Friday, April 19, 2024 
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Editor's note: We have activated the Neumu 44.1 kHz Archive. Use the link at the bottom of this list to access hundreds of Neumu reviews.

+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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Born Against
Patriotic Battle Hymns
Kill Rock Stars

I don't talk politics much. I'm not the sort to subscribe to one side or the other. I think about both sides, I talk about both sides — I just never choose one. I've always felt that when you choose a side you're claiming to know everything about the other. Most take their stance without the knowledge to back it up. And many pick their side based on the circle, party or scene they wanna run with. They choose a side because belonging feels good, because being radical feels good, while the issues they're supposed to be behind are lost.

I love trying to tackle every possible angle to an issue. And I just love playing devil's advocate. To me, choosing a side is giving up and giving in — subscribing to a party is like willfully incarcerating yourself. Politics are always changing — shouldn't our views on them change too?

Which brings me to the now defunct Born Against, whom I am not criticizing here for having been an overtly political — and much loved — hardcore band. The thing I've realized is that, while I choose not to be a radical or a preacher, we need this sort of activism, community, and even radicalism in our world. They may be extremists and may not truly mean each word that falls from their mouths — they may protest for the sake of protesting — but it is simply their loud, emotionally charged presence this world requires. Without it, we'd all look like walking zombies, acquiescent to the powers that be. We need this sort of screaming color in our world — we will always need this, to be reminded the human spirit prevails and continues to genuinely care.

During their four-year existence ('89 to '93), Born Against released a debut album, Nine Patriotic Battle Hymns for Children, in 1991 and a 10-inch, Battle Hymns of the Race War, in 1993, along with a number of singles and 7-inches. Now their recordings have been reissued on two CDs. The first of these pairs the album and the 10-inch onto one 18-track CD, Patriotic Battle Hymns. A second reissue, The Rebel Sound of Shit & Failure, compiles 24 songs drawn from the New York City band's underground career, including rare compilation, 7-inch and 8-inch tracks.

I never was involved in any sort of hardcore scene. I've never been hardcore, extreme or radical about, well, anything. I'm more the type to question rather than exhort — I don't particularly enjoy waving flags or banners, but I like watching them fly and rumple in the wind. So, take it from me, I'm no expert on hardcore, but I really enjoy listening to Born Against's savage, minimal and gritty punk instrumentation and in-your-face, make-you-think lyricism.

The hardcore scene was (is?) quite an extensive one. And like any, it involved artists and musicians, good and bad — some that meant it and some that just didn't. The sincerity and emotion in Born Against's music feels real and their presence feels strong, which is why they're one of the most celebrated acts in hardcore.

If you dig hardcore — member or not, political or not, radical or not — you'll be glad to pick up either of these reissues for the sheer amount of non-stop power and ferociousness. And the sort of intense songs that makes you think, makes you question and, in the end, makes you realize that's what we're all here for anyway, right?

by Jenny Tatone

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