Irish bands tend not to get as much coverage in the UK as they deserve, with the odd notable exception, so I was intrigued to hear this collection of “savage Irish punk”. 12 inches, 12 songs, 12 bands. 5 of the tracks are previously unreleased and, while a couple of the bands featured have made it to these shores, many will be relatively unknown. It’s a good introduction to some of what’s going on in the Irish punk scene, with a diverse range of styles and sounds.

The striking full colour comic book style artwork on Lambpaign – Ireland is designed to grab your attention: on closer inspection a sheep in battle fatigues with a Mohawk/Mohican (pedants please go and argue about this at the back, you know which haircut I’m referring to), carrying a battle standard flings his guitar at you. I don’t understand it but I like it. So some sort of military campaign led by a sheep…..Lambpaign!

Side A starts with The Nilz who turn in a speedy little number with its roots in hardcore, but there is a hint of grunge in there, and reminds me of an early Therapy? tune I heard on a DIY comp tape back before they were famous. What starts out as laid back almost West coast style vocal delivery builds up to a screaming assault on the old ear drums. Audible Joes come hurtling at you from the melodic end of the scale with a tuneful yet gruff approach that is begging for a mention of Hot Water Music, and something of the melody in the chorus and the guitar solo reminds me of early Leatherface. For those who remember Irish band Monkhouse that wouldn’t be a bad reference point. For those who don’t, add them to your list.

Jobseekers are an angry hardcore band with crew vocals, build ups and shouty vocals that get to screaming point at times. The lo-fi production hides some of what is going on, which is a shame, as they have something of complex American bands like Econochrist in their sound. The Gakk are pretty much straight up punk with some chunky riffing and a groovin’ rocky guitar going on. The catchy chorus “One by one” connects the impact of violent pinch points of Irish history in 1916, 1921 and 1969.

The Jollars provide some chunky Oi with yobbo aggro verses, shoutalong line endings and sing song choruses. The song Rebel Boot Boys – a tribute to their beloved Rebel City, Cork – comes from their Half Cut album reviewed previously for Louder Than War. United Bottles bring side A to a close. They feature former members of Belfast’s Runnin’ Riot but sound much more rocky and have a ‘big guitar’ polished sound you’d expect from an American touring band, with a fair amount in common with the likes of Old Firm Casuals.

Grit from Dublin kick off Side B with an upbeat take on Oi. You can hear a hardcore influence and they have plenty of melody which sets them aside from others in the genre. A song about the impact of drug dealing on working class communities, it’s pointedly aimed at recreational drug users in middle class communities as they repeat towards the end “No-one round your way ever had to dodge a stray bullet”. It’s a catchy one.

Listen to Stray Bullet by Grit here

Nomatrix are difficult to pin down. A whirlwind of drums on the chorus riff, they drop the pace with a buzz saw guitar and relentless singing on the verses. The frequent tempo changes keep you on your toes and an abrupt ending is punctuated with a rabble shouting the chorus. The Turn bring the youth crew hardcore tradition into full view. They’ve got plenty of build up and beat down and they’re the sort of band that these days might unfortunately inspire tough guy dancing or ‘crowd killing’ from a dickhead in a vest (don’t blame the band!)

Deathgrip have split vocals shared between Satan and one of his minions. Driving upbeat hardcore with a crust influence – Nausea may be a good reference point – and a sprinkling of metal. Despite my flippant pisstake of the guttural vocals, I’m intrigued to find out more about Deathgrip.

The Divils offer up a ska tune driven by a bouncy bass with some ranting vocals that come across like the ramblings of a drunken man regaling you of his life from the gutter. It turns into a high octane, trashy blur at the end of the song which, combined with the clean bluesy guitar break, tempts me to say “File under: Festival band”. Shithatt (umlauts over the a) end the album with their ode to hash. An atmospheric upbeat tune built on a sold bass and drums foundation that blends the twang of the Dead Kennedys with space rock. Phasers set to stun and echo set to impress. Fans of Butthole Surfers and various psych-noise bands will like them.

The insert includes lyrics for all songs and contact details for all bands laid over outline versions of the cover art. Vinyl collectors ought to know that the limited edition first pressing (300) comes in black, green and yellow marbled vinyl.

As I have mentioned in previous compilation album reviews, they were invaluable before the advent of online listening links as a way to broaden your musical horizons. Now they probably serve to hone in on a select few from the thousands of new bands and songs on offer via the internet. One great thing about compilation albums is that while you may have a couple of favourites, over time you become familiar with the other bands and songs. And the variety means you are more likely to play the thing a few times on the trot. Dead Lamb records are to be applauded for providing us with this opportunity to find out about some of the less well known bands from the Emerald Isle.

By Nathan Brown - Louder Than War


Rate: 7 Stars

In nice colored vinyl, Deadlamb Records gives us a nice compilation album with 12 songs, of which 5 of songs are unreleased (at least when the album came out) Nilz plays fast hard punk with tough drums. Audible Joes has a long lyrics to their song and a little different punk but it's really good. I've heard Jobseekers before and they play fast desperate punk. I love it! Gakk has a song title that has been used before and it is One By One and with a hoarse singer it sounds really good. Jollars has a sound that reminds me a bit of Blitz and it's a really cheeky and fast song. One of the better groups on the record. United Bottles is more rock than punk. Grits song starts as a Pistols song but goes a little faster then. A girl on vocals makes it one of the best songs on the record because they differ in that way from the other groups. Nomatrix plays fast and is one of my favorite Irish bands. The Turn has the fastest song on the record? A bit dull sound unfortunately but it's really punk. Deathgrip sounds almost like deathmetal mixed with hardcore and it is a really cool group. The Divils differ from the crowd with their skareggae music and they are a break from the harder. Shithätt ends the album with his slightly different song with a talking "song" but the music is quite good. A worthy collection for Irish music 20/7-2020

Skrutt Magazine


You can never keep a good underdog down, especially if the buggers throwing out the noisy produce are immersed for life. Deadlamb Records is primarily a 2 man operation, the lads supported the early SAS Tour I ran with my mate Andy NoizeAnoize and have proven themselves to be real understanding blokes as regards the struggle of all things under the radar. They are a steady and reliable force that never follow the expected route and are keen to spread the word of international noise as best as they can - always with the leaning towards that which is struggling to get good airplay. They have done 4 Lambination compilations, 1 Swedish comp, the mighty Spit and Sawdust comp and now the one under scrutiny here. This begins a new campaign that will scour through different countries finding underdog punk. The label also has 44 releases to its name and 4 more in the pipeline. Wow - you gotta love what they do, this is another compilation - I am enthused.

The Nilz open this varied bag of punked noise with the maniacally delivered outburst called 'Welcome To The Toybox'. This opening blast is direct, chain-sawed and never looks back over its shoulder. Essences of many obvious flavours hit home, it is the basic instincts where greatest appeal is found. Batter and clatter, leave the listener bruised and see what the verdict is - that is a formula I like. Within the hollers we get saw blades brandished, the scars may run deeper than first deemed. Audible Joes cough and splutter inward next with the sinewy and highly forceful push of 'Majority Rule'. The song is typical of many US recordings I have heard and for me has a majority of leanings towards times earlier in the 21st century. The technical skill is blatantly on the mark, the crew play with a tight-assed affect that drops not one error and the throat at the fore is seared in a symptomatic style of the sub-genre suggested. The harmonised hollers have a good injection of pace and will indulge the crowds - what more do you want! Next and the Jobseekers 'Spit' one right in your face with a vociferous hardcore industry striving its best to roughen up the listener and sandpaper any indifference one may have. The output is typical tunery from this rankled pit and roars and scrapes a good layer off the attentive senses. It will be orthodox matter though for those in the knowing sub-generic circle but the final roar-up is invigorating to say the least!

The Gakk arrive next with ‘One By One’. They offer up a self-assured threat that no one can ever win when factions within one country collide. The throat dictates above a hotbed of sizzling sound that works with heavy-sweated design and tight-assed economy. Flamboyant extras come, the song bubbles over but stays intact and this is one heavy duty repeat-beat scorcher to add another spark to an already fascinating collection of under the radar sounds. The Jollars bring a spot of street-noise cum football-esque rioting via 'Rebel Boot Boys', a clod-hopping clatter down the alleyways of your mind were 'Oi' is sprayed on the walls, freshly polished Ox-Bloods propel shanks and no slackers are tolerated. A boisterous boomer this celebrating an identity, not giving a fuck and fitting into the sub-generic pool with ease - it clears the head that is for sure.

Cracking along here and United Bottles throw in a professionalised cut of liquid noise via the effort slapped down under the name of 'Ghosts Along The Gangland'. The impetus is high, the unity between players tight and the end production complimentary to what the band are doing. An outpouring that transcends European/Us Punk and seems to hybridise the two - nifty! Next and 'Stray Bullets' are scattered by the group of degenerates known as Grit. The she lead blows out a trail, the feisty tunesters follow in the wake and along the way we, as mortal listeners, get dragged along with appreciation to my spiked and studded joy. The short running time, the galloping impetus and general gusto work a treat, one need add little else. The 2 Deadlamb creators are up next, as part and parcel of the long term unit Nomatrix, a crew who have done their time and continue to do so, once more issuing out a fine blast of honest noise with the clattering cacophony flying under the name of 'Struggle With Momentum'. This song certainly doesn't struggle with momentum at all and hammers forth with the briefest of respites offered just to add that contrast factor. The final chant is demonic chanting on whizz - and what a good way to end a quite bulldozing song.

The Turn take us into the final run in, here the band under the spotlight offer a sound I liken to early 90's DIY US urgency with a brandished knife of sound primarily reliant on gushing enthusiasm and a speed injected desire to nail the noise and the message. The song 'Deaf, Dumb And Drunk' is a pace burst laden with youthful energy and adds yet another subtle twist to a well-compacted CD. Deathgrip turn up the white heat and spill the hardcore conflagration that follows the duo-lead route used and abused by other bastards of hefty intent. 'Slave Rinse Repeat' is a bubbling broth of spitting mania, crossing vocal swords throughout, slashing at the resistance and letting you have it full in the face in no uncertain terms. The throats are burnt to a crisp, the application of noise hurtling, no prisoners or mere passers-by are left standing - the band do it well.
A skanky cum street-rap cum oddment is donated by The Divils, a moment that throws yet another boomerang of awkwardness and keeps me chivvied and all agog. 'Do Something Positive' may over-elaborate at times, may be a spanner in the works, may not be to everyone's liking but there is a mix to munch on and many elements to applaud as well as an out-of-sync blatancy that sticks a finger up the jacksie of your expectations. The band showcase much, leave you wondering and hopefully get you investigating - that is success methinks. We piss off into the final silence with the opening tribality of 'Both' by Shitthatt. A screwing, spiteful and sinister sounding piece of colliding kit that has a docu-style essence and something to throw the senses sideways. As many know, I like shit that is thrown from hidden niches, this is what I deem punk to be - a boundary stretching force to fuck the norm - I think Shitthatt do that here and with the musical news reel turning and the tetchy backdrop of sound unsettled, I am intrigued.

And Deadlamb do it again, mix, match, keep it unorthodox and bring together tonal treats that, without the labels help, would perhaps stay too far apart. My admiration is high, my gratitude at being allowed to listen in and scribble is, as ever, genuine. I hope all and sundry plucking on here and the label themselves take one snippet of advice - 'just keep on doing it for the sheer love of it - idleness is not an option'.