Maybe I’m old fashioned, but this album has really knocked me for six. In a massively good way. I just wasn’t expecting a band from Copenhagen to so comprehensively recreate the glory days of British squat-based crust punk/hardcore quite as well as Halshug have done on the monstrous Drøm.
Everything and everyone from Subhumans, Crass and Discharge to Killing Joke and Amebix (are we still allowed to type that name?) gets a whiff of nostalgic remembrance on this snorter of an album, yet never once do Halshug fall prey to the temptation of just sitting back and creating a nostalgia fest. Hence Ingen Kontrol might sound like it was conceived in 1984 in a Ladbroke Grove hovel, yet at the same time sounds as fresh and vital as it’s possible to sound in these days of recycled tropes and manufactured rage. As far as can be expected, this is the real deal.
Throw in a few loopy left turns – the odd bit of Hawkwindy sax, industrial dirges masquerading as instrumental interludes, you know the score, and you’ve got an album of simple, primal delights that also manages to hold the attention squarely for its duration. In fact I’d go as far as to say I’d be happy to listen to Drøm all day, every day for quite some time to come if the neighbours were as committed to the cause as me…
The ten tracks squeezed into just over half an hour are urgent, energised and, though the album lacks maybe an odd chantalong chorus to get the blood really pumping, I can’t put my finger on a single defect, much less a reason to try and deter you from buying the damn thing. And in final track Illusion, the band may just have found punk’s final missing link as they conjure up a fearful mix of Gary Glitter, Bauhaus and Public Image Limited – every bit as worrying yet strangely uplifting as the notion indicates.
Drøm is released today.