I am always down for some ragging, political, leftist hardcore punk. The angrier, and farther to the left, the better. In fact, it seems, that with the overall shit-show of this fucked-up planet the last two-plus years, at a minimum, that we would be overflowing with anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist, anti-republican, anti-tory, hardcore punk screeds, but for whatever reason, while there’s been a ton of killer music released the last year and a half, we haven’t seen as much angry leftist punk as one might’ve thought. Well, that changes here with Scotland’s Freedom Fist, who loudly and proudly state their disgust with the current state of world politics, while also zeroing in, specifically, on Scottish/UK politics.
Now, as an American, I’m not even going to pretend that I know and understand all the nuances of UK politics, specifically the issues between England and Scotland, but I’m well-read enough to know the Cliff Notes version, and Freedom Fist are most certainly angry as fuck at the stuffy, greedy, corporate politicians at Westminster, and the right-wing politics the Tories peddle, to say nothing of their disdain for the crown.
And certainly, the UK has a long and proud history of political punk bands, from Belfast’s Stiff Little Fingers, to Discharge, The Exploited, Crass, and Doom, to name but a handful, legendary, political, UK punk bands, whose influence continues to spread, decades later.
To the record itself, first of all, the song titles on Freedom Fist are amazing and leave little doubt as to Freedom Fist’s intentions and political leanings. Titles like We Still Hate Thatcher, We’ll stop calling you cunts when you stop voting for them, Not Mah Queen, and Shut It, You Unionist Cuck leave zero confusion on how the three men in Freedom Fist feel. I mean, if you knew nothing about what these guys sound like, or where they’re from, these song titles will make that emphatically clear.
To the sonics themselves, Freedom Fist pro-offer a raging, charging, angry, heavy, d-beat-pummeling take on hardcore, full of energy and vicious tone. Witness Scotland The Slave, which is a ripping and ferocious hardcore song as I’ve heard all year. We Still Hate Thatcher is a brutal, violent raging attack, that opens with a quote from the woman herself, and features other snippets of anti-Thatcher sentiment. The aptly titled I Love Violence, which seems to be an ode to Glasgow’s leftist gangs, features all sorts of chugging riffage, and blasting d-beat mania.
Self Fellation Nation has some excellent drumming, aggressive vocals and riffs, but as Freedom Fist bellow ‘cunts, cunts, cunts’ over and over at the end, well, that’s the icing on the proverbial cake. Even better is the scathing Union Rag as Freedom Fistscream‘tories, tories, tories, fuck you’, leaving absolutely no doubt where Freedom Fist stand.
Freedom Fist is a well-executed, well-performed, aggressive, vicious, angry, slab of political UK hardcore punk…
One of my favorites is INDYREF2, evidently a reference to a referendum proposed by the Scottish government that’s apparently been ongoing since 2014, that nonetheless features one of the best riffs on the record, the type of riff that instantly makes you want to fuck shit up, as well as some killer, charging, d-beat pummeling, and is that a guitar lead I hear?
Other favorites include Not Mah Queen with its furious charge, and chugging breakdown, Shut It You Unionist Cuck is a nasty, violent blast-beat screed, Pagger That Cunt with its old-school punk drumbeat, and riff, to say nothing of that fucking amazing title, and almost S.O.D-style bridge, and shout-along gang vocals. Sean Connery’s Drunk Brother gets a shout for another amazing title as well as its ruthless charge, and 14 Million Cunts leaves no doubt what the song is about, and just might be the most vicious, blast-beat rager on the album.
Freedom Fist is a ferocious, pummeling affair from the second the listener presses ‘play’ as I found out when The Sleeping Shaman premiered the record back in September, thus quipping my curiosity on Freedom Fist enough to want to dig in and review the record. I’m not going to pretend like I know who all the people are that were sampled in between songs, but the soundbites are effective in conveying Freedom Fist’s politics and act as icing on the cake in a way.
I will say, I tried hard to find the band members full names, and who plays what, but the best I could do, with multiple searches, was Jamie, Danny and Matt. Well, Jamie, Danny and Matt all display their abilities on their respective instruments, as the guitar riffs are aggressive, the tone is fantastic, and the rhythm section, particularly whichever one the drummer is, made quite the impact.
Freedom Fist is a well-executed, well-performed, aggressive, vicious, angry, slab of political UK hardcore punk, that’s of note for the conviction on display, as well as the vicious musicianship, and those song titles serve as the cherry on top.
Scribed by: Martin Williams