posted Thursday Oct 11th, 2007

Before you do anything, click on the 'radio' link in the top left corner of the page, above the article and band links. See that? Breathe in this album in real-time with two roaring cuts off the Raxola LP we've got featured today on our brand new Radio feature. The wonderful new reissue label Radio Heartbeat has again blessed the Earth with one of Europe's most coveted punk albums of the 1970s belonging to Belgian monsters, Raxola. If you aren't already in possession of this formidable chunk of primo thug-punk, then you must stop everything you're doing and find this remarkable record as fast as you can. Formed along with better known bands, The Kids and Hubble Bubble in the fertile Belgian Punk underground of the mid 70s, Raxola are usually the least name-checked of the three, but yet quite possibly the most brutal, and with their violently brilliant formula straddling their songs between sepulchral scrapings and melodic raw pop gargled with broken glass, they are long overdue on their time in the spotlight.

With roots in Europe's most legendary pre-punk ensemble, Bastard (who's 1975 lineup also featured Brian James, later of the Damned, Nobby Goff and Elton Motello, who's 1978 album Victim of Time is also prerequisite), and only making their mark in the form of this LP on Phillips from 1978, it's become one of the period's holy grail-type albums that trims all the fat and delivers a walloping confirmation of Belgium's prowess in rock'n roll in the heavily competitive first wave. Songs that echo the prime sentiment of pre-political European punk shine like unearthed gold on this LP, and standout tracks such as "Kill Your Son," "Wildcat," and "84's Man" are undeniably classic and punishingly pivotal, even by today's castrated standards. And just as the adrenalin retreats back inside from their high-energy blasts, they lay down the droning masterpiece, "Thalidomide Child" and shatter their own template with a brooding and sinister trip through regulated drug psychosis that is as unforgettable as that mysterious rash on your inner thighs. Although this epic long-player sadly made its way around the bootleg circuit for the past ten years, it's finally available in it's official original format, but with only one sole detriment: it's lacking any notes on the history that went into this high-watermark of Belgian punk, perpetuating the mystery that was Raxola in the first place. With the wealth of information available from virtually every other band from the era, maybe that's a good thing. If you'd like to dig a little deeper, click HERE for a recent Raxola interview on Now Wave.

In the past five years, lead singer/guitarist Yke has revived Raxola after the renewed interest that developed after their appearance on the Bloodstains Across Belgium compilation albums, and they have even started playing shows again. Regardless of their modern impact on today's new crop (check out the new album by the Busy Signals for a great updated take on the sly Raxola style) of rock'n rollers, their time is now and the album is readily available at an affordable price that actually benefits the original creators. If you're still curious, join the drooling fans of obscure ground-zero punk bashings, forged when nothing else mattered, and check out the track "84's Man" HERE and pick up this 20th century marvel from Florida's Dying right HERE, or from Goner right HERE.