Various - Sverigemangel Punk and Hardcore Compilation (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Sverigemangel Punk and Hardcore Compilation (2008)

Anarkopunx / Container Rock

Niche compilations are always a little bit hit-or-miss, and even more so when they're in a foreign language and comprised of never-before-heard bands. And while it's not an entirely dubious identity in and of itself, the subtitle of Sweden's Sverigemangel Punk & Hardcore Compilation effectively captures the gist here: "Brutal Musik För En Brutal Värld."

A joint venture between Anarkopunx Records and Container Rock Produktion, Sverigemangel piles together 39 tracks from almost 20 acts, none of whom are named Millencolin or Refused. And while Sweden's world-renowned crust scene has spawned the likes of Wolfbrigade and Disfear, no such luminaries are present on this disc. Instead, there are acts like Ett Sista Andetag, 365 Dagar Av Synd, and Radioskugga. Some devout native or otherwise informed enthusiasts might recognize names like Kurt Olvars Rebeller and Rövsvett, but most probably won't. The deceptively familiar Fromtheashes unconsciously stands out from the rest, but it's more due to the misassociation with From Ashes Rise (R.I.P.) than the grindy variety they lay down here.

The main challenge for Anarkopunx and company is that for whatever reason, anarcho-punk has been virtually absorbed by crust and D-beat in the last decade and a half. Thus, the tracks on Sverigemangel are rendered practically indistinguishable to the Stateside listener unfamiliar with the various minor idiosyncrasies that separate what would otherwise be one unremitting noisy glob of crust.

About half the bands make their contributions in Swedish and half in English, while acts like Krissituation play both "Lät det aldrig hända igen" and "This Is the Way." Not Enough Hate opens a can of blastbeats on "Murder, Death, Kill," and serves it on a platter of crusty vocals, while Hotbild's "Forintad" feels almost industrial in its timbre. Von Bööm supplies five of the most consistent tracks on the record, from "Hej Hej Hej" to the unadorned blaster "Your Salvation."

The only thing really lacking in Sverigemangel is variety, and it probably wasn't what they were going for anyway. So it's a bit of a catch-22 that while you do have an esoteric assemblage of Swedish anarcho-crust to satisfy any devotee to the tradition, it's unfortunately what makes this compilation of marginal interest to the rest of the populace.