Given that Disrupt is one of my favourite bands, it was really a hard choice which release to present here: The cult classic 7’’ split with Destroy! (1991) or their most influential and probably most complete work ‘Unrest’ (1994)? Although, Unrest is their only full-length that actually kept Disrupt alive in punk history I chose to write something about their split album with Sauna as representative of that era and their most crustcore output.
Disrupt was one of the best hardcore punk bands of their era playing unrelentless ferocious crust/grindcore, or more aptly termed in this case discore (Dis-bands). I particularly like their style because there are no metallic influences just pure punk energy and ethos, unlike most of the ‘grind’ or ‘polished’ punk bands of today. Disrupt, like most of their peers back then, were spreading anarchist values: DIY, abolitionist, anti-corporate, anti-authoritarian etc. (Check the anti-vivisection blast ‘A life’s a life’ from Unrest album).
Disrupt, hailing from Lynn, MA, US, were formed in 1987. They managed to release various splits, 7’’ and EPs in their short-lived career, which lasted only six years. They were in the same wave of bands as Dropdead, Destroy! and the likes. Actually, the songs found in this album were recorded only few months before their European tour (October/November 1993), after which they disbanded. Sauna, were a Swedish band and this is their only recording.
Recorded and mixed during two days (13th and 14th June 1993) at The Lanes studio in Boston, MA by Bill Miller ‘People Killing People’ contains some of the most consistent tracks of Disrupt. Between the necessary Discharge and Extreme Noise Terror influences, Disrupt’s skilful and outright intense delivery sets them apart from the early American crust/grindcore bands. The riffs are crashing, the drums are pummelling, the vocals are lacerated in urgency. From the d-beat holocaust of ‘Xenophobia’, ‘You’ve no one left to blame’, ‘Succumb to the pressure’ and ‘An end to white rule’ to the slightly faster tracks ‘Trapped’ and ‘Leave me be’, this split album is a manifesto of punk essence. They even included a cover of ‘Protest’ from the UK anarcho-punk legends Conflict.
Sauna’s side is a good example of Swedish crust, albeit a bit weaker in comparison with Disrupt. The production at Markstudio with Mats Andersson is more muddy and downtuned. Highlights are the desperate, shouted vocals and the typical d-beat cuts ‘Welfare’and ‘Love’.
Bottom line is that Disrupt delivered uncompromised music throughout their course to raise awareness and break the system apart. Their version of punk is stripped down to its pure, original essence: strictly political, rebellious and raw creating feelings of defiance and urgency. I suggest everybody should check them out. Disrupt were not playing punk, they were real punks. Not to forget also that 4 members went on to form the sludge masters Grief.