26th July 2016
Puntastic pork punkers Kleine Schweine were one of the highlights of Live at Leeds for me this year, and several of the tracks featured in that set appear on this, their latest EP. Being angry political polemicists, keeping things current is important, and I’m pretty sure ‘Our Ex-Prime Minister Stuck His Dick In The Mouth Of A Dead Pig’ had a different title prior to release.
No doubt The Sun and The Mail would rail against these guys of they’d heard of them, vehemently rejecting their ‘hard-left’, ‘socialist’ and ‘communist’ politics and sneering at their yobbery, but in a climate where opposing racism is sufficient to see one branded a Trotskyist, context matters more than ever before. Kleine Schweine are pissed-off working-class punks from Leeds / London, and their music is the music of discontent, of frustration, a mans of calling out injustice. It seems almost unfathomable that in Britain in 2016 I should be writing about the voice of the repressed. But then, our current government have worked hard to quiet the collective voice of dissent not by appeasing it, but simply closing it down, not least of all with the help of the media who have simply ignored most major protests. If they’re not reported, they didn’t happen. And if they didn’t happen, then everyone’s happy. History is being fixed right under our noses.
If there’s one positive to be pulled, desperately, from the wreckage of a culture that’s resembling the bleakness of the early 80s, then it’s a resurgence of music that reflects the rage and pessimism of the times. Punk and post-punk inspired music isn’t just a stylistic affectation: it means something again. ‘There’s bodies, here’ bodies in the water!’ Neil Hanson hollers urgently on ‘If We Close All The Borders Down You Can’t Go To Benidorm’, exposing the hypocrisy of the Brexit brigade. If there’s any doubt, the minute and a half of thrash and feedback that is ‘Referendofdays’ should clarify their position.
Porcine of the Times – the EP’s title operates on at least three levels – offers six frenetic, kinetic tracks ablaze with fist-pumping ire. It’s fast, a hell-for leather explosion of gritty guitars, and raw – the production is more about replicating the immediacy of the live performances and preserving the integrity of the songs than polishing them – and as such, it feels like proper, authentic punk. The majority of the songs clock in at under two minutes, and the snarling lyrics are primarily vitriolic rants against the Tories, against the rich and privileged, the selfish and the ignorant. It’s sad, politically, that we’re back in the late 70s, but not so bad that at least the musical landscape offers some solace. This is the authentic voice of the people the not-so-silent half of Britain who stand for equality and justice. Britain needs Kleine Schweine right now.