoever suggested people get these seperately. The 9 Patriotic Hymns is a full record, pure gold from start to finish. It's designed to be an LP, not 1/2 of a cd. All of their 7" tracks and this first record are insane. Is there a collection of the singles yet? There oughta be...

... p.s.- the Wrangler Brutes broke up? Is this true? They renewed my faith in McPheeters!

Kenjamin (September 11, 2005)

this is pretty great that it got published on 9/11.

This review is pretty long and boring but if you've never heard of born against, i hope you get the idea from all these positive comments that you should check this out.

Anonymous (September 11, 2005)

I saw Wrangler Brutes live in Cleveland right after their debut record (er, cassette) came out, and it was life-affirming: Sam ran onstage dressed as Patrick Henry, singing and roaring and scowling like Howlin' Wolf on psychotropics, and the entire set was a hair over 13 minutes long, and absolutely perfect because of it. Economy is a lost art. Thanks to PN for shining a light on these old records -- I think Sam's liner notes to the reissues help make sense of the constant internal turmoil that drove Born Against (to eventually implode), even though they're so self-effacing it seems he'd rather people didn't know these records existed. But whatever: Born Against was my generation's Black Flag, and there's not been a band like them since. Unless you count Wrangler Brutes or Men's Recover Project, I mean -- but that's cheating.

Anonymous (September 11, 2005)

Hello shit. We're Born Against, so suck my fucking lizard.

Anonymous (September 11, 2005)

i always wondered why there was no Born Against reviewed here. i think you should get these albums on vinyl format, because they stand better seperately, and the artists original intentions are conveyed better.

notfeelingcreative (September 11, 2005)

Wow, this is a great record, yeah I think I'll go listen to it.

dazed (September 11, 2005)

Great band, great albums.

gladimnotemo (September 11, 2005)

I need this. Wrangler Brutes as well; they have vinyl available on their site - 180-gram, too.

Anonymous (September 11, 2005)

funny how i just bought this cd on friday.

-JL

LMChc (September 11, 2005)

such a good record

xAllOutAdamx (September 11, 2005)

"Did anyone get to see Wrangler Brutes before they get broke up? shit was intense"

I saw them without even kowing who they were. I was watching thema nd thinking "who the fuck this old dude freaking out and rambling about old jewish women?"

Kenjamin (September 11, 2005)

Sam McPheeters is a fucking nut job. I don't even know what to think about that man, other then his writing is pretty humorous. Apparently he dresses up as various fore-fathers because he likes wearing powdered wigs.

Did anyone get to see Wrangler Brutes before they get broke up? shit was intense.

rkl (September 11, 2005)

one of the best albums ever. i hope this review gets more people into born against.

Anonymous (September 11, 2005)

the real charm of McPheeters’ writing comes in his versatility. His intelligence is prominent and he takes many roles and forms and uses satire and sarcasm to effectively get his point across.

One of the reasons I rate Jello Biafra's lyrics and delivery so highly. Taking attitudes and arguments to ludicrous extremes is a great way to expose their flaws.

BrandonSideleau (September 11, 2005)

I love this fucking album, "Witness To A Rape", "Well Fed Fuck" & "Born Against" are brutal hardcore classics. One of the few post-Black Flag bands to really get the intensity level right.

Nick_V (September 11, 2005)

I'm loving this "older review" thing we've got going on.

More people should know about this band.

stevejonestherealbones (September 11, 2005)

they stole that flag from buddyhead!...er...

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

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