Dissent – Knee Deep In Scheisse (Dissent)
The new EP from Deptford denizens Dissent draws on various punk rock influences to take a cheeky look at life. For fans of early punk rock and Oi.
Dissent – or alternatively D!ssent – play mid-paced to fast chunky punk rock and take a cheeky, good humoured, look at modern life. They like drinkin’ but they hate rumour mongers and annoying feckers glued to their mobile phones. Even when they cover more serious subjects such as depression (Dark Days) they manage to seem flippant and cheery.
Dissent are fans of the call and response chorus which tends to make for catchy tunes. Whist it would be tempting to lump them in with latter day faster Oi, this collection of songs drinks deep from the well of original punk – I am particularly thinking The Drones and The Lurkers. They take an even deeper sup from the “second wave” of punk around 1979. This puts them very much in UK Subs territory but if you listen carefully there are shades of the songwriting of bands such as The Outcasts and even Buzzcocks in places.
The 6 track EP kicks off with a homage to their spiritual home of Deptford and New Cross with “SE14”. The dirty, rowdy streets they love. The almost deadpan vocals give this an Oi! vibe coupled with a tuneful chorus. They’ve gigged extensively in the area including at the practice space they use, Overdrive, which has been responsible for helping keep punk alive in an increasingly gentrified capital with fewer venues and affordable rehearsal spaces. It would be criminal not to mention the Overdrive crowdfunder to keep this vital space going.
SomebodyMcSomebody switches pace between mid-paced and fairly speedy and is a punky number, taking aim at rumour mongers. Flailing cymbals, buzzsaw guitar and chunky bass. Dark Days and Kiss Kiss are fairly standard punky numbers.
Drinking rattles like a crate of empties with its chorus “Drinking to survive…drinking to feel alive”. It’s an anthem for drunk punks everywhere, bottle in hand, fist raised, staggering around on the dance floor in front of a band. On this song in particular and also on Zombie with it’s “can’t live without it” chorus, there is a something of a similarity to Runnin’ Riot (something of a gold standard for your Oi aficionados). This may just be me tuning in to singer Eric’s Belfast brogue, but it’s there in the songwriting style and the guitar licks too.
“Sarf East Landan” punk scene stalwart Gonk’s guitar is mostly a wall of buzz with occasional lead breaks and harmonics to provide variety to the songs (and no doubt to prove to the naysayers that he can actually play!). The competently played drums have a clipped feature to them at times which reinforces the Oi! comparison but then at other times cymbals abound and they become more fluid and frantic. The chunky bass mostly underpins everything but occasionally pushes through the mix with a growling flourish.
Dissent occupy the sweet spot where they are fast enough to interest the younger crowd and not so fast they piss off the older folks for whom punk stopped in 1979. If they were a bunch of hipsters they would no doubt be an overnight sensation but they are the real deal. Grizzled veterans steadfastly hanging on in the streets they know in the face of gentrification.
The CD hasn’t made it onto their currently sparse bandcamp page yet.
Contact the band via Facebook for details of how to order the EP.
All words by Nathan Brown. You can read more from Nathan on his Louder Than War archive over here.