Umeå, situated in Norrland of Sweden, has a rich cultural history. So much so that – if you’re reading this – you probably either really love or really hate its most famous metal export, MESHUGGAH. But more than this…much more than this…is that if you’re of a certain age, and listened to punk/hardcore, the name “Umeå” was mentioned without irony alongside the scenes of New York, Cleveland, Detroit and LA.
That history flows deep within EXIL, though Stockholm is where the elements of this culture-shattering bomb came together to create Warning. Made up of members current and former of U.X. VILEHEADS, AXIS OF DESPAIR and DS-13, the pedigree is well-documented, but when the title track kicks in, all that shit goes out the window, and the snake of individuality strikes fast, and strikes rapid. Shades of WARZONE come to mind, early MDC, IMPATIENT YOUTH.
Blistering, there’s no d-beat had here, all speed and raging intensity, but at the same time sticking with you like a bad habit. G.B.H. is conjured in ‘Maniac’, and I get that same feeling I did in the late ‘90s when a friend from Sweden sent me 2 CD-Rs of Swedish punk/hardcore bands, incidentally featuring some of the above-mentioned acts. ‘The History Of Cleanliness / Idiot Face’ and ‘Dear Landlord’ rail against the Stockholm norms of today, one moment “all-inclusive”, the next gentrifying the less-than-middle-classes out of their own homes. I saw a bit of it, panhandlers outside the McDonald’s across the street from my hotel window in the City Centre when I was there in the late ‘00s, and I’m sure it doesn’t look more appealing now.
Could go song by song, but you’ve already got the idea, and if you don’t, EXIL is going to make damn sure you get one by the end of Warning’s just shy of a half-hour. No quarter may be given with their sound, but these four seem poised to give today’s power elite just enough rope.
Review By: Lord Randall
3.5 / 6