When ex This System Kills frontman Pig set up Drunken Marksman along with Southy on guitar, Weaver on bass and Loz on drums, who all previously plied their wares in Celtic punks The Guntys, on paper, it made for a very interesting collaboration indeed.
Would Pig suddenly be going all Flogging Molly on us I wonder? Well one’s things for sure from Classified Protest, through Rectify to TSK he’s always written about the social, political and environmental issues of the time and here with Drunken Marksmen, he’s bringing his rage bang up to date. That’s right I said, “rage” (as there’s none of the jiggy stuff here) and this band of musical marksmen really are his angriest sounding mob to date.
Recorded and mixed by the band at Kinkyfish Studio Abertillery, ‘Decline Of Mankind’ is the debut eight-track album from the guys and here I am holding a lovely coloured vinyl copy (which you too can own via the Bandcamp link at the bottom of this review).
Dropping the needle in the groove of side 1 ‘Proxy War’ and ‘Snapshots Of Britain’ both mix Motorhead/UK82 guitar riffage with Pig’s astute political observations hitting hard over catchy gang chant-a-long backing vocals. ‘Free Europe’ meanwhile whilst initially hinting at Southy’s Celtic guitar past suddenly zips off in a streetpunk direction that really is the business…ahem! Upping the hardcore stakes via the furious 2-minute blast that is ‘HypoCritic’ the band’s tight as hell rhythm section are tested like no other as side 1 is brought to a speedy climax.
Flipping ‘Decline Of Mankind’ over I have to admit I wasn’t really expecting what comes next with ‘Dance To The Apocalypse’ a throbbing slab of gothic punk that calls for “no more famine and no more wars” and sounds not unlike early Killing Joke albeit with Max Cavalera singing for them. Stunning stuff! The slightly more prescribed ‘Drunken Marksman’ is up next and this sprightly tune tells the tale of someone who has to be off their face just to get through the day, whilst the superb bass playing of Weaver makes a return to the intro of ‘Like A Disease’ a track once again returning to Pig’s Anarcho punk roots. ‘Decline Of Mankind’ comes to an end with ‘Default’ and this beast has more than just a hint of The Hip Priests when they fully let rip about it.
So, there we have it folks, ‘Decline Of Mankind’ is an album of 8 killer tunes recorded and released DIY punk rock stylee with the help of 4 independent record labels, pressed up on coloured vinyl and available to you for just £10 via the Bandcamp link below.
Author: Johnny Hayward