Guyana Punch Line - Direkt AKtion (Cover Artwork)

Guyana Punch Line

Direkt AKtion (2003)


-There is really no way to explain this release besides the phrase "what the fuck?!" This is like nothing you've ever heard before [unless you've heard GPL in the past]. Listening to G-Punchy's third LP is like getting beaten about the head with a two-by-four. At first listen, it's less music than it is disorganized chaos with unlistenable shrieking vocals and it's best quality is the fact that it clocks in at less than twenty minutes. However, the more you listen to this, the easier it is to pick out the underlying melodies and notice how tight the band is. It took me three or four listens to really "get" this record. Once you get it, you will never be able to put it down.

Disjointed, spastic and energetic hardcore with the occasional dancy bit thrown in is largely the formula for this release. However, the band deviates from this blueprint subtly and frequently, so that things don't get stale or repetitive. The overdone and tired quiet-loud concept is used here, but both ends are so extreme that it stays fresh and very unique. It's really evident that everyone in this band is an amazing musician with incredible amounts of creativity. What my favorite song on this album is changes from week to week, a sign of its great replay value. At first the shout-along "No Contest" drew me in, then I fell in love with the more structured "Security [A Step In The Reich Direction", now my favorite cut is "Direkt Aktionists Daily Affirmation."

When it comes to lyricism, G-Punchy kick the collective ass of their hardcore contemporaries. These lyrics are anything but generic, but you'll be very hard-pressed to understand them without a lyric sheet. Once you do pick up the lyric sheet, you'll realize the sheer brilliance of lines like "The revolution will be televised/but the ratings will be poor at best/the revolution will be cancelled/due to lack of consumer interest." The lyrics are never generic and often witty and humorous. Lines like "Boost the treble for the smashist rebels/take this posture to the next level/reality is elitist" are fresh, intelligent and [most importantly] ass kicking.

I think the thing that puts Direkt Aktion notably above GPL's previous efforts is that they took the elements that made them a good band and perfected them, thus becoming an amazing band. Everything is so tight for something that seems so disorganized and discordant on the surface. Chris' screaming had improved, and the songwriting and structure seems to be better. It seems like G-Punchy have allowed other influences to slip in without diluting their brand of mayhem at all. The overall sound is darker, and the lyrics more overtly political. The production is spot on; this album packs a fucking punch, but you can hear everything that's going on with crystal clarity.

This album can be confusing and hard to categorize, but then again it would be a crime to affix any label to these guys. I really have no clue how to even describe most of the music on here, and it shows in the substandard review above. Some may define this as "emo violence" or "power violence." I have no clue what those phrases mean [although singer Chris Bickel did coin the former term], so let me put it simply; this album will kick your ass and you will love it. A record this amazing and genre redefining does not come along very often. I am reluctant to give anything a 10 out of 10, but GPL have really outdone themselves [not to mention every other band that released a new record in 2003] and created an original, engaging masterpiece. Do yourself a favor and go get this goddamn album. If you have an open mind, it could change the way you look at music.