Title: The Virus has Been Spread (A D-Trash Records Tribute to Atari Teenage Riot)
Genre: Digital Hardcore
01 Rabbit Junk – Start the Riot
02 Howard Roark – No Remorse (I Wanna Die)
03 Zymotic – Into the Death
04 Unitus - Death Star
05 CTRLER – Deutschland (Has Gotta Die!)
06 Hansel – Ghostchase
07 64Revolt – You Can’t Hold Us Back
08 noCore – U.S. Fade Out
09 DHC Meinhof – Revolution Action
10 The Secret Life of Teenage Girls – Speed
11 Phallus Über Alles – Heatwave
12 Evestus – Delete Yourself
13 Hercklekot – Fuck All!
14 Cyanotic – Your Uniform (Does Not Impress Me)
15 The Phoeron – The Virus Has Been Spread
16 Schizoid – The Future of War
Sometime back in the early to mid nineties, I remember a good friend introducing me to the musical assault that is Atari Teenage Riot and how I was taken aback at the sheer ferocity of their attack. It was like nothing I’d ever heard up to that point, the sonic equivalent of being battered around the head with a studded steel baseball bat. Moreover, these people were angry politicised young things, pointing accusatory fingers at government, institutions and global society and challenging those who had the power to do so to change the status quo for the better. The world was a mess then; it’s even more so now, heading as we are for a post-Bush era where the world will be left a seemingly more dangerous place, in terms of both global security and economics, than it was when ATR were at their rampaging best. Unfortunately, the juggernaut of Teutonic hatred and progenitors of digital hardcore self-imploded in 2001 and consequently left something of a vacuum in the wake of their untimely demise. Now, six years later, Canadian extreme electronic noise label D-Trash has seen fit to unleash a tribute album to this innovative German outfit, a reminder perhaps that we need a band of similar forthrightness and venom to raise the call to arms once more.
As is to be expected, it’s full of noise, grind, bombast and furious beats, as well as being something of a mixed bag quality- and interpretation-wise, with most of the bands opting to more or less emulate the trademark machine-gun delivery perfected by ATR. However even here, there are some who have decided to take a different tack, even going so far as to slow things down like Unitus’ slow doom bump ‘n’ grind monster ‘Death Star’ and Hansel’s orchestral & hardcore reinterpretation of ‘Ghostchase’ – but despite these radical changes both songs have lost none of the raw power or sheer violence of the originals. The Swedish 64Revolt trio of Emil, Patrick and Kängan provide us with a punk-techno-flavoured ‘You Can’t Hold us Back’ while noCore throw in a bit of experimental industrial in the shape of ‘U.S. Fade Out’. DHC Meinhof, meanwhile, wish to steer us into hardcore punk territory with the joyfully straight-ahead pile-driving cover of ‘Revolution Action’; however, most of the rest call upon breakbeat, industrial and drum ‘n’ bass stylings for their stabs at honouring those who laid the foundations and paved the way.
I enjoyed about half the tracks on this album, some of which I have outlined above; the rest just seemed to blur into one after a while and seemed to be too close to the originals. That of course is the danger of tribute albums, but then in all fairness I would have been surprised had I liked all the tracks. It’s obvious though that each of the artists here were influenced to one degree or another by Atari Teenage Riot, in terms of aesthetics and style if not in political leanings. ATR were a breath of fresh air in the staleness of the nineties and blew many a music fan’s cobwebs away; even today I would say that what they created can still stand up to the best of them. First and foremost though, they gave us digital hardcore and if not for them the bands on this album would never have come into being; in that sense then it is only right they pay tribute to the pioneers.