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Abhinanda – rumble

Posted on: November 13, 2008

I wish I would find as much time as hardcore for nerds for my blog, but wait wait wait…. I can explain. University, my boring and fucked up job and my private life in general took just a lot of time in the last weeks, it was a nerv racking period, but as a regular visitor you know that urbanology always took some short vacations from blogging and always came back with some fine stuff. Well, here we go again!

I had a little debate with hardcore for nerds about hardcore/post-hardcore records in the last decade, my opinion is that the real groundbreaking records are at least 10 years or older and since that records almost nothing interesting happened. No doubt, a lot of good records were published, but nothing which let you listen to it with wide opened mouth, because the music is so astonishing impressive (as a hardcore record of course, not music in general). For my personal taste and view, “the shape of punk to come” from Refused, released in 1998, was the last groundbreaking hardcore record, pushing evolutions in the music from the last years to a climax and creating a new sound. Afterwards he presented this fantastic record on his blog and you all should check it out (also his fine mixtape, which is a result of our debate), it is a record I also wanted to present since a long time here.  But another record came to my mind instead, Abhinanda´s “rumble”, also released in 1998 and from the same city in Sweden: Umeå.

In the 1990s this small town – which daily life is dominated by its two Universities, in the very north of Sweden and only 400km south of the arctic circle – was a kind of Mecca for the european hardcore scene. In the city of birches a vital scene with uncountable bands evolved , a lot of concerts from national and international bands took place, as well as independent record labels, who supported the local scene. The interest for this music, which challenged established norms and was treated as political was enormous (with a strong focus on straight edge and veganism) and soon a lot of people outside Scandinavia also took notice of Umeå hardcore. Bands like Beyond Hate, Doughnuts, Drift Apart, Final Exit, Saidiwas, Separation, Step Forward and of course Refused, to name just a very few, made Umeå the european hardcore capital. Today still a vital scene exist in the town at the Bothnian Sea, The (International) Noise Conspiracy or The Lost Patrol Band are keeping Umeå worldwide on the map. One characteristic of the local scene was always, that a lot of musicians played in several bands and the bands interacted a lot. In both last named groups you can find persons, who played in various other bands before. In the past Refused and Abhinanda even switched members.

One leading band of Umeå hardcore was Abhinanda, who sadly stood in the shadows of the more famous Refused and often described as their little brothers. But their relationshis is better described as non monozygotic twins. The breakthrough for both bands took place after Refused and Abhinanda toured Scandinavia together in the winter of 1993. Afterwards Abhinanda released their debut full length “senseless“, considered a hardcore classic by many until today and also the record that turned the legendary Umeå-hardcore label “Desperate Fight” to a “real” label . The record is so intensive, so touching and keeps the perfect balance between anger and desperation. A song like “needle” or “serenade” casts a spell over me until today, even after all these years. 1995 a tour throughout Europe together with US-hardcore band “108” (yes, it was the time of the Hare Krishna hype in the hardcore scene, that religious bullshit raised the head and even when Abhinanda never were a Krishna-core band, the Krishna-influenced band name speaks volumes about the widespread influence of Hare Krishna ideas in the hardcore-straight edge scene. Luckily the shit was gone as fast as it had came) followed and Abhinanda took Europe by storm. A EP were released to fan the flames, the drummer Jonas left to do “Separation” and in 1996, almost at the same time as Refused released their “songs to fan the flames of discontent” album, Abhinanda published their same titled second full length record. Both records again had enormous impact on the european hardcore scene. Everybody could hear that both bands had made great steps forward and pushed hardcore towards its own boundaries.

But at the moment of the release these boundaries weren´t that visible, it took some more releases from some bands of that, in my opinion golden age of new school hardcore bands. Refused´s and Abhinanda´s releases soon became milestones, with a whole scene addicted to them. I was one of that people, a young boy in his adolescence who was into hardcore and who found the perfect musical expressions of his feelings about the society he was forced to grow up in. In the retrospective this period with its releases, its shows and the lyrics, the whole scene seems like the climax of the new school hardcore in Europe, soon after that the music changed and hardcore-music got more into metal and tough guy shit, while the scene that hold up the ideals of punk and hardcore (sometimes in a very dogmatic way) branched off the limited possibilities of the music. The last records from Abhinanda and Refused are a good symbol of it. Both bands told in many interviews, that after their releases from 1996 they fell into a black hole and soon started to search for new way, in music and expression in general. Refused undoubtly went to the highest step with “the shape of punkt to come“, the epitaph and throne of that sound in one. A few weeks after the release, and I hope I remember it the right way, also after Refused splitted up, Abhinanda released “rumble“. A superb record, still with a hardcore basis, but with typical Swedish garage rock’n’roll influences and thirst for experimentation. The songs are rocking like hell, not as arty as Refused, more directly, but not losing the hardcore spirit, the rage, the desperation and the hope. Maybe it can be called the hardcore version of Turbonegro and The Hives, both conquering the world in the same year, 1998.  Soon Abhinanda also did split up. Most of the members from both bands are playing in several bands until today, research it four yourself, you will find some very interesting music that came after the climax of new school hardcore.

A anecdote at the end: When The (International) Noise Conspiracy toured Europe for the first time in 1999 a friend called me: “Today the new band from the Refused singer plays a gig, do you come with us?” Of course I did, it was a show in front of 40 people, most never heard them before and only came, because it was the new band from Denis Lyxen, but it was a good concert. The only had one release with them on tour and also just one release at all, a 7inch on a Hong Kong based label. Before they came to Europe, they only played some shows in Sweden and made an illegal tour through China. For some reasons I didn´t buy the 7inch, what a mistake, I was a fool. A few months later the band was the new hype, the full length a megaselling record. I should have bought 5 copies and sell 4 of this very rare one to some kids on ebay a year later or so, damn.

Well, enjoy the little brothers.

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3 Responses to "Abhinanda – rumble"

I’d argue Converge’s 2001 classic Jane Doe influenced just as many bands. Certainly not a straight up “hardcore” album, but then again…neither was “Shape…”

And much like the bands that came post-Shape…the bands that have risen post-Jane have been far too many imitators and not enough people interested in moving the needle further. But all that said…I think Jane Doe is a definite “moment” in hardcore.

[…] special album by a special band who changed the music scene like Refused, At the Drive-In and similar bands, wether you understand it or not is totally up to […]

[…] example to the instrumental beauty of Pelican or the epic and dark stories from Cult of Luna (from Umeå). Of course there were bands like Neurosis or Tool […]

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always open minded! feel free to leave a comment if you like or dislike the music, the review or just this blog in general. make the monologue a dialogue! (and receiving some responses keeps me motivated)

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