Brno is a university town – full of students during the school year and pretty boring during the bank holidays. 2nd biggest Czech town located in the south-east of the country, not small, not big, about 400 000 citizens. I don’t want to talk about history much, just a few highlights that cannot be ommited...
Apart from ZEMEZLUC (more about them later on) in the late 80’s there was an obscure raw punk as fuck band VZOR 60. They recorded a great tape and split up after two of their members emmigrated to the West. Some time ago they tried to jump on the recent wave of reunions, got together again to record their old stuff, but have never finished that due to disagreements among the members of the band.
INSANIA (renamed to SKIMMED after a Secret police intervention) played an „insane“ mixture of hardcore and thrash metal. They still exist, but their style is kinda different nowadays.
S.R.K. played a chaotic out-of-tune-and-rhythm hardcore.
In the 90’s there was for example a crusty hardcore punk band LOS SOMROS (some members also played in NO PASARAN and DOGS ANTICOPS).
Some members later formed OPERACE ARTABAN, probably the most popular oi! band in Czech these days. Many people from abroad seem to have illusions about them being some kind of an antifa-SHARP band or something like that, but don’t be naive. They’re not… Some months ago two of their members were sentenced for beating up some guy while shouting “Sieg Heil!”. The drummer wearing T-shirts like Patriot, Thor Steinar, Screwdriver… They’re not pure nazis, but they’re not that far off either. Classic violent redneck quasi-rasist mentality. Fuck them.
Other bands from that time were PAZI SNAJPER (melodic m/f vocal anarcho punk) and MRTVA BUDOUCNOST. M.B. played 1994-2000 and their style evolved from a raw crustpunk to extreme hardcore/violence with dual vocals and intelligent political lyrics. They made 3 split EPs and 2 split LPs + lots of tapes and compilations, and also toured across Europe many times.
MORE BAD NEWS started in 2001 and played dark, screaming, apocalyptical hardcore with some metal stuff. But hey don’t get it wrong – it was no tough-guy metal macho-HC – this really rocked! However, they split up some time ago.
But let’s move to the present now… I will start with the band where I play guitar – FESTA DESPERATO. We started in 2002 playing a raw fast out of tune noisy hardcore, which after some line-up changes turned into a more heavy distorted crust/hardcore. We haven’t been active since summer 2007 as we’ve had no drummer. Now we’re practicing again, we have just recorded material for an LP and are getting ready to start playing shows again. A 7” EP reissue of our 2005 demo is just about to come out.
Until quite recently we used to share the practice room with some other bands - SEE YOU IN HELL (www.seeyouinhell.cz) formed in 1999, with Filip from MRTVA BUDOUCNOST on guitar. Their style has been evolving a lot since then. Formerly they used to play pretty dark, ragged, chaotic hardcore. Now they seem to have finally developed the style and sound that fits them best. They went fast, raw and less complicated. The result is ace down-tuned angry anti-christian hardcore/thrash/punk. They tour a lot, in spring 2006 they even went for a tour to Japan (as the first Czech punk band to have ever played there!) and also to Brasil two times. Now they’re preparing for their 2nd Japanese tour coming in July. Check their website, they’re pretty active when it comes to releases and some cool splits are in preparation right now – with SYSTEMATIC DEATH and CONTRAST ATTITUDE form Japan and with LOBOTOMIA from Brasil!
Another band is SCARTO – interesting mix of thrash/grind. They’re not very active concert-wise, but they are supposed to release an LP soon. So far there are just some songs on the ‘Play Fast Or Don’t’ comp. LP. Their drummer Beer used to run Beer Is Not Drink label and formerly he used to play drums in SPACE TO BEING. Their vocalist is Mirek (contact through him: email@example.com), former singer of FESTA DESPERATO.
Then there is ZEMEZLUC, the immortal local veterans of intelligent, original straight-forward punk. They’ve been active since as long time ago as 1986. The older they are, the sharper they play. Excellent. They just put out a new 7”EP on Ultima Ratio and are preparing for their 4th LP. Heaps of other recordings released (some 13 EPs?). Simply a classic of Czech punk – unlike many old bands from the 80’s, ZEMEZLUC remained DIY (and listenable) till now.
MAC GYVER (firstname.lastname@example.org) was formed by ex-PAZI SNAJPER members and they play melodic (but rather dark or tense, rather than cheerful) intelligent punk, slightly influenced by reggae in some parts… maybe a bit similar to JUGGLING JUGULARS, P.A.I.N. and such... One EP out. Unfortunatelly they aren’t very active (bass player is a surgeon, guitarist travels a lot etc.)
NAGAIKA rose from the ashes of anarcho-folk combo TERRA-RIOT. Dark, atmospheric opuses about freedom and fighting the system. I‘m aware only of a split-CD with MORE BAD NEWS.
MAD PIGS (www.madpigs.wz.cz) play cool hardcore punk. They started the band when they were about 16, kept changing their line-up all the time and they’re still making progress. Their influences range from old ‘77/’82 punk through 80’s hardcore to recent crust, chaos punk or japanese hardcore. They’ve been working fucking hard recently, touring Europe and Japan and seriously considering a tour to China right now! They release a lot of stuff (the last one was a split 7”EP with J.U.U.M. from Japan) and try to support the local scene.
PRIPYAT (yes – the Ukrainean town near Chernobyl…) was a band where I played drums. We were only active for a short time (2006-2007), played about 8 shows and made a studio recording, which should be released on a CD in Czech soon and already got released in Ukraine by Something Borrowed Something New. We played a kind of chaotic angry hardcore punk noise with two girls on vocals.
There’s also LAST CALL FOR PEACE (www.lastcallforpeace.wz.cz) who play a mix of everything – crust/raw punk/emocore. I have the feeling they have just split up but I’m not sure.
COREBASTARDS got a new singer – Mirek from Ultima Ratio again. They changed their name to KORUBO and their style turned from a raging crust/punk to dark fast’n’heavy crusty hardcore. They released a good demo on Ultima Ratio.
INTRUDERSS (www.intruderss.wz.cz) started about three years ago, playing simple 82 punk as fuck, but in a VERY raw and out-of-tune way. They are still learning to cope with their instruments I’d say, but they‘re getting better all the time. No recording so far.
RESURGO (www.resurgo.wz.cz) was originally formed by members of COREBASTARDS, INTRUDERSS and PRIPYAT. Their music is a kind of simple, somewhat melodic crust/HC. Now they've changed half of their line-up, so there are two guys from MAD PIGS on bass and drums now.
Another quite new band is TUMMO, very dark and heavy slow HC with people from bands such as THEMA 11, GOSPEL OF THE FUTURE, MORE BAD NEWS or EMA CAMELIA. Check it if you’re into such stuff!
6MAS originally played somwehere near Ostrava – in the Northeast of the country, but now they live in Brno and play a bit funny but good old school grind/crust.
MY DEAD CAT (www.mydeadcat.cz) have been around for almost 10 years, playing a mixture of indie rock, post hardcore etc. All DIY. The members used to play for instance in MORE BAD NEWS or in MRTVA BUDOUCNOST and in their beginnings, they even used to play covers of DOOM. They just released a split EP with a Czech emo band THE MOOD – I think it’s their first official release ever, though there were some unreleased recordings before!